What was the best career advice you’ve ever received?
What about fitness or running advice?
Instead of focusing on time or mileage, I tell myself “put on your shoes and get out the door.” When I agree to accomplish “little steps” – get out of bed (the hardest one), get dressed and head out the door – they somehow add up to a satisfying run.
What about parenting advice?
The best advice I received has become my motherhood motto: Put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others.
At face value, this could be interpreted as “put your needs before the needs of your children.” Sounds a bit selfish, doesn’t it? It’s not. We all have needs. Are we going to address them after our kids are done with their requests? That time is not going to come. I’m at my best when I’m present with Ingrid. How do I stay present? By making sure my needs are met and then move onto the needs of my daughter.
The early bird gets her pants on first.
When Ingrid wakes me up instead of my alarm, it’s a real bummer. The day is already off to a rocky start. Instead of getting myself ready and having a few quite moments with my beloved coffee, she’s in our bedroom chatting about bracelets and princesses. In 20 minutes, I know I’ll be half-dressed, running around like a crazy lady trying to get both of us ready. Or, Dan will have to hustle to get everyone out of the door.
Everyone is hangry.
Don’t mess with us when we’re hungry. Ingrid and I will both turn into crabby monsters when our blood sugar is low. If we’re running errands, I like to pack snacks for everyone, not just Ingrid. Sure, I could nosh on some of Ingrid’s Goldfish crackers* or we could split a banana. I’d rather pack two bananas and throw in some almonds for me and call it good.
Out for a run, you’ll thank me later.
While training for a half-marathon last fall, I experienced a lot of guilt during Saturday morning long runs. Physically, I was on the road but my head was at home, thinking of all of the to-dos I needed to address. And knowing that in order to address those to-dos, I wouldn’t be able to spend quality time with Ingrid. Guilt spiral! Then, I started making crock-pot meals before lacing up. A good run, a meal in the “oven” and time with my family. Take that guilt spiral!
Just get to the point already.
The idea of putting on your oxygen mask before assisting others is simple and works for two reasons. First, I’m happier and more present with my family when I take time for myself. Second, it’s important to me that I show my daughter that mothers are people too. I want her to be a balanced and interesting person. In order to do that, I want to be a balanced and interesting mother and role-model.
*If you have not already tried Flavor-Blasted Goldfish please do so. Feel free to thank me later and also comment with your favorite Goldfish flavor. More importantly, what’s the best parenting, career or fitness advice you’ve ever received?