Jessica Turner is a working mother who wants you to know that even when you’re overwhelmed by your to-do’s and caring for your family, you can find pockets of time throughout your day, evaluate what is satisfying for you, and make more space for self-care.
Read on for more from Jessica, and to listen to her interview on the Feel Good Effect Podcast.
How to Overcome the Hustle When You're Feeling Stretched Too Thin, with Jessica Turner
Read on for more from Jessica, and to listen to this episode of the Feel Good Effect podcast about how to find time for what satisfies you and why it’s so important to take care of yourself.
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On what led Jessica to writing her new book, “Stretched too Thin”:
Jessica works full time, with 3 kids, and a lifestyle blog.
She values space for talking to working moms, which is reflected in her book’s subtitle: “How Working Moms can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive”
Three years ago, Jessica’s other book, “The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You”, was released.
This book featured the idea of finding pockets of time in our daily lives that are often wasted or missed.
It just made sense to move next onto working motherhood.
For this idea, Jessica surveyed 2,000 working moms, asking about their struggles.
She found that there were a lot of similar struggles working moms were having, including: home management, time for marriage, work boundaries, time for self care, parenting well, etc.
With that in mind, Jessica piloted an incredibly successful online course that led her to continue researching the subject.
With all this success in the field, she was asked why she wasn’t writing full time.
Her thought was that it made sense to write about what she was experiencing: working a full time job, being a mom, and writing this book.
There is an overly glorified idea that working for yourself, means less stress, but there are a new set of issues that come with not being in an office.
On “The Fringe Hours”:
When discussing her research findings with others, Jessica found that it was eye opening for women to hear that on average, we wait about 45-60 min a day.
On top of that, the number one thing women reported wanting to do more of, if they had more free time, was to read.
And it’s so easy to read while waiting!
It’s a great example to bring to women, and one of the first steps to fixing this discrepancy is time tracking for a full week.
Track how long it takes to complete all of your tasks and activities throughout the day and recognize where there are pockets of time, when there are things you can say no to, or times you can block out in advance to make room for self-care.
Self care is so important!
And women tend to think that it's selfish to make room for that time, but consider how you model that to your kids.
On defining ‘balance’:
“It’s not about balance, it’s about satisfaction”
It's not about balancing your life, rather, it's about how satisfied you are with those different areas of your life.
Instead of thinking about categorizing by work + everything else, think about improving the different areas in your life that you are unsatisfied with.
On taking inventory:
If you’re feeling stretched too thin, step one to a resolution is time tracking.
Figure out where you are draining time, what is satisfying, what isn’t satisfying and you want to change, and what work and home look like.
In her survey, Jessica found that 80% of those moms felt like managing their home was a struggle.
Instead of stressing about home management as a whole, think about it and break it down: what part of home management is the struggle? What needs to change?
Use time tracking to figure out exactly how much time is being spent in the subcategories of home management, such as grocery shopping, cleaning up, etc.
From readers so far, people have really resonated with the idea that you don't have to be the perfect mom.
They came away from the book with the mindset that they are the perfect mom for themselves.
Each chapter ends with a space for reflection to tell your own story.
It's important to recognize that this is a personal journey that is different for everyone.
It's overwhelming trying to be a perfect mom, the tactics Jessica writes about help combat that mindset.
On the mental load:
Mental load describes the idea of noticing the silent tasks that need to be done, that no one else seems to notice.
Once you notice it’s added stress, you can actually change it and ask for help.
And acknowledge how much goes on in a day, giving yourself that credit, without comparing yourself to others.
“I want each of us to speak truth to ourselves, rather than lies that nobody has actually told us how we should live”
It’s so easy to look at someone else’s life and think that they’ve got it all together, asking “well why can't I have it together like this?” but you also have to ask, “does it make me happy, in the same way that it makes them?”
“Trade comparison for celebration”
On core values:
Being able to celebrate what others are doing, while having compassion for yourself is driven by your values.
It’s easy to say, “these are my values”, but when you look at what someone spends their time on, you have some insight into what they actually value.
If you notice that what you spend your time on doesn't align with your values, its time for something to change.
On defining what you need to do versus want to do:
Flip the narrative!
What do you really need to do versus what is nice to do
What are you saying yes to that you really should be saying “no” to?
If it's not a heck yes, it’s a no.
Try saying “no” just once, and notice how good it feels to have that extra time to do something that really satisfies you.
It might disappoint other people, but sometimes saying “no” is protecting your boundaries.
Its okay to say “no” if its not going to work for you: hold your ground.
Is guilt keeping you from practicing self care?
“You are going to be the best version of yourself if you take care of yourself”.
There will always be a choice to take care of what you need now, or to wait until it’s more convenient.
And self-care doesn’t have to mean manicures and bubble baths, rather, it can be eating healthy and actually going to the doctor when you need to instead of putting it off.
We take care of everyone else, but would you let someone you care about suffer until they decided it was more convenient?
Do what you need to do to thrive!
On the book:
Here are the major takeaways from Jessica’s book for working moms: how to work and parent guilt-free, establishing boundaries with work, home management, investing in your marriage and other relationships in your life, making time for self-care, and feelings that come with being stretched too thin.
One big take away from Jessica after writing the book:
“You are a great mom”.
Women tend to feel like they are failing because they are stretched too thin.
Working moms are strong + brave, and they are doing a great job.
Yes, there are areas for improvement, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are already a great mom.
Jessica, on what it really means to be healthy:
“I think it really is important that you are cognizant of all of your needs and that you're taking care of yourself. I think that if you are able to invest in yourself, you are going to be the healthiest, happiest person you can be”.
If you loved today’s episode be sure to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts so we can keep bringing you more content like this! Share the show on Instagram, tagging @realfoodwholelife so that we can connect and I can highlight listeners on my feed.
Jessica N. Turner is the author of Stretched Too Thin and The Fringe Hours. She is also an award-winning marketing executive and the founder of the popular lifestyle blog The Mom Creative (www.themomcreative.com). Additionally, she is a writer for the Today Parenting Team and DaySpring's (in)courage, an advocate for World Vision, a regular speaker at events nationwide. She and her husband, Matthew live with their three children in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jessica’s website, www.themomcreative.com
Facebook: The Mom Creative