Family Life

Episode 197. Mom guilt? 3 tips to help you to take a break and focus on family

December 13, 2023

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Ever felt the dense weight of your to-do list, and the gnawing guilt of not giving enough time to your family? Don’t worry, you are not alone! We’re here to guide you through this thorny path of managing life’s priorities and trust us, it’s easier than it looks. Embark with us on this insightful journey of redefining work-life balance, where we share our strategies and personal experiences, triumphs, and failures as we try to juggle our own work and family lives.

Amid our hustle and bustle, we often forget that our families have their own love languages. We’ll help you decode these languages and show your love in a way that resonates best with your loved ones. We also propose three key steps to balance your personal, professional, and family life. Remember, it’s about quality, not quantity. Even 15 minutes of undivided attention can do wonders!

Next Steps: 

[00:00:00] Wendi: Hey ladies, and welcome to episode 197. I am super happy that you’re here today and really excited about today’s topic. And if you’re new listening to this podcast, either through a podcast platform or just watching me hearing YouTube welcome, I’m happy that you’re here super excited that you’re going to learn so many new coaching tips to help you with your life and your career.

[00:00:23] Wendi: And most importantly, with your family. And today’s episode is all about knowing when to take a break and focus on your family. And I just want to thank a new member that joined our Facebook group. And by the way, If you haven’t joined us at life and career coaching for military and a veteran woman. I want to invite you to join us. All you have to do is scroll down to the show notes. And you will find where you can join the Facebook group, or if you’re in front of your computer or on your phone, all you have to [00:01:00] do is go to Bitly again, it’s and you can find the Facebook group a life + career coaching for military and veteran woman where I will be sharing. In, um, event every month, I’ll be hosting an event with different topics vary from, um, family life, career transition, pivoting in your career. Um, mom, life also. Understanding your emotional health, your mental wellbeing.

[00:01:41] Wendi: How do we grow? Um, when it comes to our designers, our Coles that we would like productivity will be a big one. So if that’s something that you and interest are interested in learning more about that, you want to know more about tips and tricks hacks that will help you in your day-to-day life. I [00:02:00] invite you to join us again, you know where to find us, or you can just search shape in your Facebook app. And so I’m grateful that our new member, she mentioned, um, one of her struggles, because you’ll get questions asked, you’ll ask, I’ll ask you your branch, what you’re struggling with currently, and also. An email so that I can be in contact with you with freebies, or even just inviting you to the events as a reminder. And so the topic when I saw that I’m like, this is exactly what I need to talk about because I’m actually going to be spending a lot more time with my kids this year than I did the years before. And the reason being, I mean, they still get off every, um, winter break, they get two weeks off. Um, but this year, Um, we don’t have a newborn, we have a toddler.

[00:02:48] Wendi: And so I want to be very intentional with what we’re doing, um, with them and how we get to spend this time together. And of course it’s coming towards the end of the year. There’s so many [00:03:00] things that I still want to get done. Um, and to be completely transparent and honest. There isn’t a lot that I have. Left to do because I’ve actually thankfully. Um, I’ve been able to accomplish it in. Got done with that task. But I do want to get ahead of planning for my Facebook group content.

[00:03:21] Wendi: Anything that I want to post on LinkedIn on Instagram and. Again, recording these videos, right? I want to make sure that I get ahead of the game. So when it comes time for January and everybody is back in school and we’re back in the hustle and bustle. We’re all where we need to be. And we’re not having all this mental drama up here or all the drama up here. And then I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and frustrated, and I’m burnt out by January 15th. Which, by the way, there’s also a trip that I’m planning in January. Well, I’m helping plan. We’re going to meet with my book club.

[00:03:57] Wendi: And so again, there’s so many things going on constantly, [00:04:00] which is great, but at the same time, you want to be able to. Um, use that to our advantage and not use it against us. Right? Like not having time for our family. Um, not knowing when to take a break, which again, this is something that I know I have to constantly remind myself because I’m actually going to be taken off of work. And I want to be able to take some time off of this podcast, some time off from my coaching and just be able to focus on my kids for a couple of days.

[00:04:28] Wendi: And my family. To it very intentional, but also continuing. The routine that we, that we have when it comes to spending time with them. And it’s not a lot of time. So don’t think that I’m spending hours a day with them. Um, because I don’t have that much time. There’s things that I have to do for work and things that I have to get done. And so again, it’s just so many things that happen at the same time that we want to be able to remind ourselves like Wendy.

[00:04:54] Wendi: Now it’s time for you to take a break. And by that, I mean, and I’ll be explaining it here in today’s episode. When [00:05:00] to actually fully detach from the work, because most of the times we’re still thinking about it in our mind. We’re like, okay. I still have to do this, this, this, and this while. I’m sorry. I’m trying to play with my little one or read her a book in the back of my mind.

[00:05:13] Wendi: I’m thinking. Oh, I cannot forget to do XYZ. And I’m not actually spending and being present. Um, with her at that moment. And so again, it’s very important for us to be conscious of that. Um, not only as, um, individuals as a mom, as a wife, as a friend, But also just. Uh, someone that can take a deep breath. And to be okay with. Being in one area without having to be worrying. About. 30 other things that are going on, it’s very peaceful and it’s something that I have to constantly practice and remind myself.

[00:05:52] Wendi: Okay. There’s nothing in this world. That really needs my attention right now, besides me sitting on this couch [00:06:00] or just looking at my little one. Stand up and fall, stand up and fall. Like I can find joy in that. But here’s the thing. It becomes a problem. Because our mind wants to protect us. Our mind is like, No, you don’t need to take a break. You don’t have time.

[00:06:20] Wendi: You have a to-do list that you need to accomplish. You have a thousand things that need to get done. Not to mention, take your kids to there. Volleyball or basketball, practice, football practice, whatever they may be in. And oh, by the way, dinner needs to be served dinner. Be prepared food, new spit on the table. Things need to get done routinely, right?

[00:06:41] Wendi: The wa. The clothing you’re calling needs to be washed. Your work is requiring you to work on this project. So this agenda, the slide deck. You also have things that you want to get done. Like for me, very important is to get my notes on my eyebrows wax. I need to take care of [00:07:00] myself and that is something that we constantly need to do. And it’s not required. But we enjoy it, right?

[00:07:08] Wendi: Like that’s my own thing that I love to do. I love to get my nails done. Get my toes done. Take care of myself and just go and unwind a little bit without having to. Be worried about the kids or be worried about what I have to do, what needs to get done. Oh my gosh. The laundry basket is completely for what’s happening. The house. And they see get cleaned so on and so forth. And so again, our brain is going to remind us of the quote unquote important things. But here’s what we need to do.

[00:07:37] Wendi: And here’s how we know we need to take a break. One, if you are questioning, knowing when to take a break and focus on family, then you need to actually be intentional about taking a break and actually focusing on your family. Now I know most of the time too, this is what happens. Our brain wants to give us. This agenda that, that we [00:08:00] need to check off for our kids or the time that we need to focus on her family. We need to go on a trip.

[00:08:05] Wendi: We need to do something extravagant. We need to just do something that’s not out of the ordinary is what our mind is going to tell us. And that’s completely false. It’s not true. You don’t have to do anything crazy like that. You don’t have to plan the trip to the park or plan a play date or, you know, be it something that’s.

[00:08:26] Wendi: So, um, Uh, detailed oriented. It doesn’t have to be that way at all. Our brain wants to. Not only over-complicate, but it also wants it to be perfect. And that is one of the problems that we run into. Cause we’re like, thinking about that gives you this whole thought of, I don’t have time for that. I already have a thousand things going on.

[00:08:48] Wendi: It’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to plan this ice cream trip or this trip to the park, because now it requires two hours of my time versus 20 minutes. And so that’s like the first thing, right? Like our brain wants [00:09:00] to over-complicate. And just remind us that we don’t have time for it. So here’s the thing, you know, that you need to spend time with your family.

[00:09:06] Wendi: We all do. But why is it that we want to push that to the very bottom of our list?

[00:09:14] Wendi: I pretty much just told you why. We overcomplicate it and we don’t prioritize it. That’s really the biggest piece. We think that it’s, um, not necessary because everything else is urgent. But if we really think about it, if something were to happen to our little ones, if something were to happen to our spouse, I am 99.9% sure that you will drop anything that is going on. Are really a hundred percent. Guaranteed.

[00:09:40] Wendi: You will drop whatever you’re doing, whatever event you’re at, whatever milestone you ran, whatever minute you’re in of your workout. Whatever it is project presentation that you’re given. You would drop that and you will go and spend time with your family because they need you.

[00:09:59] Wendi: We don’t want to get to [00:10:00] that point.

[00:10:00] Wendi: We want to be able to do it ahead of time. And so this is what I want to recommend because a lot of the times are praying. Like I mentioned earlier, wants to keep us safe. And having fun or spending time outside of our to-do list is somehow. Not. Accomplishing it’s something that your brain is like, Nope. That sounds like it’s too much fun.

[00:10:26] Wendi: It’s not serious. And we don’t need to focus on that. We need to focus on what really matters right now. And that is the laundry. That is dinner. That is the project that you’re working on. You have to record a podcast, you have to do all these things. There’s no story time. There’s no conversation about how your day went at school.

[00:10:45] Wendi: I don’t have time for that. We can talk about that later. And it’s okay if you already have a routine in place, but if you don’t and you continue to put family time at the very bottom. Knowing that it’s just not going to work out for you that day. Then [00:11:00] we are not going in the right direction because we’re not prioritizing our family time. And here’s what I believe when we can be intentional with prioritizing certain things. It will get done no matter what now of course there are things that happen, right?

[00:11:14] Wendi: Like, Things happen. Things come up, one child will get sick. You can’t cater to the other two because you have three of them or you have five of them. And now you have to focus on that one. Child because he, or she’s the youngest or your spouse gets sick. And now all of a sudden. I don’t know. Everybody else.

[00:11:31] Wendi: But what I’ve been hearing is very similar to my story. When our spouses get sick, it’s like everything just shuts down for them. And it’s completely okay. Um, I think that’s a part of who they are. As many love to just completely shut down and then they get back up a hundred percent. And I think that’s something that we need to do better at duke, because it does help with you. The recovery and how they rest and recover, and then they get back up. That’s a whole nother podcast for another time. But what I want to emphasize is to [00:12:00] truly be able to be intentional in deciding ahead of time. On these three things that I’m going to talk about. So that you can continue this routine. Because if you don’t remind your brain, you don’t remind yourself. It’s not going to happen.

[00:12:15] Wendi: It’s just not going to happen because our brains are going to be fighting against what we believe is important. What we believe. Is urgent because our brain can’t determine or distinguish what really is urgent, unless you use that prefrontal cortex and you guide it. Um, by Matt only reminding yourself that okay. Yes, I’m going to take 20 minutes out of my workout time or my work time to do this, but it’s going to benefit me 10 times more.

[00:12:52] Wendi: If I do this. Or I planned this for today. If not, I’m going to be constantly feeling guilty. Because I have this [00:13:00] thought of, I should be there and I didn’t, I wasn’t there. I wasn’t present. And now you’re just not going to work effectively. When you need to get back to work, you’re not going to be effective in your workout.

[00:13:10] Wendi: You’re not going to be effective in whatever you need to do. Recording a podcast. I’m just giving you my example or planning your transition or planning your finances, planning your investments, whatever you may be doing, you may be in real estate investing. You may have another side hustle. You may be, um, pursuing your education. You won’t be able to study the same because in the back of your mind, you’re like, oh man, I’m not spending quality time with my kids.

[00:13:36] Wendi: They need me. I’m a terrible mother. I should, you know, be more focused on them. I can’t focus anymore. I’m just going to go and distract myself. And do it unintentionally and now they’re sleeping and all these things keep coming up and then you’re like, okay. This is not working. Like how do I know when. To take a break and focus on my family. And so here’s, here are the three [00:14:00] things that I highly encourage that you focus on. And the first one is, how does this benefit the family and yourself?

[00:14:08] Wendi: Like, how does this benefit you planning ahead of time? The intentional time of when you’re going to take a break from work or whatever it is you’re doing and spend time with them. So for me, I’ve actually asked my family this question of, you know, what is it? What’s their love language pretty much like what do they enjoy?

[00:14:27] Wendi: And if you haven’t read the book highly recommend that you read the five love languages by Gary Chapman. That book completely transformed my life with. How people want to be loved and how people want to receive love. And it works differently for everyone and. For my family. It is as well. Everyone’s a little different. And it’s okay.

[00:14:49] Wendi: We’re all different. And, but the main one. That came up over and over again with my kids and my husband. It was quality time. They want [00:15:00] quality time. They want the quality time with you. And it’s crazy as it sounds in my head, I’m like, what do you mean. I spend enough time with you already. I know crazy. Terrible thought to have, but here’s the thing.

[00:15:12] Wendi: The keyword there is quality, right? And so yes, go grocery shopping together. Yes. I dropped you off at school. Yes. You know, we’re here together. Talking and just being ourselves or practicing, whatever we’re doing. But at the end of the day, they want that one-on-one they want that quality time. And so it’s like what?

[00:15:33] Wendi: I can’t win. Like, what do you mean? Like I do a thousand other things and you still want time and everything else. Any who. Step one is for you. As, what is your love language, your husband, your kids, your friends, your family, whomever. It is that you want to spend more intentional time, take a break from and focus on them.

[00:15:54] Wendi: This is what you want to ask them. What is your love languages? And for those of you that haven’t read or don’t know, or just don’t [00:16:00] remember the love languages, it’s quality time. Acts of service gifts, physical touch and words of affirmation. It’s very different for everyone and it’s okay to have, you know, they can rank it from one being their highest, all the way to, to number five, because honestly we all want these things.

[00:16:17] Wendi: We are all. Gravitated to. Quality time. We love acts of service. We love gifts. We love physical touch or does it well formation, right? Like reminding us. That we’re loved reminding us that we’re beautiful reminding us that we’re doing an amazing job. We love that. Now. Some people love it more than others.

[00:16:34] Wendi: I’ll be completely honest. I love words of affirmation. If you can sit there and tell me all day, every day that I’m doing a great job and that you love me and that I’m beautiful and you know, I’m just doing a great job. Please do so, like. That would be my thing. But it’s also quality time and it’s also acts of service and it’s also gifts and physical touch. But again, understanding what it is for your family. [00:17:00] Because you also want to let them know what it is for you. Now for the most part. They will not necessarily, I don’t want to say that they won’t care, but they just won’t. It won’t click for them at the beginning.

[00:17:13] Wendi: You have to show them. So, this is the way like, My husband does a great job of doing this. He’s like, I’m not going to sit here and tell you, I’m just going to show you. And so you showing them that you appreciate. Quality time or words of affirmation. Um, whichever one it is for there, you know, for example, for my daughter, it’s quality time, she’s like give me quality time.

[00:17:36] Wendi: And I know that you’re like loving on me all day every day and I’m like, oh, okay, great. So. I’m just going to tell her, okay, we’re going to spend quality time, actually have to show her. So then when she sees that she knows that, okay, I’m actually spending time with her having one-on-ones with her, and then she’s going to reciprocate my love language.

[00:17:54] Wendi: That’s to wait, kind of like how we go around in this household. And so for you, figuring that [00:18:00] out, figuring that out ahead of time. Very important. The next thing you want to do is decide ahead of time on the amount of time. That you want to. Do that activity or, you know, if it’s quality time. You know, is it. It going to be 15 minutes.

[00:18:17] Wendi: Is it going to be 30 minutes? Whatever you can afford at that moment. Right. I like to look at this as a budget. What can you afford? Can you afford 15 minutes or are you like, um, affording, you know, an hour? Whatever it is. And then when it works best, right? Because it may be 15 minutes, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but maybe Tuesday and Thursday, you have 30 minutes or vice versa.

[00:18:40] Wendi: Right. Whatever it may be. Or, you know, that you’re going on an actual training event or a work trip, or you have this big event that you’re planning and you know that the month of January. You’re going to be completely focused on that project or focus on that event or that travel. So now, how do you plan ahead of time?

[00:18:59] Wendi: And you set that [00:19:00] intention ahead of time with them. Will you say, Hey, you know, in January, in a home typically. Um, We hang out. Every day for 15 minutes or in January, we’re only going to be able to do it on Saturday for this amount of time. Where do you want me to take you? Or how do you want to spend it right. What if it’s words of affirmation, what if there’s is words of affirmation?

[00:19:21] Wendi: How do I do that at an hour? Right. Maybe you can record something. Maybe you record something for them ahead of time. I’m just coming up with stuff here. Top of my head. Or if it’s physical touch, obviously you can’t like be there to hug them, um, or to like tickle them or whatever they like, you know, for them, but you can remind them that, Hey, when I come back. I will. Give you a big hug or whatever it is, send you a photo of us hugging each other, whatever it may be. Gifts, maybe send them a gift while you’re gone.

[00:19:51] Wendi: Maybe send them a gift. Wow, or right before you leave or whatever it may be for them. Right. Or maybe getting them a gift and talking about [00:20:00] that gift or just. Enjoying the gift, right? The gift may be. I don’t know a game. And now you both play that game for however, y’all decide to do that. But making sure that you set that intention ahead of time, the amount of time and when it works best for them, for both of you pretty much, because what if they have soccer practice?

[00:20:19] Wendi: What if you have five kids, right? Thankfully only have three. They don’t have to worry about 30. Um, but you may be blessed with five. And now, how do you do that with all five that are all different. So writing it down, whatever it may be, but now, you know, okay. Child a wants to spend time. At a park child, B wants to spend time, um, by me, like cooking them a meal or cooking a meal together, whatever it may be. And then the last thing. Understanding the how, right.

[00:20:51] Wendi: So this one is, this is where we get very detailed. So then you have that conversation with that individual, with your husband, with your kids. [00:21:00] It’s always a lot. Um, What’s the word here. It’s simple with kids because they will tell you like what they want. They’ll give you the truth. They’re going to be like, oh no, don’t take me to whatever place, because I, sometimes I come up with these great ideas right into my brain.

[00:21:16] Wendi: And they’re like, that was a terrible idea. We’re not going there. Like, no, we’re not going there. And I’m like, oh, okay. It was just a thought, but in my head it was like, no, it was actually, I thought it was a great idea. Again, my kids are almost teenagers and it’s getting harder and harder. You all because they don’t want to spend that much time with me in public.

[00:21:35] Wendi: They’re like, no, mom, I want to go with my friends. I don’t want to go to the mall with you. I’d rather just go with my friends. Anyhow. You become very intentional ahead of time. Do we want to S you know, maybe work on homework together. Do we want to play sport? Do you want me to practice with you?

[00:21:51] Wendi: That’s one of the biggest things with my son. Like he loves when he and I like throw the ball together like football, or he wants me to go out there and play basketball with [00:22:00] him. Um, anything that they want to get done. So we’ve been very specific. Okay. So I’m going to meet you here outside for 20 minutes. Uh, 6:00 PM every day or once a week. And we’re going to play basketball, whatever it may be.

[00:22:18] Wendi: I’m just giving you an example. But just understanding on what all of this is going on. And this is what I want to leave you with. Your brain is going to think that you’re going crazy. Your brain is like, what are you doing? We have so many things to get done. We don’t want to get disappointed. Remember, we don’t want to go through that discouragement. We don’t want to fail.

[00:22:39] Wendi: What’s going on, Wendy? What’s going on? Why are we having fun and not doing the work that we need to get done? When that happens. I want you to acknowledge that it’s okay. Acknowledge that. Yes, it’s okay. That we have things in the back of our mind. Almost 99% of the time. ’cause that’s just [00:23:00] the way our brain works. But I also want you to be able to guide your mind and create those new, um, paved or not paved, but is new. Um, kind of way of thinking, because if we don’t then her brain is going to just take over. And it’s going to want to do all the work. It’s going to remind you that you have so much to do that.

[00:23:27] Wendi: You don’t have time to take a break and focus on your family. Like, why would you want to do such a thing? They’re going to be there. There. They’re okay. They’re fine. But what if they’re not, what if they want your attention? And what if like them coming to you constantly, while you’re trying to do work is the way that they’re asking for your attention.

[00:23:44] Wendi: And you’re just now frustrated and overwhelmed and you’re like, I’m not gonna be able to do this. How do I accomplish this? If you keep. Coming to me and asking me all these questions. What if you do set some time? Ahead of time. And be intentional with [00:24:00] taking a break. And focusing on family. Now of course you can go extravagant, right?

[00:24:04] Wendi: Like, let’s say you have two weeks off you’re on broccoli where you have time off from work. You know, like, you know what, we’re doing something extravagant for two weeks, we’re going to do XYZ. That’s completely fine. You take in that type of break is also great. But I will tell you that your brain is still going. To offer you those thoughts.

[00:24:24] Wendi: Should we work in? You should be doing this. You should be doing that. Nothing wrong with that. Your brain is just doing this shop. What I want to offer you is to take a moment and really plan it out. And really say, okay, we’re going to go on this trip. We’re going to go wherever you decide to go for those two weeks or a week days, whatever it is. But be realistic and intentional on how you want to use that time. If this is your first time doing it, and you’re going cold Turkey from being a constant workaholic to spending time with your family. It’s going to be like when you get out, when you try to [00:25:00] go cold Turkey from caffeine. Your it’s not going to go the way you planned it.

[00:25:04] Wendi: It’s I’m just letting you know now. What you want to do is to focus on one day at a time. Okay. If I have 10 days, I’m going to start with my family or 20 days, whatever it may be for you. Be intentional with focusing with one day at a time. Okay. They one I’m just holding on to your family. They too, I’m going to incorporate an hour of checking my emails or doing a project and so on and so forth.

[00:25:27] Wendi: Whatever you think is going to work for you and being okay with it. Now, if you want to try the cold Turkey, go for it. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t, but I want you to be prepared that your brain is going to offering so many crazy things that, you know, like your business is going to like shut down because you’re not there. Like just lies and it’s going to feed you or no, one’s going to listen to your podcasts.

[00:25:48] Wendi: If you start podcasting for a week or for two weeks. If you don’t get this right. They’re just going to, you know, discount you and just not engage with you anymore. Whatever it may be. [00:26:00] So I want to offer that you be intentional, realistic with time that you do have to spare in the time that you do have to actually focus on work, because trust me. I don’t know about your kids, but my kids, they don’t want me to be with them all day every day. Of course they want their alone time.

[00:26:19] Wendi: They want their tone with the friends and one time to play with. You know, their game, time to be on the phone, time to sketch whatever they need to sketch, having to be on tech talk, whatever it is. Be okay with where you are now and just continue to monitor. Okay. If you’re thinking, do I need to take a break?

[00:26:38] Wendi: Um, and you know, focus to be with my family, then the answer is totally. Yes, you do need to take a break and then just become more intentional with it. Day by day, week by week. It’s hard, especially if you haven’t done it in a long time. But I promise you is completely worth it. Your kids are going to notice it, everyone around.

[00:26:55] Wendi: Who’s going to notice it and she’s going to be so much better. All right, ladies. Well, I hope that this episode was [00:27:00] helpful and that you not only start taking action right away with how to start implementing this ahead of time, especially as a holidays are right around the corner and you’ll have maybe. A day or two to spend time with them. But also being intentional with how you are also thinking and how you’re feeling. Because we don’t want the mom guilt.

[00:27:18] Wendi: That’s not necessary. It’s something that we don’t need to continue to compound and to feel. Unless we can manage it and we can’t, we can’t manage how we feel. And that starts with your thinking. So how can you start thinking in a way where, okay, I’m going to be intentional. I’m going to set some time.

[00:27:37] Wendi: I am going to be able to do this through an activity or through whatever it may be for you. And be able to actually be intentional in that way. All right. I hope this helps you. And listen, like I said earlier, if you are not in my Facebook group, I highly encourage that you join as soon as possible. I’m going to start adding so many things in there, like the events, the calendar for 2024.

[00:27:59] Wendi: So [00:28:00] stay tuned. There’s more to come in the Facebook group. Come join us. Come say hello. And listen, if you need some more help, one-on-one help. Feel free to schedule a free consultation. Call with me. All you have to do is scroll down to the bottom of his podcast episode or go to Winnie for slash consult. And schedule a call with me so that we can go one-on-one step-by-step on how we can continue to improve your emotional wellbeing.

[00:28:24] Wendi: Your maybe the things that you’re procrastinating on the productivity, maybe you needed, um, a tool help one-on-one on how to actually get this to do list. As a routine and not just as a list and just completely get rid of your to-do list forever and really, um, put together a routine that will help you every single week, every single day. So that you can continue to make progress in your life. All right.

[00:28:48] Wendi: I hope that this blessed you and enjoy the rest of your week. Talk to you soon.