How to ‘create space’ when you are a mom with side hustle, decluttering kids’ stuff, how to start family meetings, how to be more creative without it feeling like a chore.
Welcome to a bonus Q+A episode of Simple Saturdays . I am sharing the As to some of your Qs.
LIFE ON PURPOSE: My current dilemma is how do I fit it all in? I work 40+ hours a week, love on my three boys, try to get to the gym three times a week. I am up at 4:30 every morning to work on my side hustle and fall into bed every night. Where/how do I “create space”?
- Yes, I would be asking you the same question, where do you fit it all in?
- One thing that I am seeing is that you have a side hustle going. Which many people start as a way to eventually become a full-time job. If this is the case for you then it seems like this is a very intense season for you where you are trying to build up a business as well as still doing your day job.
- Side hustles actually suck when you have kids and a day job. It takes a lot of boundaries to protect these different areas of your life. There are a lot of people telling you to build up your side hustle but they don’t often tell you that the rest of your life can suffer from it if we don’t get really intentional about it. BUT when the side hustle is helping us build up the life we want to be living they are something that needs our time and attention.
- Think about the other really demanding seasons of your life (new job, school, new baby) and the areas of your life that you had to put on the back burner for a bit. When we have these really intense times, we do have to make sacrifices. So my advice to you is to firstly, become aware about what you are sacrificing and take ownership of that
- I know, it isn’t fun. But there is a saying: we can do anything but we can’t do everything.
- You are in a season where you have to make choices about where you will spend your time. And if you want to create more space, something else has to go.
- If your schedule is too much, you have to give yourself permission to make sacrifices. maybe you don’t go to the gym one morning, or you are making everyone frozen pizzas for a week, or you hire a babysitter to come over for a Saturday morning.
- But own it. During this time, stay present and own your decisions that are helping you build up the life you want.
- An approach you might want to take is from the book Pick Three by Randi Zuckerberg. She divides life into five categories: work, sleep, family, friends and fitness. She says, in a perfect world, we would all do every one of those things every day. But her book is the encouragement to pick three things to focus on each day and rotate them so your week has some of everything in it.
- There is no secret I can offer you to create space, because it really sounds like there is no space. There is no trick to it, it is just the number of hours in the day and how we fill them. We must choose, we must make choices. We must own those choices.
- Which brings me to my last point. Keep the end in mind.
- Get really clear about what you are doing and why it matters to you, and to the world.
- When we lose sight of our mission, we lose steam and we start getting restless.
- Keep your mission in the front of your mind.
- Get back to why this all matters to you and what the benefits of this hard season will be.
SIMPLE HOME: How do I declutter kids’ stuff?
- I have so much to say here, but the major thing I have learned is to model it for them. They need to see us doing it and see the benefits. They need to see it is a way of managing stuff.
- It depends on their age if you do it for them or let them do it. About age 5 and under you can probably do it for them.
- When they get older you want to start giving them the responsibility to manage their own stuff.
- This is a skill they need to learn, with guidance and opportunities to practice.
- If you do it with them it will be like training. They won’t get it perfect and it will take practice
- Consider your ultimate goal: managing their stuff in a healthy way. Walk them through this without forcing them to get rid of things, nagging, shaming or trying to talk them out of their decisions.
- They will learn what we teach them. So think of the end result you want and start putting in the time to teaching them that.
- Actionable tip: put all their stuff in one big pile and go through it one by one ‘keep’ or ‘let go’. You are the guide, not the warden.
SIMPLE STYLE: How do I let go of clothes and make a capsule wardrobe?
- First ask: ‘Why do you want a capsule wardrobe?’ [how having a capsule wardrobe makes my life easier]
- Next, determine the direction you want to take your wardrobe. Your decluttering decisions need to be rooted in a vision you have for your wardrobe. So start with inspiration – [how to find your personal style]- where do you want your wardrobe to be? Make decisions ahead of time on what you want your overall wardrobe style to be.
- Then pick a time where you can be invested and go through all your clothes
- You can do this for the season you are in, or for all your clothes at once.
- Either way, bring them all into one place – like the konmari style
- She asks you to see if it sparks joy. This is a great question. Look for that full heart reaction you have to your clothes
- If you are relying more on logic then here are some other questions (if you want more detail around these questions, listen to the episode, I unpack each one):
- Does this work into my style vision?
- Does it fit me?
- Do I like to wear it?
- Does it flatter me? [practice getting dressed]
- Is this who I am?
- Would I buy it again?
- How many others do I have?
- This is great to do a basic sort of your clothes because, IME, once you get rid of clothes that don’t meet these standards, you will constantly be letting go of things that don’t work as you slowly edit your wardrobe to be the one you want
SIMPLE FAMILY: How to get started with family meetings in my family?
- Read about why I love family meetings so much and how we hold them in our home.
- Tips to make them happen
- Schedule them: We aren’t great at consistency with these meetings, we need to plan for it to happen.
- Try a mini meeting: Sometimes we have a mini-version and we simply talk about any goals we have for the next couple weeks (tips for setting goals with kids in the episode)
- Make them fun: If your kids feel like this is ‘work’ or something we ‘have to do’ then they will not be on board. Ease up on the agenda and keep it simple to start.
- Make it about them: If all we talked about things they needed to change and improve they would not want to take part in them. Ask the questions let them have the floor, listen, listen, listen
- If all else fails, offer them candy.
LIFE ON PURPOSE: How to move into a creative space rather than a consuming space without it becoming another chore?
- I love this question. First of all, let’s talk about how it feels like a chore. It will be important to ask yourself what parts of it feel like a chore to you? Is it buying supplies, is it doing the activity? Maybe you are thinking it intrudes on a certain time of your day where you would rather unwind.
- Being creative is a very personal experience because we are all made creative in different ways. It is not simply about arts and crafts.
- What is your definition of creativity? What limiting thoughts might you be putting on ‘creativity’ that makes it feel like a chore? Because there are endless ways to be creative. Being creative is about creating order where there is no order, structure where there is no structure, beauty where there is no beauty. It is creating something that wasn’t there before. Someone might be very creative with food, someone else with food, someone with their bodies, someone else might really love building with lego.
- I would encourage you to get more rooted in the creative things that feel energizing to you because I am wondering if you have a generic definition of what creative means for other people and you lost touch with what it means to you.
- Think about the things that you loved to do as a kid. Think about the things you wish you had more time to do.
- Look at how you go about your day already and see where you feel inspired to be creative. Is it how you get dressed? Is it how you line up the shampoo bottles?
- There is an opportunity to start weaving it into your day without it becoming this big hobby that needs all the stuff and all the know-how.
- Without being able to talk with you more and coach you through this, I would also have a blanket statement about your mindset on taking time to be creative. Whatever condition you put on yourself: you don’t have time, or you need to be productive, or it is childish, you need to take the conditions off yourself.
- You are already creative, you just need to give yourself permission to start in the areas where it feels easy and energizing.
- LINK: Create if Created on A Little Light
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