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Meet One of My Best Friends in the World, Aleks Lopez!

I am SO excited to introduce you to my dear friend, Aleks! Aleks is part of my mom tribe, the photographer behind many of my parties, and she also happens to be my husband’s boss. Aleks is a wife and working mom to two gorgeous girls, and is the most generous friend one could have. She is always thinking of others and how she can serve them. On top of this, she has a massive day job. Like she’s a big wig. Aleks is a Principal PM Manager at Microsoft. She leads the global Desktop App Assure service, helping customers move to Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus by removing application compatibility blockers in their enterprise. She is a passionate customer advocate, having held a number of roles at Microsoft since 2002, all focused on enabling Microsoft’s customers’ success. Told you! Big wig. That’s a lot of responsibility on top of being a kick-ass parent, wife, daughter, and friend. 

In this episode, Aleks and I are doing a deep dive into what it looks like to show up and be present to take advantage of the time we have with our kids. This show is for all the working moms, moms working the naptime hustle, or the moms out there that are feeling like they just aren’t spending their time on the things they need to be focusing on. Aleks breaks down her schedule, how she maximizes her time, the importance of saying no and how she practices it, and why self care is essential to “doing it all.” There are so many amazing nuggets in this episode so listen up, take it in, and APPLY something you hear! 

SHOW SPONSOR

There’s a bunny coming to town, and you know what that means! Easter is hopping in!

Imagine your perfect Easter.You’ve got some cute decor around your house, the Easter baskets and shopped for and prepped ahead of time, you’ve got your hunt ready to roll, the menu plan is set and your guests know what they’re bringing, and all you need to worry about is whether or not your kid is going to look at the camera for one family photo. Sounds pretty perfect right?

My Easter Traditions Guide gives you everything you need to make that a reality and more. It outlines the holiday for you, giving you everything you need in one spot- a convenient download you can access from your computer or phone.

The Easter Traditions Guide also comes with my Printable Egg Hunt Activities (normally sold separately! Download your guides here and feel that overwhelm hop away and start getting excited about celebrating Easter with your loved ones!

The Million Dollar Question…How Do You Do it All?

The short answer? She doesn’t. Nobody does or can if they want to stay sane.

Asking for Help

She has figured out how to ask for help in a way that works for her. The mindset shift of “if I ask for help, I’m burdening someone else…” to “I’m letting someone help me because that gives them joy” was huge for Aleks, and frankly, to me too after hearing her say it! She recognizes she has an incredible village backing her and supporting her, and they want to help. They are looking to serve her and her family, and when she lets them do it, everyone wins.  I love how that thinking completely takes that choice off of you and puts it on the person that’s helping. It makes it so much more approachable, like you are doing someone a favor by letting them help vs. asking for help. Love that! That’s going to be a game changer for those listening.

Prioritization

You need to figure out your yeses and your no’s. What are your priorities and where is the new task falling on the list of them? If it falls to the top, what is going to get taken off the list…and what do you need for it to work? If it’s low on the list, it’s a no. 

Another piece of advice for those working outside the home, Aleks and her family have chosen not to do after-school activities at this time. Granted, her kids are still young, but I liked how she approaches it as a priority in time. They’re careful about what they take on socially as well. A lot of things, like activities, are left to the weekend where they can do them as a family or have a little more breathing room in the schedule. I thought that was super smart.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is essential, especially to the working mom. It all stems back from your priorities list. Look at your budget and where you can save in order to take something off your place. Cleaning and yard work were one of the first for Aleks’ family. Then as their career demands grew, they started to see what else was taking away from family time, that they could pass on to someone else (i.e. laundry). Do you want to do laundry or play an hour with your kids? Do you want to skip out on an hour extra of sleep to fold clothes? Nobody wants that. But if you can save in other areas in order to outsource some of those big time sucks to really hone in on your top priorities and giving them your attention, it may be worth looking into. 

Once you decide on what you think would be beneficial to outsource, take a look at what you can cut or replace it with. Meal planning, bringing your own lunch to work, making your own coffee vs. going to Starbucks every morning, cable, at home date nights…all of these are good starts to saving some money and spending it on something that’ll actually help you in the long run!

Learning How to Say No Confidently and Without Guilt

This is a learned skill, and one that needs to be practiced constantly. Aleks makes it a point to be very clear on her why and what her prioritizies are. If your why and main priority is spending time with your family, then stop and ask yourself “does saying yes help with that why…does it fill my hear and make me feel better?” If yes, go for it. But if it’s a no, think about how it’ll impact your kids and family. Something that is going to take you away from that why maybe isn’t for you right now. Putting a face to the no/yes grounds it in real time. It helps build that skill of saying no because you’re putting it back on whether or not it takes you away or toward your main why. I loved that advice!

Being Present and Making the Most Out of Your Time

 As a working parent, your weekdays can become like Groundhogs Day- the same thing over and over. Doing some fun little activities during the week, and mixing it up can add some change to the week and brings some little joy. Not thinking about periods of time in big chunks, like the holidays, as a mass overwhelming thing makes it more realistic as well. Thinking in terms of turning up the volume just a little bit on the everyday moments can make it so manageable, especially to someone with such a crazy schedule as a working parent.

 1. What is something you do everyday?

2. How can you make it a tiny bit more fun?

 Once you start approaching your daily activities like this, you start to build that idea muscle. It comes a lot more naturally to you, and you also build a little arsenal of supplies and tricks to have on hand. Target Dollar Spot, Micheals Clearance, after holiday sales, etc. are definitely great places to start to have some fun little ideas on hand to pull out when you need to have a little moment of connection with your kiddos!

Do you know how you’re spending your time? Go through your day and break every single thing down you do (sleep, packing lunches, bedtime, meals, etc.) to see exactly how you’re spending your time. Then you can see where you can find some more time and manage that schedule a bit better. TV time at night or maybe getting up an hour earlier before your kids may be a great little chunk of time you need to get back for yourself. You also need to decide what you’re taking on and the reason behind it. It all goes back to that why, people!

Having some fun and breaking up the day to day routine helps bring a sense of gratitude to the day, and to Aleks’ family as a whole. It gives her something to look forward to rather than the day to day dinner and bedtime routine that could be totally dreaded. It’s so easy to focus on the things that make you tired and change the focus on what’s bringing you joy instead, it helps the ride be a lot more enjoyable. It is so easy to fall into a parenting rut with the schedules and sibling fighting and all the things. When you can focus on the fun and ways to make parenting more fulfilling for you and your kids, it can be a total game changer in the long run.

Self care

Time to your self is essential. We’ve talked about this before on the podcast with Emilie Karun. Self care helps us be the mom we want to be, the wife, the boss, the woman, etc.  Self care is going to look different for everyone but here is what Aleks does to fuel herself so she can show up as her best possible self and home and work each day.

  • Getting up early to work out to gain energy and get her mind straight
  • Thursday date night every week with her husband
  • One night a week just for herself- get work done, connect with friends, passion project, etc. (this one is the hardest and the one with the most guilt, but it has been incredibly fulfilling AND also gives her husband some special one on one time that they need also)
  • Once a month- taking a time out of a week day to do something physically for self care- massage, float, etc.
  • Once a quarter- taking a full day to regroup, reconnect and refuel

The key to this? Schedule it. Put it on the calendar right now and stick to it. You’ll thank yourself, I promise. Remember what we learned? Ask for help!

Challenge: Schedule something for YOU right now. Don’t think about it, just do it. Comment below when you did it!

Last Pieces of Advice

1. You’re doing a great job, we’re all cheering you on!

2.  Say no more

3. Ask for help

Go connect with Aleks and say Hi!

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SHOW SPONSOR

There’s a bunny coming to town, and you know what that means! Easter is hopping in!

Imagine your perfect Easter.You’ve got some cute decor around your house, the Easter baskets and shopped for and prepped ahead of time, you’ve got your hunt ready to roll, the menu plan is set and your guests know what they’re bringing, and all you need to worry about is whether or not your kid is going to look at the camera for one family photo. Sounds pretty perfect right?

My Easter Traditions Guide gives you everything you need to make that a reality and more. It outlines the holiday for you, giving you everything you need in one spot- a convenient download you can access from your computer or phone.

The Easter Traditions Guide also comes with my Printable Egg Hunt Activities (normally sold separately! Download your guides here and feel that overwhelm hop away and start getting excited about celebrating Easter with your loved ones!

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