Did you know that you’re more than a mother? You’re a woman that mothers.
You’re multifaceted, and that makes you uniquely you.
Being an empowered mom takes work. That’s why I brought my guest Omolara to share her framework of being an empowered mother.
You can listen to this podcast episode by clicking the links above or get the cliff notes in the post below.
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About Dr. Omolara
Dr. Omolara is a pediatrician in New York and a mother to two girls.
After years of helping mothers with their children’s medical needs, she began to develop connections with the moms.
Omolara’s interest in promoting and supporting moms grew over time as she found that she was assisting moms more and starting to take more after-hours calls.
She decided to start coaching. Omolara did one-on-one coaching but found that during group coaching is when mothers shared their stories and grew a community.
Omolara is unashamed that her focus has been on black mothers in particular. Even with all of the mixed reviews and questions, Omolara has developed her group coaching for black mothers.
Understanding kind of a sense of, overall as black women being devalued, just being demonized sometimes for, for how we mother and always feeling like we’re under the lens.
And I think to some extent, you know, there hasn’t really been many avenues to talk about ourselves in a safe space and also to be able to focus on ourselves.
Omolara’s focus has been on empowering moms.
I think of an empowered mom is a mom who is authentically herself, who’s assertive, and who’s ambitious.
Omolara has reformatted and relaunched her group coaching with three key pillars: vision, voice, and village.
Omolara breaks down these three parts so that you can be an empowered mom too.I think of an empowered mom is a mom who is authentically herself, who's assertive, and who's ambitious.Click To Tweet
To be an empowered mom, you need to have a clear vision and understand your priorities.
This can be challenging because it sometimes feels like everything is a priority. But the biggest problem that many moms struggle with is the time and value disconnect.
What that means is that we’re spending time on things that actually in the if we ask ourselves what we value are completely in disarray.
For example, you spend an incredible amount of time at work, but you wouldn’t say that it’s an essential thing that you value.
So we have to shift and make our priorities things that we value.
I was able to think about was the fact that we need to think about prioritizing the things that we value that maybe we’re not spending as much time on as being a first step in thinking of the domains of where we need to focus.
Once you have your priorities, understand your strengths. Meaning the things that you are naturally good at.
Then also look at the areas that you are not so good at and find ways to supplement those.
You must master your minutes. This is being efficient with your routines and schedules so that you are spending time on the things that matter to you the most.
One way to help you see where your time is going is by doing a time audit.
This is when you write down everything that you are doing during the day at each half-hour interval.
After completing this exercise, you can get a picture of what you are doing from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep.
This will allow you to see if you are spending too much time on Instagram. And how you can line your time up with your values.
Many times as moms, we say that we don’t have time or there are not enough hours in a day.
But the truth is when your child comes and wants to play with you will you are cleaning, you don’t have time.
But when your child comes to you with a bleeding finger, you have time to tend to your child’s wound.
This is an example of Einstein Time that is mentioned in the Book Big Leap.
Einstein’s theory of special relativity says that time slows down or speeds up depending on how fast you move relative to something else.
For instance, when I am waiting for 30 seconds on my curing light, it feels like forever, but when I am spending an hour on the phone with my girlfriend it only feels like a few minutes
When you shift the way that you think about time, you will find that you don’t have to rush around.
You will also find time to get more things you want to do.
Then find ways to delegate and negotiate the things that you don’t want to do.
The next part of the framework is voice. Omolara breaks down, finding your voice in 3 parts: find your fuel, rule your routines, know your know no.
Find your fuel
With finding your fuel, it’s realizing and understanding that you can’t give what you don’t have.
You have to take time to know and understand what fills you up.
What gets you refueled and fired up?
What restores you?
What brings you joy?
What can you do for yourself?
All of this leads back to self-care.
Omolara explains that she recently started practicing yoga.
Before beginning yoga, she thought it would be boring, but realized it was a space where she could focus on her breaths and have a safe space for reflection.
When you spend time doing the things that restore you, like yoga, you will find that your most profound ideas and strongest desires will start to rise.
You can tap into your genius and begin to make plans.
As moms, we need that space, that breathing room so that we can grow as individuals.
Also, when you are refueled, you are less likely to lose your temper on your kids.
Because let’s be honest.
A majority of the time, when we lose our cool with our kids, it is usually because of deeper rooted issues.
Like you’re tired because you haven’t been sleeping well for the past few nights. Or maybe you’re irritable because of things going on at work.
So take time for yourself. You need it.
Rule your routines
Finding your fuel lead right into ruling your routines.
Omolara mentions to check out the book Atomic Habits by James Clear to help with you with your habits and routines.
But it gets you to the point of understanding how you can make sure that your life is your voice. Your life is representative of your voice and your confidence. Particularly by how you’re able to navigate doing things like habits and making them kind of second nature.
Take time to think about how you can develop routines that allow you to have self-care regularly.
How can you create habits that will enable you to be the mom that you want to be?
How can you develop routines that will allow you to have quality time with your kids?
How do you develop those routines and make them healthy and sustainable so that they’re not things that you have to try to figure out how to fit in?
Instead, something that you’ve created time for within your week and month that are comfortable, attractive, and rewarding for you.
Know your no
One thing that’s hard for us moms because of our nurturing nature and feeling like we have to be everything to everyone is saying no.
Knowing your no and being committed is challenging, but you will protect yourself and your time.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but when you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else.
Before you answer and say yes to something, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it aligned with the vision that I have in my life?
- Is it going to provide me with a new opportunity to be able to grow in some way?
- Is it something that I feel like is essential for myself?
By saying no more, you will have a more committed yes.
Soon people around you will learn that your no is no and when you say yes, it is something that you want to do.
As a Nigerian American, Omolara explains that the village piece of the framework stems from her experiences and visiting family in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, the Western way of parenting and motherhood has gotten away from who we are historically.
We’re meant to work together in the community. Not be a mother all on our own.
Omolara makes it clear that we should find individuals that can make up the village that supports us in different ways.
Within the village framework, there are three parts: which are claiming your courage, being able to ignite your people, and then living your legacy.
Claiming your courage
Claiming your courage is around how you navigate and create a village that allows you to negotiate what you need.
Also, developing that skill to be able to do that in a way that’s restorative and doesn’t feel like you’re in competition.
But it feels like you’re putting both parties like values in front of them.
So negotiating your needs and getting the courage to negotiate your needs is essential.
When you are trying to negotiate, think about what are the consequences outside of yourself.
And the benefit that that would help to motivate you to negotiate
Ignite your people
In addition to negotiating, you want to think about how to delegate in a way that’s also valuable.
Identifying and doing a deep dive into what it is that this person contributes to your family or your life
When you delegate to different people in your village, you are enriching your family by tapping into what that network has.
Living your legacy
When we think about legacy, it is usually over a lifetime.
But Omolara wants you to think about the goals that you have in 5 years or even three months from now.
Where do you want to be, and how do you live?
Who do you need in your circle to make that happen?
And know that it just can’t be you.
You can’t be a woman that mothers and do it all yourself.
Bringing it together
And so if anything that I would want women who are mothering to do is to put themselves first and think about in what way could they put themselves first.
Being an empowered mom starts with you and making yourself a priority.
Think about the way that you could put yourself first.
Does that mean waking up 30 minutes before the kids go to sleep?
Or you’re maybe staying up 30 minutes after the kids go to bed?
What if it’s during lunchtime?
Whatever time that is, make sure that you carve out time for yourself and put it on the calendar.
And a lot of times the best question you can ask yourself, which it took me a while to do it was what gives you joy?
Not thinking about what you do for others gives you joy, but what do you do for yourself that gives you pleasure?
And if that becomes difficult for you to answer, that’s a testament to being able to maybe have some crucial conversations with yourself and with others to be able to carve out that time to think about that question and what the answer is to that.”
Links mentioned in this episode
- The episode with Amber – The Truth About Gentle Parenting That You Need to Know
- Book by Gay Hendricks – The Big Leap
- Book by James Clear – Atomic Habits
- Facebook Group – Supermom Rehab. Since the recording of this show, the group name has been changed to Melanin, Medicine & Motherhood
- Instagram – @supermomrehab
- Group coaching – Mpowered
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