Today’s episode is from the different perspectives from the wonderful women that are on my team. They’ll share their insights about work-life balance, and talk about what they’ve discovered and some of their takeaways. You’ll notice how varied their perspectives are, and I hope that you’ll walk away with lots of ideas from the intelligent, successful women whom I get to work with every day. So without further ado, let's hear from Team Biceps After Babies and their words of wisdom as it pertains to work-life balance.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/218
Follow me on Instagram!
- Set boundaries (8:06, 13:57)
- Work-life balance doesn’t have to be just like everyone else, you create what you want it to look like (9:39)
- Communicate (10:10,22:38, 39:27)
- Set goals and priorities (16:27, 17:21, 20:56, 39:27, 43:43)
- Be really present at things you do and be intentional (22:08, 28:20, 44:36)
- Create your own workable system (25:03)
- Be flexible: compromise and change are doable once in a while (30:31, 34:08, 36:25)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 218.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:47
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm your host Amber Brueseke, and today you get to hear from some very, very special people, some people that are near and dear to my heart, and that is my team. I get asked a lot about work-life balance and I think on some levels like I get it, I think a lot of women are struggling with that work-life balance, on some levels, and always irks my tater a little bit because I feel like men don't get that same question and women often do. And I think that's a little bit lopsided in that, that's a question that we're always feeling guilty about more so than men. So I have an issue with that. But at the same time, I know that there are women out there who are trying to find that balance between being a mom, or a wife or a partner, or a single person who is you know, living their life, and enjoying life, and then also balancing it with work and earning an income and productivity and all of these things. And, you know, I think it can be a touchy subject, because everybody is so different.
Amber B 2:00
And so when I thought about this topic of talking about work-life balance, of course, I have some thoughts and ideas, and I've shared them here or there on the podcast. But I thought wouldn't it be such a better episode to get a lot of different perspectives about work-life balance? Because I don't think there's one right answer. And I think, honestly, hearing from different women in different scenarios and different, you know, ways that they've figured things out is going to provide a lot more value to the people who are listening than just me sitting here riffing on work-life balance in my neck of the woods. So that is exactly why I invited my team to record an audio, about their perspectives about work-life balance, and what they've discovered and what they've learned and the lessons that they've taken away and been able to implement into their lives. And I think what you are going to learn from this is that, again, it's not a one size fits all, you'll hear different ideas, different thoughts from different women. And that's kind of the point. This isn't to say that there's one way to achieve work-life balance, or that is even an achievable goal. Instead, my hope is that you'll come away with a lot of ideas and a lot of different perspectives from some very smart, intelligent, very successful women, the women who are members of my team.
Amber B 2:25
Now before we dive into hearing those audios from each of those women, I do want to make sure that you know that today, if you're listening to this in real time, I am hosting a free masterclass today, called Make Money Change Lives: Become a Transformational Coach. And if coaching has been something that you've been interested in, if there's a part of you that wants to take what you have learned and teach and help other people always talk about how to transform other people. If that's been something that has been on your heart or has been a desire, then I encourage you to come to class today. You can register by going to bicepsafterbabies.com/becomeacoach, there will be a replay available so if you're listening to this a little bit after it gets released, that replay will probably still be available. If you listen to this way after it's been released, then it's probably not available anymore. But if that has been something that has been on your heart, this idea of working from home of being able to set your own hours of being able to work with other clients and coach them and help them through their own fitness journey. Then I highly, highly recommend coming to our class today, bicepsafterbabies.com/becomeacoach.
Amber B 4:35
All right, without further ado, let's hear from Team Biceps After Babies and their words of wisdom as it pertains to work-life balance.
Hi, my name is Amanda and I'm the newest member on Team BAB since November of 2021 and I work in the Growth Department as a Copywriter. I have a super cool husband and we have seven kids. Our oldest is 18 and our youngest is 11. And if you just did the math on that, I did not pop out one kid after another for seven straight years. We bird three, and then we also adopted four of our kids. So we've got some artificial twinning going on in our house, and it's lots of fun. Before joining Team BAB, I was a stay-at-home mom for 17 years. And I totally love to be able to stay home and take care of our kids. The past few years, though, I found myself itching to do something more. All of our kids were in school, and there was just extra time for me to be able to do other things. Since finding BAB, I knew that if I wanted to work in the area of fitness and nutrition that I wanted to work for Amber. So when there was a position that opened up, I nervously jumped on it. I didn't have a lot of the technology skills, but I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity either. What I didn't realize when I started working was how much mom guilt that I would have over giving my time to something other than caring for my family. Because everything was so new to me trying to find balance was super difficult. I didn't know how to turn my brain off when work was done. And I found myself waking up earlier, just so I could work without my family being affected by it. But by night's end, I was so exhausted, they were affected by it. I felt super guilty for not having a huge healthy home-cooked meal on the table every single night. And I felt guilty for not being as tuned into my husband like he was used to. It was overall a much bigger adjustment than I thought that it would be.
But what I learned through that was I had a super skewed view of what balance meant. Because to me, balance meant that even though I was now working, I still needed to do everything I've always done so that my family wasn't put out by choosing to work. And nobody puts that pressure on me except for myself. My family was totally willing to pivot and help with the meals and the laundry, and the errands and the chores and all that mom's stuff. My heels were just super dug, and I wanted to continue to do it all. But when I finally tapped out and chose to take them at their word, my definition of balance really began to match what it actually means. And so today, balancing work life with home life for our family looks like my kiddos, knowing that I will be done with work around the same time that they get home from school. Our kids pitch in with meals, which they love. Because they're growing the arsenal of recipes to go beyond being burritos and mac and cheese. I've hired my younger kids to tackle some of the chores that I don't have time for. And they love that because now they have spending money for the weekends. And my hubby and I were super intentional about carving out time just for us. Maybe it's weird to say. But I feel like by my working our family overall is more balanced because my skewed definition of balance was uprooted. And together, we were able to redefine it with the whole family in mind.
Amber Every 8:06
Hi, my name is Amber Every and I am the Growth Manager at Biceps After Babies. I have been working with Amber for about two and a half years. And throughout that I've always had young kids at home. Right now my kids are 10, 7 and 3, just to give you an idea of what my life looks like. And as I thought about work life balance, I came up with a few thoughts I wanted to share and they stem around the idea of setting boundaries because I am if anyone follows or knows their Enneagram I am an Enneagram nine. So I'm a total people pleaser and peacemaker, which is awesome, but also very bad. And I'm learning how to work with that as I try and create this balance. So the first thought is I asked myself, What do I want? How do I want this to look? Do I want to work early in the morning? Do I want to work late at night? Do I want to work when my kids are home? Do I want to you know work all hours squished together? Do I want to separate it? Or do I want to work certain days of the week or hire out help? Or you know how do I want this to be and then I use that as a catalyst to create that. Because if I feel like I need to always be doing something then I will always be doing something and never fulfill it. And so as I can kind of ask myself what I want my work-life balance to look like it helps me gain clarity on that.
Amber Every 9:39
And then the second thought is that it's not always going to look like everyone else, the hours that we work, the time we put in are different situations with people you follow on Instagram or your teammates or other people it's going to be different and that's okay because you might think well, I don't wake up at five am every morning to check my email. And you know what, that's okay. Like, it doesn't have to be just like everyone else, you get to create what you want it to look like.
Amber Every 10:10
And the last thought is about communication is key. And it has been key for me with my family and also with my team. And you know, with my husband, I'll try and share, hey, I have this big project, or I'm feeling stressed about this, or could you help me with that, or the good and the bad, and the highs and the lows and just communicating, you know, what I have going on. As I also am a mother and, and have lots of other things to do but that is a part of who I am and what I'm doing. And so being open and sharing that creates this balance and investment from other people and with my children, sharing with them, you know, hey, mom's working right now. Or I really could use help with this, or what do you think about that or I have this big project we're working on and kind of get them invested in sharing with them what is going on in that part of my life, and then with our team and in who you're working with and opening up about your life and what you have going on and sharing that part of you can also create this balance where you can find support and help as you are working, you know, to figure out what you want it to look like. So those are a few thoughts that I've had that have helped me as I've created and continued to create this balance, and it ebbs and flows and different days and seasons of my life. And I know it's like something that you'll never reach. But it's fun to figure it out. And it's neat to be along for the ride.
Hi, my name is Crystal Shepherd, and I am the Social Media and Podcast Manager at Biceps After Babies. I started as a client in MACROS 101 in the spring of 2021. So now I've been on the team for a little over a year. And I'm actually the only team member who doesn't have any kids yet. So work-life balance might look a little different for me, just due to the fact that my days are set up differently than a lot of the other women that you've heard from. And while my position with Biceps After Babies is part-time, I do work full time through various commitments. And that does just build my day differently. And I’m the youngest team member, too. I definitely don't have it all figured out. And I look up to everyone on Team Biceps After Babies as models for how I want to operate and show up in the workplace. Finding work life balance, I mean, I think that that is something that I'll be working on for the rest of my life, and learning how to optimize my own strengths, and find the personal value that I bring to the team and how that works best in my day, and how that just helps me create my best work. Because at the end of the day, what we do here at Biceps After Babies, I think is so important to all of us. I think that empowering women and, you know, serving those around us and just building each other up is so important. And how could you not want to spend 24 hours a day trying to help support that? And when I started here, that was really difficult for me, it was really hard to turn off work because you want to always be available because what we do here is so powerful.
And so when I think about work-life balance, the biggest thing for me is setting boundaries. I think that that is kind of this overarching umbrella of boundaries and learning what that means for me, especially as a younger employee, and still really trying to figure out what even, you know, what boundaries are and how to operate within them. And it's funny, because when I think of Biceps After Babies, a term that comes up for me, is bandwidth. And actually learning what that term means, you know, because bandwidth, you know, we ask each other on the team like “Oh, do you have the bandwidth for this?” Or, “What is your bandwidth for the day for this project?” And it's really it's kind of like, “What is your capacity?” How much can you do, are you able to put into something. Learning what my own bandwidth is both at this position but within my day within other things and other interests that I have, it has just been so powerful for me.
So, I do have three more substantial tips that have really helped me. So as the Social Media and Podcast Manager, a lot of my job is on my phone, is on my computer, is on apps and websites that one might use to casually browse, you know, when we're not working. And finding a work-life balance within that has been difficult for me. But specifically, I have found it to be really valuable to use the Do Not Disturb settings. And recently, if you have an iPhone, they recently did an update where you can now automate your Do Not Disturb settings. And you can actually create various subcategories. So there's like a work category, focus, or you can create your own. And so I set my work category for the hours that I want to work for that day, or, you know, the upcoming week. And you can actually turn on and off notifications for certain apps. And that does help me filter through some of, you know, these other things that are trying to grab my attention when I need to be on my phone for work. And similarly, it allows me to kind of turn off some of those work notifications, when I'm on my phone for leisure time, because it is really hard for me to not mix those.
My second tip would be actually to set goals. So I set goals every morning for how many hours I want to work that day. And then I can also set goals for what days I want to take off. And that one is really important because it can be so easy to just work a little bit all the time. But if you set a goal to take the day off, it really encourages you to do it. And I guess this could work both ways, either encouraging you to stay on task, or encouraging you to stay off task. So for me, I actually usually have to set maximum work hour goals instead of minimum work hour goals. Because then that kind of helps me know when this work day is complete.
And my last tip kind of leading out of that is creating what I call a priority list. So you know, we all know, to-do lists or task lists. I'm a big list person, I love to cross things off as I go through my day. Sometimes I even add tasks to lists that I've already done, just so that I can cross it off. And while this is great, I found that just having a general to-do list, actually, I felt chained to it. So I felt like I couldn't finish my day until I had completed all of my tasks. And not only did that make the start of my day feel daunting, it also, it didn't help me learn when to stop, it didn't indicate when is a good time to kind of close the computer and be done. Because for example, say I've hit the number of hours that I had set as my goal to work. But I still have four tasks to do. Well, which one do you compromise on? Do you compromise on the tasks? Or do you compromise on your goal hours? And so creating a priority list, you know, the most important things, you number them, you know 1-2-3 and you push things that maybe aren't as urgent or you know, you could put off for another day, further down on the bottom. That way, you know, if you complete all of your most urgent tasks, and you still have time in your day that you've kind of allotted, then you can keep going. But if you've hit those hours, you can walk away comfortable, confident, not stressing, because you've done the most important things that you set out to do. And that just really helps for me, it really helps me find closure every day. It helps me feel not just productive, but confident that I've done the things that I needed to do them. So those are my more practical tips that have really helped me find this balance, this work-life balance, and you know, determining what is my bandwidth within a day, a week, a month within a certain task. And I'm definitely still learning what works best for me. And I know that as my life changes, as I grow, as different circumstances come up, I know that I will have different needs and pressures calling on me, which will always require me to pivot to the new environment that I'm in but I kind of feel like that's the whole point of all of this is just continuing to learn and grow and finding what works best for you within that.
Hi, my name is Cassie Jurek and I handle the Customer Support via the Support Inbox for Team Biceps After Babies. I've been a member of the core team for little over a year now. If I'm completely honest, I think work-life balance is something I'm still in the middle of figuring out. Since I answer questions and help clients from the support inbox, the demands of the job definitely ebb and flow. There are times where I need to give more of my time to work, especially when we're opening doors to MACROS 101, and throughout the MACROS 101 program, verse more time to my family, and the opposite as well. I know that I'm someone who likes routine, which means I try to stay a little consistent on when I'm in the inbox answering questions and helping clients. while still staying flexible to meet the needs of my family. I choose to work part-time for that exact reason, because I want to be present for my kids when they need me, and able to keep commitments to myself and others. Sometimes I have to remind myself that if someone is waiting three hours for a response, it's absolutely okay. And then no email coming in to the support inbox is a matter of life or death.
When I first started, I found myself putting off my own needs and my family's needs too frequently. And I thought I needed to drop everything when I got a Slack message from a team member, and needed to be checking the inbox nonstop. I've learned that having a routine of when I work is helpful. I tried to do a lot of work when my daughter is napping, and then again after my kids have gone to bed. Although it doesn't always work out perfectly. If I have a day where I feel I've given more time to work than normal, I try to balance it the following day. A few of the strategies I'm implementing to help me create balance in my life are the following. First, like I mentioned previously, have a routine to my day and pre planning chunks of time in my day that I will work. Sometimes these chunks of time vary because of appointments, sports, school pickups, etc. Also, prioritizing what needs immediate attention, versus what I can tackle later in the day or evening. I'm getting better at recognizing what I need to address first and what can wait until my next plan time to work. Basically knowing and accepting that everything doesn't have to be done ASAP, while still honoring deadlines and requests.
I'm also working to try to be fully present and whatever my current focus is, whether I'm giving full attention to my work, or full attention to my family or other tasks. This isn't always easy with young kids, but I'm working on it. I think being really present in the things I do has helped me to lessen, but not eliminate mom guilt. Knowing that I was present with my kids, when they were my focus allows me to focus on my work and not worry so much that I'm not meeting their needs.
Finally, communication is important to achieving balance. It's important that I'm communicating my family, especially my husband and letting him know when I need a little more time for work. It's also important that I'm communicating with leadership if I need support, and or don't have the capacity or bandwidth to complete my tasks and need help from team members. I'm not sure that work-life balance is ever something I'll completely figure out. And then I'll always be making adjustments and changing approaches so that I feel good and content with how my weeks go.
Hey, my name is Linnae Williams, and I'm the Operations Manager for Biceps After Babies. I have been thinking a lot this last week about how I balance my work life with everything else that I get to fill my time with. And I came to the conclusion that the idea of balance does us a real disservice as women. Balance produces an image of static scales that are not changing. And it also implies some sort of fairness, you have work on this side of the scale, you have family and friends on the other and they need to stay equal to stay in balance. And this for me is a completely a myth. There are days where work gets more attention, there are days where family and friends get more attention. And this is something that is very fluid in my life. Also, working comes with giving things up. Before I went back to work, I could volunteer in the kids classrooms, in every kid's classroom every week, and I could be on the PTA board and I could be there to bring them their lunch or homework when they forgot it at home. I cook dinner every night, I kept a very clean house all of the time, and I just had a lot more time to give to others around me and my circle of influence. Right now, though, is not the season for that I can help a couple times a year in the classroom. The kids have to take on more responsibility at home and for their own stuff. Their days, I cannot bail them out of turning in late assignments, or they have to buy lunch from the cafeteria because I can't make it there before lunch starts. So for me, it's not about looking with regret at the things I cannot do anymore. It's more about being grateful for what I can do. And as moms we feel like we have to do everything. But we get to choose where we put our time and energy and even if it's out of “balance” from time to time.
So in my life, I have not created a balance of working to live, but I have created a workable system. So each Sunday I look at what needs to get done and where all the kids need to be and what appointments need to happen. And then I create a plan for the week, I reach out to my friends to help me get kids home from schools on the days I cannot be there, we make plans for what the kids need to get done around the house to be helpful for the upcoming week. And then I decide on which days I can cook dinners, and which days we'll have to eat out because nobody comes home until seven, eight or even 9pm. And I meal plan for those days that I need dinner. And then I put in a Walmart pickup order and have it ready to be picked up during my kids activities on Monday. So then when Monday comes around, I dropped them off at their classes, I grab the groceries, I pick them back up from their classes, and we head home for the day. And now I know we have food for the week. And that is a huge way off my mom's shoulders. But then the key is realizing that things will come up, we all have to pivot and we have to be okay with that. And maybe a meeting comes up where I was supposed to cook dinner. So instead we have del taco and carrot sticks and snap peas to round out the meal. But the important part of the day is not that I made a homemade dinner for my family, it's that when I was with them, I was present, and I paid attention to them and I made the connections that are the most important part.
Hey there, my name is Ellen Oates. And I am the Executive Assistant for Team Biceps After Babies, I have been working for the company for a little over a year now. When I first took the position, I thought that I could just keep my everyday life the same and I would just work in the evenings. My kids were not used to me being a working mom and I was not used to splitting my time between work and my home life. So I thought it'd be perfect solution, nobody would have to change anything, or like our lives would pretty much stay the same except for I would just be working in the evenings. But I quickly realized and learned that that was not a sustainable way for me to live. I wanted to do other things in my evenings, I didn't want to spend every evening working. So I needed to change some things up. And really it took me about eight months, which is a long time when you think about me only working for about 13 months. So that's about almost half my time of just trying to figure out what works for me in like so much trial and error. But I found some things that work. It's important to me to have a clean house. I can't sit down at my desk and think about work when I have like piles of laundry than the dishes are stacked downstairs and like everybody's breakfast is out from the morning and I have errands to run. So I now do that in my mornings. I send my kids off to school and I take the next few hours to just get all those things done. And I feel so much better when I sit down knowing that those things are taken care of and I don't have I don't have to worry about them. And they're not all completely perfect and all completely done. But I've really started tackling it so that it's no longer like taking up all my brain space.
And I am a mom of six, my oldest is 15 and my youngest just turned 4 so she's still at home with me. She's my little baby and we spend a lot of time together. I have made sure that I am intentional about spending my mornings with her. I include her in my bin and doing the laundry, I include her in my errands, that's actually her favorite thing to do with me is to run errands. She gets so mad when I do errands without her. We love to go do fun things to like we love to go to Thanksgiving Point Museum. And we love to paint and we love to color and I don't spend every moment with her all morning long. But I have made sure that I am intentionally including her so that when I sit down at my desk in the afternoons to work, I'm not having that guilt of like I've haven't thought about her all day I've been neglecting her like I don't have any I've been able to release myself of those thoughts because I know that I intentionally spend time with her. And she spends her afternoons doing quiet time or we have a friend next door that she likes to play with or she watches a movie or twice a week she has preschool.
My mind is always going like I'm always thinking about the things I need to do or the things I want to do. Like those things are always swimming through my head and I can easily get overwhelmed by my thoughts. So my three essentials on my desk are post it notes, aligned notebook and a physical planner. I love my phone for so many things but when it comes to writing down the things I need to do for work like my planner is like essential for me, and posted notes, like I make lists and lists and lists and posts of post it notes. And it's great for me because then I can like, clear my list and I just throw it away after worry. I just, it's kind of like I'm like, Okay, this is done. I'm done with this and I'm like clearing it away. And then a line notebook like helps me keep track of like the notes I want to remember and keep. And those things like once I've written down my thoughts, or my things I need to do like my headspace is clear again, and I'm able to like focus and concentrate.
I also love to look ahead, I like to look ahead so I can prepare for what's coming up, if it's going to be a heavy work week, or if it's going to be a heavy home week, and like how I can split my time. And that has helped me a lot because I'm able to step back from work, or I'm able to jump like two feet into work and jump back from like home stuff. So that has been super helpful for me. And like that's my kind of like my ideal of like how I like things to go like mornings or just however like spin of how I want with like cleaning my house and running errands and spending time with Letty. And then my afternoons I like working but like it doesn't always work that way, because there's doctor's appointments, so there's school programs are just like different things in life come up. But when you have like an ideal set, and you're willing to compromise and change, every once in a while, it's totally doable. Like you just got to look ahead at your week, and you just kind of gotta rearrange to fit on what's most important, like whatever your priorities are that week.
So for Challenge Week, for example, challenge week at Biceps After Babies is an awesome week. Like it's so much fun but it's also a very busy week. So this last challenge, I took off. I said no to pretty much everything besides work, like school things, PTA things, church things, like I just kind of said, I can't. This is a busy work week, and I need to make sure I'm there. And this last challenge, it was actually an amazing week for me, because I had cleared my schedule so much, I actually had free time to do things on my list that I didn't think I'd actually ever get to for quite some time. And it would have been okay if I didn't, because I had already planned for it to be a heavy work week. And I was okay with that because like I had planned for that. And so like I was kind of like, you know, it was like a little surprise when I had some extra free time. And then this last weekend, I had a lot going on with my kids at school. And I had a big huge event for one of my daughters on a Saturday. And so I knew it was going to be like a heavy home week. So I had been like, you know, doing the work that I needed to earlier on in the week. And I was like letting my weekend kind of be more the end of my week be more flexible. And then on that Friday, my son was running to get his backpack when the bell rang. And he didn't want to hit a kid. So he swerved out of the way and as he swerved, he hit his head at running speed on a cubby and completely split his head open. So we ended up spending the rest of that afternoon when I would have been working in the Instacare and then later on at the ER. And what was nice about that is that I had really done a lot of my work prior to that. And so I was able to be there for my son and be 100% there completely though that was the main priority. He was my top thing that I was focused on and work was put on the backburner. And I knew that whatever it was at work was not as important as where I was with my son. That's where I needed to be. So the biggest and most valuable lesson that I've learned is that you can be a really great mom and you can be a really great employee. You don't have to be one or the other. And you can determine what great means to you. Like it can mean different things to different people. And I know what it means to me. And I've chosen to believe that's what I am. And I know that it's possible for other people too.
My name is Carley Ferguson. And I am Amber's Integrator, otherwise known as her Project Manager or Team Manager. And just to give you a little bit of background on me, I have worked with Amber for almost three years, next month that will be three years. And I have three kids, an almost six-year-old, an almost four-year-old, and just over one year old and that means that I have had a baby since working with Amber. So I've got young kids and I work from home. I live in South Dakota, so my office is wherever my computer is. And so when it comes to work-life balance, it has been quite a progression for me. As me in general, I tend to be very structured and rigid. I like things done a certain way. And so when I think of work-life balance, I'm like, this is exactly what I wanted to look like. And so I was always trying to achieve an idealistic picture of work-life balance, but what I've really found is that it's less of a structured thing for me. I think I always viewed it as almost like this Nirvana state where of like, I have now achieved work-life balance, and then it would just stay. But it's not, it's really more of like a mountain without a top, I am constantly trying to achieve balance between work and my home life. And that's not to say it's been depressing, like, I'll never get there. But more of like, each day is different. Some days, I need to spend more time being a mom, because you know, my baby's teething, or I have a sick kid. And some days, I need to spend more time at work because we are really busy. And so I've had to learn to be a bit more flexible, and less rigid when it comes to my work life balance and know that each day is different and it ebbs and it flows.
And so some things that I have done to kind of help myself is that I have pretty standard working hours where my kids know, like this is when I work. And so that helps. Obviously, finding that flexibility has helped me to not feel so bad when you know, my baby wakes up from his nap and needs me before I'm done working. I also have hired out childcare from time to time when things get really crazy. So that I can feel a bit more physically compartmentalized and create those boundaries like when you're a daycare, I'm working when you're home, then I can have some clear money time. And so it's really been as woowoo as it sounds, this journey that I don't think I'm ever going to finish of balancing work and home life. And but the real key for me has been flexibility and giving myself permission to know that each day and each season of life is going to look different and that doesn't mean I'm failing. Sometimes I have to favor one side or the other but it all balances out. And I think that's really where the balance is.
Hi, my name is Melissa Porter. And I am the Head Coach for Biceps After Babies. I have been working with Amber for about two and a half years. And I started as a client and worked my way into working as a coach and then on to her core team as the Head Coach. And as I think back to the years that I have spent working for Amber, my work-life balance has changed quite a bit as time has gone on. I remember in the beginning, I was so focused on like, every time I got a message or every time someone needed something from me that had to do with work, I would drop everything else. And that became the priority. And over time, I realized that that wasn't the balance that my family needed. I don't have to work financially, it's not something that my family needs. But I choose to work because of the transformation that I had through MACROS 101. And I want to be able to help provide others with their own transformation. And so this line of work has become something that I'm very passionate about. And I needed to find a balance that worked for my family because this isn't something that I'm that I have to do. This is something that I want to do and I wanted to make sure that it was not taking away from the balance that my family was feeling.
So now what my work and family balance look like is kind of different every week. What I end up doing is I sit down on Sunday evenings and I look at the week ahead of me and I see what appointments I have for kids or for myself and what I can kind of expect from what I'm needing to do for work as well. Some weeks are busier for me with work and other weeks are not as busy. So I try to make sure that, you know, I'm keeping it balanced. So anytime that I'm spending more time working one week, I try to balance that out the following week where I'm more available to my husband and my kids. I do have three children that are younger, I have an eight, six, and four-year-old, and my eight-year-old is autistic. And she has quite a bit of therapy that she does that I need to be available for that is done like three to five times a week. So that in itself can be very time-consuming when it comes to making sure that her needs are met. And so I've kind of just learned that my family and myself are the priority. And I'm able to fit in the work that I'm so passionate about with Biceps After Babies, I'm able to fill in the gaps that I have with working. And obviously, we have times where we might be in the middle of launching MACROS 101 or one of the other programs where it's a little bit busier leading up to that. And that's where I really communicate with my husband about what the plan is going to be and where I need his help to maybe step in where I can't be available, so I can be available more with work. So it is a little bit different than how it looked when I first started. But it is a balance that I have found that works really well for my family now, I'm able to make them a priority, I'm able to make myself a priority. I schedule in appointments for myself to make sure that I am keeping the promises that I've made for myself, as well as with work. So if it's my day to go to the gym, I schedule that in my calendar, and I honor that appointment that I've made, just like I would honor it if I had a doctor's appointment. So I just make sure that I keep everything that is a priority to me scheduled out just like any other appointment that I would do. And that's the balance that I have found that works really well for me.
Hi, my name is Ann Woodson and I am a Senior Coach and the Affiliate Manager for Biceps After Babies. I started with the company about three years ago as a client, and quickly became very attracted to Amber's mission and how we could transform the lives of women. So I knew I wanted to get involved at the time I had three children, one of which was my youngest was two, and I was also working a couple of other smaller jobs, in the health arena and management consulting, but I knew I wanted to be a part of the mission. So I started out as a coach with MACROS 101 and loved working with Amber and her team and coaching hundreds of women to empower them, to find the best plan for themselves that they could create for themselves over time. As a coach, I grew into a Senior Coach and started coaching our alumni group, Beyond MACROS 101 and then eventually moved into the Affiliate Manager role, which means I get to work with all of the awesome people that help share our brand and mission out in the community.
So, you know, as a working mom for the last 14 years, whether it was with Amber or management consulting, what I have found is this, you set your priorities the night before, make a list of the things you want to get done the next day for work, put them right where you can see them. And that way, when you go to bed the night before the anxiety's gone, you don't stay up all night thinking about tasks and wondering if you've done enough. And then in the morning, get the list out for me. I grab a big cup of coffee before my kids get up and I start on my list and I get as far as I can. And then I take a break and I work out because that's a huge piece of balance for me. I can't pour from an empty cup and if I haven't worked out and if I haven't taken care of my family, I feel like I can't contribute at work fully because I'm distracted.
So I get, as far as I can, before everybody gets up, then I take care of what I need to with working out and taking care of my family and get them off to work and school. And then I hit my list. Pretty hard. Also, another thing with work life balance is I think it's important to use two things. Number one is time blocking. So figure out when you can work and honor those times, but also honor, when you schedule a workout or coffee with a friend or doing your laundry or exercise, whatever you need honor your time blocks. And of course they can be flexible, but honor your time blocks to yourself. So work, when you say you're gonna work, and take a break when you need to take that break. The other thing that I would say is when you are working, go with purpose. So, you know, of course we're all gonna have small details that we have to take care of, but start with the big, meaningful things that drive the rest of your day.
So for example, for me, if I know that I've got some outreach with some potential affiliates, I'll do that first, because that gets me energized and really in the head space to then do kind of the back office, backend stuff, towards the end of the day, when I have a little less energy to be engaging with people. And then I can just kind of wind down and enter notes or do back office things. I think those are two great things to do. The other thing is to communicate with your family and let them know that you are doing this because you are whatever your reason is. So my “why” for both of my jobs are a little bit different, but either way I'm helping and serving others. And I really feel great at the end of the day. So communicating to your family, that that's what fills your basket and that helps you to be well rounded for them. So work life balance for me, I think it's always setting your priorities, honoring your commitments to yourself, honoring your commitments to others and ending your day with integrity. But never, ever putting yourself at the bottom of that list. Because as soon as you get yourself right, you're ready to serve others. And the balance just comes.
Amber B 46:38
I hope that you listen to all those different perspectives and the wonderful women that I get to work with that are on my team. I gosh, I love them so much. I just sat and listened to their audios and just smiled so big, because each and every one of them is just a joy to be able to work with. And I count myself very lucky to have such amazing women who are supporting the mission here at Biceps After Babies. And so it's fun for me to get to share a little bit of them with you because you see a lot of me you hear a lot of me. But let me tell you, Biceps After Babies is not just me. There is a whole team of women behind what we do here and I couldn't do what I do without them. So I hope that you enjoyed hearing from them. That wraps up this episode of Biceps After Babies Radio. I'm Amber, now go out and be strong because remember my friend you can do anything.
Hey, friend if you heard the news. We have a Biceps After Babies Radio Insider list. If you love Biceps After Babies Radio, you don't want to miss a thing. Head to bicepsafterbabies.com/insider to join the group. You'll be the first to know all things about the podcast, see some behind the scenes and get special messages from yours truly. We want to make this a special community for those who are fans of the podcast. And last, did this episode particularly resonate with you? If so, will you please share it? Either send the link to someone who would find it valuable or take a screenshot and post it to your social media and tell your friends and family why they should listen. Make sure you tag me @biceps.after.babies so I can hear your feedback and give you a little love. And you know, if you aren't already following me on Instagram or Facebook, that's the perfect time to hit that follow button. Thank you for being here and listening to Biceps After Babies Radio.