Barack Obama is our Commander-in-Chief, but it's Michelle who is the Mom-in-Chief. Author Jamie Woolf says we all can be Mom-in-Chief of our personal domains. Let's all say it together: I'm a Mom-in-Chief!
Jamie's new book, Mom-in-Chief: How Wisdom from the Workplace Can Save Your Family from Chaos, sounds like music to my Barney-deaf ears. Lately, I feel like Poop-Cleaner-in-Chief. Or maybe I'm Short-Order-Cook-in-Chief.
But I'm inspired to learn from this book, and also from Michelle Obama. I wonder if the First Lady will entertain Southeast Asian world leaders right after helping Sasha with her spelling homework.
I put together some Mom-in-Chief tipstaken from the First Lady's example, along with other moms, so we can not only take care of our family, but ourselves, too.
- Job success can equal parenting success. While we wish we could leave the office at the office, it's so that bad if we don't. In fact, it's good if we bring home our work in the forms of conflict resolution skills, better communication, time management expertise and team building. If you are constantly helping one coworker deal with another, maybe you can use the same advice to get your kids to share their Magna Doodles, too.
- Go ahead and be the Mom-in-Chief. Take on the leadership role in your household. Let everyone know you're the boss. I guess that means I shouldn't let my 3-year-old tell me which cereal to buy. I will take charge and make her eat her Cheerios.
- Focus on the big picture. I feel like my kids' chauffeur, lunch packer, butt wiper, boo boo kisser and back scratcher. It's easy to get caught up in day-to-day stresses. But Michelle Obama supposedly stops once each day and thinks about what's really important. Having happy children who are good people trumps putting that ponytail on straight.
- Delegate all that work. Many of us have to work, take primary care of the kids and do the shopping, etc. Moms-in-Chiefs teach the kids and husbands how to help. I do this already. My Annabelle is in charge of straightening the shoe rack, Estelle likes to "sweep" the kitchen floor and my husband does the grocery shopping. (He says it's a lot cheaper when he does it.)
- Taking care of yourself is priority, not luxury. Do something for yourself everyday. Even if it's only 5 minutes reading a book before bed, do it. Take time to recharge every single day, no matter how many peas your baby tossed on the floor.
Tell me the truth, do you take care of yourself just a little bit every day? How are you Mom-in-Chief?