Thriving in Quarantine, Together (Part 2) - The Mom Life Edition
Updated: Apr 25, 2020
Raise your hand if you’re in desperate need of a lady date and some shoulder-to-shoulder bonding with your squad.
Gahhh what I would give to time travel back to this moment. When life was fancy free, laughter filled rooms, and connection and community was built in close proximity to one another. Do you remember how great a good old fashioned cheers, which accompanied the joyous clinking of glasses with someone you truly enjoyed spending time with, felt? Me too.
Until we can all return to these moments, I’m here to remind you that we can still find daily ways to connect, inspire each other, work on ourselves and to ultimately continue to cultivate a thriving mindset. It’s not easy, but it’s doable.
“We must learn to take each day in stride, to pivot, and know that even small steps forward are steps in the right direction. The world changes rapidly these days but we are strong and resilient women.” - Jessica Mudder, @ModernAmbitiousWoman, working mom boss of 2 littles (5 yo & 2 yo)
In the spirit of continuing to share the many ways moms are out there are choosing ways to thrive everyday despite our circumstances, I bring you Part 2 of our Thriving in Quarantine segment, and this round, focuses on: Building Community & Connection, Personal Development and Cultivating a Thriving Mentality.
4). Thriving, by Building Community & Connection:
It’s times like these when I’m grateful to be surrounded by so many badass women.
Women who are real, and messy, and strong, and vulnerable, and resourceful, and inspiring, and unique, and humble, and proud, and talented, and helpful, and struggling, and trying, and choosing to take steps forward and be the Moms and Women we all need in times like these. Women who are reminding us that we’re not alone in this messy-but-magical time as we all try to navigate the working, the momming, the parenting, and the keeping-it-all-together-ish thing.
Have you phoned a friend lately? If not, you should. In fact, stop everything, and do it right now. Community and connection is so important. We can’t do whatever we’re trying to do in this extremely challenging time alone, and we shouldn’t have to. Community and connection is powerful because collectively we remind each other that we’re not alone, and that we’re all imperfect humans doing the best we can, and when we lean on each other we are able to consistently be stronger and happier and more whole together despite the challenges. Together, we also remind each other that it’s somehow going to be okay — and we need this reminder on the regular.
Thanks to technology, we have many ways to continue to connect during this time. Have you explored them all yet?
"I am relying heavily on connection with others to get me through...apps like Marco Polo, Skype, and scheduling check-in calls with my network on LinkedIn has helped so much. It makes me feel less isolated."
- Meg, @WorkingMomLove, working mom boss of 3 (9 yo twin boys, 4 yo), creator/visionary of WorkingMomLove, a space for support and resources for working moms
“I started using the Marco Polo app with good friends to catch up, which is something I now look forward to everyday and I watch it after my shower when the kids are finally asleep, and I love it.”
- Cristina, @CSanch01, working mom boss of 2 littles (3 yo & 14 mo)
“I've been prioritizing weekly FaceTime dates with girlfriends, and eating ice-cream, lots of it!" - Katie, @HackingSophia, working mom boss of 2 (ages: 3 yo & 11 mo), co-creator of Hacking Sophia, sharing "Bite-sized wisdom for time-starved working moms"
Katie, I'm right there with you, sub ice cream with allll the chocolate ;)
"Last week was the first time all of us neighbors gathered around our cul-de-sac after our kiddos were in bed and sat, socially-distanced, and had a drink together and just talked. That in-person, adult conversation was amazing, and something I didn’t even know I needed."
- Brenna, @BWynhof, working mom boss of 2 littles (2.5 yo & 10 mo)
"I'm doing Walking Tag Ups every Monday thru Friday with my leadership team. And we have adult-time Friday and Saturday nights with friends using Zoom and HouseParty." - Jenn @JLWenthe, working mom boss of 2 littles (2 yo twin boys)
I love it all.
There are so many safe ways to connect with each other during this time. We need to keep nurturing our relationships. Schedule that #VirtualCoffeeDate, randomly call someone you care about just to say hello, set up the Zoom call, go for a walk or hike outside within a safe distance from a pal! Keep connecting, we need each other.
5). Thriving through Personal Development:
What we do everyday sets us up for the life we want and the person we will become. Operating in this social distancing environment (especially with kids!!!) does not mean we now have all this extra time to work with, BUT we do have some “bonus time” that we can play with a bit.
What is bonus time? Well, it’s that “extra time” you have at home now that you're not commuting to work or running errands. It’s the work day “waste” that you have in between meetings and actual work. And it’s the time you’re “saving” by multitasking chores while you’re working and momming. Don’t get me wrong, it is NOT a lot...especially when you add the insanity that comes along with quarantine, and how hard (impossible) it is to work-mom-teach-live 24/7 while all under one roof in isolation. BUT let’s just say you carve out some of it for yourself to work on something, and to grow and use it to your advantage.
I’m using this new found ‘time” to be a better writer, storyteller and creative (2020 goal!). It’s 10-30 minutes a day, sometimes more, and it’s incredibly fulfilling. Maybe you use it to start or grow your side hustle or business?
"I've been really relishing in the time I can carve out to think about driving our business forward (this feels like a luxury these days!). Specifically, I've been creating hyper-relevant content that helps working moms in today's climate.
- Katie, @HackingSophia, working mom boss of 2 (ages: 3 yo & 11 mo), co-creator of Hacking Sophia, sharing "Bite-sized wisdom for time-starved working moms"
Maybe you pick one small goal and knock it out of the park? Cortney explains this perfectly here:
"As human beings we are wired to connect, create and grow, so you need to commit to honoring that need during this time. Maybe there's a fitness goal you wanted to achieve before all of this started, or you wanted to completely organize your house or launch a business this year. Whatever it is, set aside some time each day to work towards that goal. Now, you still have kids to keep alive and entertained, so pick ONE personal goal, don’t set yourself up for failure by thinking you are going to do all the things because you won't, and that defeats the whole purpose because you will feel like shit when you don’t get it all done.”
- Cortney, @CortneyHare, working mom boss of 3 boys (5 yo, 3 yo & 2 mo), founder and host of "Motherhood Uncorked"
6). Cultivating a Thriving Mentality
Quarantine sucks but I refuse to suck in quarantine. And in fact, I want a better, more resilient, stronger version of myself (ourselves!) to appear on the other side of this. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned in my 35 years of living, it’s that people are made in the most impossibly challenging moments and in the most uncomfortable experiences, because all those seemingly insurmountable and unsurvivable days inevitably force us to adapt, to learn and to grow.
“Do NOT put your dreams on hold. Whatever you are into, just figure out a way to grow during this period. It's there, it might be a bit of a sidestep but explore all parameters of whatever you are into and plough forward, find time, no excuses.” - Kimberley, @KimblesHume, boss mom of 2 littles (4 yo twin boys), comedian & creative on social and Kimbles Hume Comedy YouTube channel
And when you have to go through the hard stuff and withstand the discomfort, you usually have two choices: to take it, or to tackle it. And in my opinion, since we’re going through it anyway, we might as well give it hell in the process. To do this successfully, it’s crucial to cultivate a positive mindset, and to find outlets to still create and to keep moving forward.
“As an aspiring stand up comedian all I need is mic time in front of an audience, obviously that’s not possible right now so I started my own Zoom writers room with other comedians, performed in online open mics with comics from all around the world, and wrote, performed and edited my first comedy sketch (learning iMovie from scratch). Whatever your passion I guarantee you there is a way to pursue it right now if you stay open minded about where it will take you and get creative.” - Kimberley, @KimblesHume
Finding creative outlets in whatever time windows you have is totally doable, you just need to commit to it and then do it, even if that means doing something in a small window — it could be as simple as writing or reading for ten more minutes a day, or spending time working on that blog/project/passion.
"The other way to cultivate a thriving mindset during this time, is to “Do one thing that makes you feel like you, everyday. For me it’s blow drying my hair. For others it might be wearing jeans or yoga pants, or putting on a slick of mascara and lipgloss. You know why? Because it makes you WANT to interact with the world.”
- Kimberley, @KimblesHume
If you’re showing up for yourself first, you’re better suited to give to whatever and whoever else needs something from you throughout the day, and that gives you a sense of being in control (even if it’s only short lived).
Finding pockets of stability and control is so important right now when things are so unpredictable and unfamiliar, and you just absolutely have to go with the flow, and let go of anything you can’t control. LIfe is already so serious right now, and it’s so so so important to give yourself and each other more grace. Some days will be better than others, and for everything else: just go with it. Let’s all practice chilling the F out, shall we? Kimberly puts it quite perfectly here:
“I feel silly even saying this but please don’t sweat it. The little extra weight, the kids watching a bit more TV, the bit more alcohol, whatever it is, don’t worry, be human. I want ONE thing and one thing only at the end of this and that is to be able to say ‘I made the most of it’ — I ate the food I wanted to eat, which was a bit of a treat. I binged some cool shows. I had fun with my kids. I continued following my dream and fuck yeah I did it all with a fresh blow dry.”
- Kimberley, @KimblesHume
At last but not least. BE KIND. We’re all in this together, and we are all doing the best we can.
“Be kind. Extra kind and patient to your spouse, extra kind to your kids, extra kind to your parents, your friends, and mostly, of course, to yourself."
- Kimberley, @KimblesHume
Well people, there you have it. "Thriving in Quarantine" comes in all shapes in sizes, and you don't need to overhaul your life to squeeze in some things that will help you create more stability, happiness and joy for you and your family.
A HUGE thank you to all the rockstar mamas who contributed to this writeup, in the midst of their own busy lives. This is a great example of how powerful and strong community can be when we connect with one another.
And for those who made it this far, THANKS! I challenge you to click through the profiles and social media avenues of the mamas highlighted here, and see what they're up to as well. Every one of us has so much to offer each other when we share it. I bet you'll find some new virtual mom friends in the process.
Let's continue to help each other live our best lives, even in quarantine!, and grow into better versions of ourselves as we live (THRIVE) through this.