Motherhood has a way of amplifying all my good and bad habits. With so much energy now dedicated to parenting, I need to be more efficient with how I manage my day-to-day. Also, having a little human dependent on me is serious motivation to set a better example. So, from my motherhood perch to my DINK (double income no kids) self, here are the life lessons I’ve learned so far:
- Drink Less & Sleep More: Since having my son, I’ve learned to drink more like a European (1 to 2 drinks max and enjoy it!) and to go to bed early. That 6 AM wake up comes every morning and there is no option to take a day off. I promise, 95% of the time nothing good happens after 10 and that last drink isn’t worth it (do I sound like a parent yet?! :)) Although I may sometimes miss it when I’m in the swing of the night, I wake up grateful EVERY morning that I didn’t partake.
- Don’t Multitask Just Focus: You often hear that moms are great at multi-tasking. I did NOT acquire this special skill. I went through a period where I would try to work while watching my toddler. It would always take me at least double the time and the results were only half as good. Now I compartmentalize my day and focus fully on the task at hand. I am more productive working and more present with my son.
- Find Your Tribe: As a new mom with so many questions, it became evident that I needed to meet other moms so I wouldn’t fall down the google message board sinkhole. My mom crew is constantly peppering each other with questions and advice — and it’s great! We all need to do this in every area of our lives: our jobs, hobbies, etc. It’s not just moms in need of support. I’ve since joined a group for female entrepreneurs and it’s been the fuel I need to accelerate my business.
- SOS! Social Media Is Stealing Your Time And Energy: It’s so easy to allow yourself to aimlessly scroll through your Instagram feed and react to each post it comes. I, like most everyone, have spent countless hours allowing someone or something else to dictate my focus. However, with limited time, I’ve tried to force myself to actively engage on the web. For example, instead of passively scrolling through Facebook, I’ll read a blog on an e-commerce site or listen to my latest audiobook.
- Eat Like Your Toddler (or at least how you wish he/she would): My son eats mostly organic and I carefully plan each one of his meals. I have no idea why I didn’t do this for myself before! If you wouldn’t feed it to your child, why feed it to yourself?
- Be Charitable: I always wanted to be more involved with charities, but it was never high enough on my priority list. Witnessing how vulnerable a child is, combined with my deep desire to make the world a better place for mine, has made me pay more attention. This is something I should have done long ago, but my child gave me the final nudge.
- Stop And Slow Down: It’s a cliché saying, “stop and smell the roses”, but otherwise the days just go by. There is nothing like seeing your newborn grow to be an animated 3 month old to better appreciate how quickly time flies by. So don’t forget to take a time out to enjoy the moment, because it’s the journey that really matters.
I’d love to say that I’ve mastered these points, but I’m teaching my child not to fib, and setting that whole example thing… I’m not there yet. I’m still working on it all, but I am motivated, having a child in your life will do that for you. 🙂
Originally published at medium.com