In Sarah Argenal’s interview we discuss:
- Sarah’s story of going from “stressed out, working mom to feeling energetic, excited and productive” in her life
- What she did to be more intentional with her time, which led to being happier and more productive both at work and at home
- How much of the changes she made were actions versus changing her attitude
- The importance of figuring out what you really want out of life
- Making changes at work to better support a work/life balance – negotiating work from home days, defining emergencies, working with her team to get things done, setting boundaries
- What moms whose employers are not willing to be flexible or find alternative solutions should do
- Mompowerment book by Suzanne Brown (affiliate link) – how to create part time schedules or flexible arrangements at work and how to have those conversations with your boss or with your team and how to figure out what will work for you
- Ideas on how to let go of the mom guilt and not let it consume you
- What some of the benefits children of working moms enjoy
- The importance of focused, quality time with your kids and how to fit it in in your day
- A few additional time management tips for busy working moms
- What working with Sarah looks like, and how she helps working moms be happier with both their work and mom life
- Baby steps versus big leaps and what makes the most sense when working towards building a happier life
Carrie’s favorite quotes from the interview:
“I know this isn’t something that we should just be accepting as fact, that you can’t juggle both parenting and a job and, and as well as all the other things that one likes to have in their life, like friendships and hobbies.”
“We just kind of stopped looking outside of ourselves for what should our life look like.”
“When you’re overwhelmed. And we were, we were in that struggle, you know, survival mode. And when you’re in that phase, it’s so hard to even think about what you’re making for dinner much less what should our lives look like.”
“If you’re making the choices that are right for you, you don’t need to feel guilty.”
Sarah talks motherhood:
What would you tell an expecting mom about the experience of being a mother?
Becoming a parent has been the most transformative, challenging, exhilarating, and enriching experience of my life. I’ve become a more multi-dimensional and softer version of who I was before I was a mom, and it’s been quite a ride. I tried to prepare for parenthood in every way I could (reading books, asking for advice from other mom friends, and generally trying to “do everything right”). But the most fulfilling part of this journey for me has been letting go of trying to be anything in particular, and just allowing myself to respond to my child in the ways he needs and respond to each situation as well as I can. Letting go of the pressure I put on myself to do anything in particular and “roll with the punches” has made this experience so much more fun and fulfilling. I now see it as an adventure to experience (with a whole range of ups and downs), rather than a performance I need to master.
What is the hardest part about being a mom? Biggest frustrations?
For me, becoming comfortable with my imperfections as a person and as a parent has been the most difficult part of parenthood. As a career-oriented person who had a lot of professional success before I had kids, I was used to diving into any challenge, finding the “best” solution, and mastering whatever skills were needed. As a mom, I’m always a beginner. My kids grow and change every day, so what’s needed from me evolves everyday too. I’m constantly learning and growing, which can be hard for someone like me who likes to become really good at things that are important to me.
What is your favorite part about being a mom? What makes all the hard stuff worth it?
Seeing my boys (4 and 1) giggle and play together. Watching THEM learn new things everyday. Laying with my babies in bed at night as they tell me about their day (with my 4 year-old) and watch them drift off to sleep peacefully. Becoming closer to my husband as we navigate this new world together. I like who I am much more now that I’m a parent. My priorities are much clearer, I focus on the truly important things in life, and I have a lot more love and compassion in general.
Any tips, tools, and tricks do you use that you’d love to tell other moms about?
The best things I’ve done for my sanity (and my marriage!) is to outsource some of the home management tasks that take up more time than I usually have. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, we got a housekeeper to come once a month to do a deep clean of our house. It’s only around $100/month, but so worth the time I save. I also love meal prep subscriptions like Blue Apron, Freshly and Plated. We have 2-3 meals a week delivered to our house, so we save time on grocery shopping and meal prep (plus we get different recipes every week, and they’re healthy and delicious!). Amazon Prime is also a lifesaver, especially in those early days after our kids were born.
Sarah’s free gift is her Deliberate Life Challenge. The Deliberate Life Challenge is a series of 12 monthly challenges that will take place over the course of the year. Each month she provides a checklist via email that will focus on improving one of these foundational areas of your life:
- Mastering Your Time & Productivity
- Clarify Your Values & Priorities
- Improve Focus & Energy
- Focus on Romance & Marriage
- Clear Your Digital Clutter
- Integrate Fun, Hobbies & Recreation
- Clear Your Physical Clutter
- Refine Your Habits
- Evaluate Your Friendships
- Become the Parent You Want to Be
- Make an Impact in Your Career
- Spiritual Connection
It’s a really robust FREE program that you don’t want to miss. Check out more details and sign up via the below link:
Sarah Argenal, Working Parent Resource
Sarah Argenal is the Founder and CEO of the Working Parent Resource and Host of the Working Parent Resource Podcast. Sarah helps burned out professional moms and dads live more deliberately in all areas of their lives so they can let go of the overwhelm and finally enjoy their journey as a working parent. She has her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy and Adult Development, and is a Certified Professional Coach with 20 years of experience in counseling, coaching, teaching, program development, and project management. You can find out more about the Working Parent Resource by visiting www.workingparentresource.com.