Q&A: What is your secret to balancing work, company management, and networking with being a wife and mom?
Tiffany: I'm your host, Tiffany Sauder. And this is Scared Confident. When it comes to your time at home, I have found it is easiest when I think about these five areas that have to be solved every single week, no matter where we are.
And those five things are this: the house, the kids, food, laundry, and you. And you have got to create systems around each one of those. So I think about it this way: It's like you either do it, you share it, you delegate it or you outsource it. So in my world, like food, that's one thing that I do. I love to cook.
It's my love language to my family. That gives me a way to like, engage and interact and teach my girls. I really love it. It does not take effort for me. It's very easy. I like that job. A lot of the other stuff I outsource, I don't do my own laundry. I don't clean my house, and I don't drive my kids places.
Like, those are things that I've decided they have to be delegated. I know some of my friends, their kids do their laundry, so they delegate that to their kids. It's just one more thing for me to manage, and it creates too much tension for me with my kids, which is maybe sloppy parenting, I don't know. But that's one thing that I've chosen, at least at their ages right now, to delegate and not to share it.
I have learned, I have to solve for these things: the house, my kids, the food we eat, the laundry we make, and my personal time, every single week. And to the extent that I can create systems or people who know here's how these things work, it frees up my time to just participate in my week and not have to plan it all the time.
So that has been a really big secret to, I think, creating the capacity that I need to be able to be focused at work. And even things like, I have four kids and my own, so that is a thousand appointments in a year. Think about. You know, everybody's got dentist appointments and pediatrician and all this stuff, and that creates too much interruption in my day.
And so I also have partnered with people who help me, you know, drive my kids to their appointments, or they might take them to the appointment. I meet them there, and then that person takes them back to school. So again, it just makes those interruptions as minimal as possible so that I can get as much work done as possible in the workday that I have.
The other thing I've learned about networking is networking is actually a very inefficient use of time. If you go to a big event and there are 300 people there and there are actually just two people you're hoping to bump into, would it be a better use of your time just to call those people on your way to work and be like, I'm just dying to meet you or I've got a question or I'm wondering if you would be a good client of mine?
Do you need to go from 5:30 to 8:00, walk around with a drink that you don't really want to drink and meet 222 people when you really just wanted to get two of them, is that really the best use of your time? And so I tell myself that story, it's like, well, should I just call him? Am I really just be a chicken?
And I should just call them and see if they'll just spend time with me and then I'll get my questions answered in 20 minutes. They don't have to go through this thing. Evening events are very difficult for me to hit with four kids at home and a husband who has a lot of demands on his time. And so I try to think about how do I bring the value that I would otherwise get at that networking event, the people I want to meet or the thing I want to sort of bump into, how do I just make it happen for myself in a different way? And it could be lunch. It could be getting somebody to make an actual introduction, but I have to be very efficient with that kind of space.
Or I've learned about one night. A month is about what I can do. And my husband and I, we try to make one night a week. And again, our kids still, we only have two of our four in activities. I know this doesn't work for every household. We have one night, a week where nobody has activities and that's kind of the night we bounce back and forth.
If somebody has a late night at work or we need to go to dinner with somebody, that way the parent who's home is not just run ragged and can't get to all the practices and all that kind of stuff. So that is a way that we've, I would say, turned down the chaos in our home so that he and I have the time to be able to do what we need to if it doesn't fit within the span of the day.
And the truth of the matter is between my husband's demand and career and mine, we talk about the kind of which one's on first and which one's not in any given season that could be a whole year. It could be a quarter, it could be a week or a month. And right now we're in a season where he has less flexibility with his time than I do.
And so I say “no” to a lot more evening stuff than I would in a season where I would say my career is kind of forward in the household and our time. And his is sort of in the backseat. So we talk about that because it's true. You can't do all of it and that's okay. Having kids is super rad and it's a really great privilege.
And being with them is wonderful. And sometimes that means you need to say “no” to things, and that can be okay. You just have to figure out different ways to be able to make that opportunity happen for yourself. The other thing that I would say is to make sure that you really figure out what you need for yourself so that you have kind of full energy to give most days. And you know, I used to go to the gym. I used a CrossFit, like I thought that was so fun and I really loved it, but as we got more kids and the mornings got busier, I just didn't have the time to actually go to the gym. So, you know, we're on the Peloton train, Beachbody on Demand.
And I need that time, but I don't have the time to drive to a gym, go to an hour class and drive home. That takes up too much space, but I know I have to move my body physically, every day. ...Okay, most days. My husband's going to listen to this: He’ll be like, “Really? Every day, huh?” Oh, okay. I don't work out every day.
Okay. In my head I do. But in reality, I don't, but that's how I've kind of had to adjust that thing so that it's still, it's something I can reach and is accessible into my time. So it does change. It doesn't stay the same in every season. But I've found if you can solve for those five things, your house, your kids, your food, laundry, and yourself with a system, or you're really clear, is this something I do?
Is this something I share with members of my family, or is this something that I outsource to somebody else? and set that up. And, you know, it breaks sometimes and you have to reset it, but I find that that creates a really clear headspace for me so that I can run fast and hard in my workday and I can make really crisp decisions to like what gets my after-hours time in the evenings.
So what else is on your mind? Text me (317) 350-8921. (317) 350-8921. And be sure to follow along on your favorite podcast app. Thanks for listening today.