Don’t Wait for the Leftovers

By: LUMO Leaders

- Publish On: April 28, 2022

Kristin here, coming to you today from my self-care soapbox. 

Last year at around this time, I was in the drive through at Chick-Fil-a, and a Mother’s Day commercial came on the radio. The commercial was an advertisement for a local jewelry company, and it started well, talking about how important it was to celebrate moms after the “extraordinary” year we had had in 2020, and how moms had done such a great job holding their families together. I was nodding along absentmindedly, snacking on my fries, when they said, “It’s time to celebrate moms for always putting everyone else first.”

And then my head exploded.

Ok so, I may have been exaggerating a bit but NOT THAT MUCH. I.was.furious. So furious, in fact, that I pulled over and made a very angry video about it that I later posted to Instagram.

Here’s the thing:

Moms cannot put everyone else first and also live a happy life. Dads can’t, either. No one can. When everyone else’s needs supersede our own, all we’re left with is the leftovers. And if you’re a parent reading this, you know that there are no leftovers. There is always another load of laundry to do, or a school form to fill out, or a bottle to wash, or that truck that you’ve tripped over 27 times to pick up off the floor. There’s always work to catch up, friends to respond to, parents to check in with…the list goes on and on, but I’ll stop there to spare our collective anxiety. (Lol?)

If this is making you mad, because you have no idea how the heck you’re supposed to prioritize yourself when you have all this shizz to do, I totally understand. I know all the arguments against putting yourself first because they used to be mine. I was scared of being selfish, I was scared that my family would suffer, I was scared that my to-do list would never get done. But a really wise person (my coach at the time in 2016) suggested that I trust her, and she was right. Not only did I feel better once I started taking care of myself, but my family benefited big time. It turns out that Silly Mom is way more fun than Martyr Mom. WHO KNEW? And what about all that stuff I needed to get done? Well, when my needs were handled, I focused better. I was more efficient. I won, my family won, my work won – EVERYBODY WON.

So the question is, in a world set up the way ours is (where parents are left to fend for themselves), how do you start?

I’m not suggesting that you reconfigure your entire schedule to fit in a daily massage (but if that’s your jam, go for it!) Instead, start small. Put your feet up for five minutes before washing the dishes. Let calls go to voicemail during your lunch break. Make yourself a snack before you make your kiddo’s. You will have dozens of chances to choose yourself throughout the day and it takes practice to notice them, so just do your best. And take comfort in knowing that while you do your own individual work to get your needs met, we at LUMO are working our buns off in the background making it possible for employers to provide better solutions for their working parents

Remember, Parent Warriors – well-being is access to power. It’s the foundation for all the good stuff in life – joy, presence, collaboration, and connection. So go get your needs met like a boss, and know that we’ve got your back.

LUMO Leaders

LUMO is full of the most passionate people in the parental leave movement. We believe developing a company's most important asset – its people — is key to unlocking success. And you know what? We’ve learned this because we’ve lived it. With a combined 50-plus years of expert experience in employee retention, working parent development, and DEI training, our collective of LUMO Leaders have the tools, insight, and fervor for helping organizations cultivate inclusive culture.

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