Let’s be real. Moms set the tone of the home. No matter how modern your family structure is - free range parenting, stay at home dad, working full time outside of the home, etc. the MOM is the glue, the Alpha, the holder of the space.
This is why there are cheesy sayings like: “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” and worse, “Happy wife, happy life!”
I have a very holistic view around mompreneurhood. My business and family roles are intrinsically intertwined. Therefore, I am also aware that I set the tone for success in my business as well as my home.
In my role as a Simplicity Parenting Coach, I have been teaching parents for years about the positive effects of what I call “The Four R’s” - Routine, Rhythm, Ritual and Reset. The Four R’s save young children from emotional anguish around transitions (translation, they help avoid meltdowns), they provide foundational support for older children when external factors make them feel unstable and they are what we feel nostalgic for as adults.
One of the latest personal growth trends right now is HABITS and how we develop them, improve them, track them, succeed at them.... I’m over here waving my arms saying, “I’ve got your answer!”
Here’s how my Four R’s can create positive change, create more calm in your life and streamline your days.
Routine, defined as a sequence of actions, regularly followed. The foundation of the Four R's is routine.
At Home: The ubiquitous bedtime routine. In young children this can include changing into pj’s, brushing teeth, reading stories, singing special songs and snuggles. I coach parents to develop the “long, simple and portable bedtime routine” to achieve the most success with fewer nighttime meltdowns. Even as adults, we likely have some sort of routine for winding down from the day; something that triggers our brain that a transition is happening.
In Business: This can be as simple as always responding to customer service in the same order: social media inquiries, emails, voicemails. Or assign various days to be devoted to certain tasks. I work on my social media on Monday and Thursday. I edit and prep my blog on Tuesdays. I review my budget on the 1st and 15th of every month. Each quarter I spend an entire day reviewing the previous quarter, brainstorming and masterminding the next quarter. There are already routines that you have in place. And, when you don’t stick to them, you start to falter in your ability to meet deadlines and goals. Routines provide structure to our business in the same way they do to our home.
Rhythm, is defined as a strong, regular, repeated pattern. Rhythm is a collection of your routines. Your daily rhythm made is of multiple routines.
At Home: Our morning rhythm on school days includes: a routine of getting dressed before she comes downstairs, a special breakfast of smoothies because they are quickly eaten, packing a lunch together and gathering up her school things. We do the same set of routines on each school day and all I have to say to her is “it’s a school day” for her to know what is expected and what is happening. We’ve established a workable rhythm on those days.
In business: Your weekly rhythm is made up of your daily routines. Our rhythms have bigger effect on our productivity and focus than our simplified routines. A routine or two might be altered, skipped or adjusted. But, we start to FEEL it if we’re off our rhythm for more than a couple beats. To achieve a successful rhythm, observe your energy cycles. Order your routines in a way throughout your day or week to achieve optimal output while maintaining your energy. This will help you create your sustainable rhythm.
Ritual is defined as prescribed, established or ceremonial acts. For my teaching purposes, I describe ritual as moments of pause, often pockets of reflection, meditation or self care in it’s simplest form. Rituals do not require regularity but they do require providence.
At Home: My morning coffee is my first ritual of the day. I make it the same way every day and somehow the repeated steps of this small self care act ground me in my day. Part of my children’s bedtime routine includes that we end each night with the same song, that makes part of our routine a ritual. An afternoon cup of tea is a popular ritual or a morning walk. Find something you enjoy doing and attach intention to it.
In Business: Create ceremony and celebration around your achievements. Nobody else is going to name you employee of the month if you are a one woman show. One of my business mentors, Angela Jia Kim has a whole daily ritual dedicated to what she calls a “savor.” She wants female entrepreneurs to end each day reflecting on an achievement, instead of beating ourselves up over what we didn’t do. Sounds pretty amazing right? Don’t fall into a trap of using your celebratory rituals as rewards. You are allowed your rituals even when your day is an incredible flop! Instead, as you indulge in your celebratory ritual (a hot cup of chamomile tea, a big glass of pinot noir, a warm rice pack on your shoulders, a foot rub from your partner, an episode of Scandal…) say to yourself “I’m a badass today because I ________...”
Reset is defined as the act of setting again. This is for when it all goes off the rails… and mama, it will. This is when your home or business is completely out of sync and you need to get back on track.
At Home: The most glaring need for a reset in many homes is after a vacation. We’ve been without our routines and rhythms for a period of time and home life is chaos until we start introducing those again. This goes for everyone, not just the children. When a reset is needed start introducing your routines and rhythms again one by one as quickly or slowly as they can be tolerated. Order will be re-established in no time. And, the sooner you get to work on the reset, the sooner your home will be at peace.
In Business: Maybe you’ve been so busy working in your business (serving clients, building programming, etc…) that you’ve neglected to work on your business - bookkeeping, social media, customer service… Or perhaps you set aside the whole day to adjust your sales funnel and now your 10 year old is home from school, sick. Or, it’s a snow day. Or your computer crashes (this nightmare happened to me in the midst of a large scale project). These instances are out of your control and the best thing you can do to get back on track is reset… get back to the other 3 R’s as quickly as possible without creating more overwhelm.
How will implementing the Four R’s into your home AND business allow you the space for more calm and happiness? As you continue to structure your life and business around these tenants, you find that you are able to streamline your days, accomplish more and be more at peace as you partake in your rituals throughout the day.