Ask Detra

Question: “Do you have any tips for balancing work, children, and community service duties? I often feel like “I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul” to balance all of my commitments in life!”
Answer: I often reference one of my favorite quotes from financial guru Dave Ramsey, but use it in reference to time rather than money. “Tell your time where to go instead of wondering where it went”. Here a few things that I personally try to keep in mind when scheduling or committing to an activity for myself, kids or family.
1. Family first every time as much as possible.
2. Do you really want to do what you are being asked to do? Are you going to be dreading it? If so, the answer should probably be no.
3. Don’t be unrealistic about what you can fit into one day. There are only 24 hours in a day. I think both stay at home moms and working mothers alike would agree that we could easily fill each and every hour with something. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. If it doesn’t work that day…plan and simple…it just doesn’t work. Don’t overfill your calendar…remember you are in control of what you schedule.
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Question: “What are three tips you have a for a working mother?”
Answer:
1. Don’t forget to make time for things that you personally love. Self-care is a must! Remember our kids need you healthy and well. Our households and our children function better when we take time for ourselves. Not only is this necessary for our own well-being, but it serves as a great example to our children as well.
2. Take the team approach to handling chores and tasks at home. Your kids (and spouses) want to help, and even if they don’t, it’s important that they help anyway. Every person on the team has a job to do. It’s the same concept in a family. Delegate chores and responsibilities to each member of your family, and let them own it. This teaches your child independence and responsibility, but also allows you some time to focus on other tasks.
3. When possible get up earlier than everyone else. In his book, Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod emphasizes that how we start our day will greatly determine the flow and quality of our day, our work and our life.
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Question: “I drink a lot of caffeine and consume a lot of sugar out of habit and convenience. Do you have any suggestions for good healthy, easy snacks that will give me energy throughout the day?”
Answer: I try to lead a healthy lifestyle, but I’m no expert. I’m happy to share my go-to healthy snacks. A good rule of thumb for me is to try to eat whole foods and avoid pre-packaged foods when possible.
1. Water – try drinking half of your body weight in water every day. This will give you an excuse to buy a cute non-plastic water bottle.
2. Almonds- I have some in my work bag and in my car
3. Apple slices and nut butters
4. Oranges
5. Boiled eggs (yum)
6. Hummus and celery or pita chips
7. Grape tomatoes and cucumber slices
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Question: “I hate working out but know fitness is important. Do you have any tips for how to implement a healthier lifestyle including exercise?”
Answer: Exercise makes me better. I think more clearly, I have more energy, and I generally feel better about me because I’m investing in my health. I don’t always love it, but I’ve learned that I need it. Here are a few tips that have helped me stay committed to my workout regimen over the last 6 years.
1. Beachbody trainer Chalene Johnson stresses the need to schedule your exercise time, and to make this time non-negotiable. Non-negotiable meaning, that 30 minutes or that one hour is taken… Period. You already have a scheduled meeting at the gym, your house, or wherever you have planned to work out, so stick to the schedule.
2. Do what you love and make it fun. You’re more likely to stick with it if you enjoy what you’re doing. I prefer high intensity training like sprints and quick movements. I find that although its challenging, it energizes me at the same time. I have friends who feel this way about distance running or dancing. The type of movement is not as important as being consistent and feeling good about what you’re doing.
3. Find people who are working towards the same fitness goals that you are. Accountability is one of the reasons exercise has remained a part of my routine. On days that I don’t feel like getting up to go to a 5 am class, I know my people are waiting on me or some days they are calling me to make sure that I’m awake. “Iron sharpens iron.”
4. On days you want to quit, remember your “why.”
5. Take natural plant based supplements to fill in gaps in your nutrition including the use of a good probiotic daily.
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My husband is very helpful around the house. He’s a great dad and helps me with the kids. With work and activities, life and schedules the chores can be overwhelming and I do the majority of them. How can I get him to be more helpful and take initiative without my having to ask!?
Answer: That’s a tough one. It would be great if people could read our minds, especially our husbands. I think if we try to remember that our husbands want to help, it makes asking less of a task. I suggest not talking yourself out of asking for what you need. If we have a need, it’s our job to ask for it. Asking increases the likelihood of getting our needs met, and allows the other person the opportunity to do what is needed without guessing. It’s not a flaw or weakness that husbands are human and can’t read minds. Here are some suggestions for helping your husband better identify your needs:
1. Be appreciative. Say thank you for what he already does. Positivity and gratitude generally produce good feelings and reinforce that his help is both needed and appreciated.
2. State what you need
3. Own your feelings – remember that it is okay to need or want help. Do not feel bad for communicating that, and don’t fault him for not knowing what you have not yet stated or in some cases restated.