Saturday, 29 April 2017

How to do it all - the working mum/single mum/mum trying to do it all and quite literally keep her shit together

When I reached out to my Mums Who Lift community and asked for topics they would love to read about, one common theme was this: 'what are some strategies to keep my world functioning as a working mum, or a working single mum'. 
Here's the secret - there is no secret. Sorry about that.

It's actually really hard. Like really hard.

One of the turning points for me was acknowledging that I am in this chaotic situation because of choices I made. I made the decision to become a mother, so I could continue to find it hard, challenging, stressful, overwhelming and tiring. I could continue to use my identity as a mother as a reason to not reach my full potential, live my true purpose and be the healthiest version of myself. 
Or - I could find peace on the fact that this was my choice and to experience true and authentic gratitude for this moment in time in my very short life. 
When I made that shift in my thinking, I suddenly found consistency in the way I managed my entire life. I also felt an amazing sense of peace. 

There is no secret to the way I manage the day to day operations of my home. 
It simply comes down to consistency in my strategies. I treat my home life the way I treat my business. Systems, strategies and consistency. 
And yes...it's hard! 
But what is the alternative?
Stress, overwhelm, not achieving the things we want to achieve, not having the health or body we want, not managing our mood or state, not sleeping well, eating crap or succumbing to the bottle...?

I know what I am choosing. 

By not having a strategic approach to the life of a busy working family, what are we teaching our children? We are teaching them to continually operate in a reactive, stressed state. We are teaching them that it's ok to underachieve due to overwhelm. 
This isn't the lessons I want my children to take from me. 

So, what systems do I apply?
Firstly, the greatest advice I can give any mother is to invest in yourself and your family. 
Utilise the systems the world has created to make life more streamlined. Gone are the days when you lose hours to a grocery store. Use home delivery, use services such as Aussie Farmers, Coles Click and Collect, hell... I even get my toilet paper delivered! I also you YouFoodz for my lunches. Whatever it takes. 
Yes, some of these are more expensive, but I challenge you to put a dollar value on your time, what's your hourly rate (and yes - you are worth a lot) and then work out how much time you lose on wasted trips to the grocery store. 

I often get the comment that it must be easy because I have a nanny.
Yes, it certainly allows me to do the split shifts that I do, the 5.30am starts, the late nights.
However it means I have to be even more organised!

Plan your week, spreadsheet the shit out of it. Every Sunday I sit down and review my week. I ensure my diary is airtight. I work my diary into 15 minute blocks of time. From 5am until 10pm. This eliminates the overwhelm from the incredible amount of work I need to get through. I even schedule showers and meal prep. Every single part of my day is in my diary. More importantly, I stick to it. 100% of the time, to the minute. This is non-negotiable. 
Then, I transfer this into a format that I can send out to the kid's dad, our nanny and each of the kids. Then it gets stuck on the fridge. Everyone knows where everyone is at all times. 

Accept that quality time is far more important than quantity time. I have no doubt that I am judged for how little time I spend with my children. I am completely ok with that. Because I know that I meet my non-negotiables with my children. I never miss an award presentation, a sports day, a performance or any other activity that is important. And I will stand there and cry through every single one of them. And my kids are doing great, I couldn't be prouder of the little humans that they are. 


Josie and I at her most recent ballet concert.
She's becoming such a beautiful little lady.
I pick them up from school every single day and I connect with them on a deeper level.
No - I don't get hours of time with them or entire days or weekends. But the time I spend with them is connected and valued. I will never use my children as an excuse to miss a training session, because training for me = health and mental clarity. 
PLEASE don't use your kids as an excuse to not be the best version of yourself. Imagine if they heard you 'blaming' them for not exercising or eating well. 
As harsh as this sounds, they won't thank you for it in later life. They will however me proud of the woman/man you are and the role model you were for them. 


Here's the most important part of what makes my life work. Even when I don't feel like doing something (training, cooking, meal prepping, washing, folding, cleaning, mowing the lawn), it actually doesn't matter - just do it. Don't let this stuff accumulate. Because with accumulation of tasks, comes accumulation of guilt. This does not serve you at any level. 

And finally, turn the goddam TV off. Put the wine down. Take control and responsibility for the choices you have made. And make peace with it. 

To all the working mums and single working mums reading this. Treat your role as 'family CEO' as a job. Take it seriously, apply structure and remember - you are the leader of our future generation. Thank you for taking on that incredible responsibility - now go take it seriously!

I think you're awesome. 

CCx







So we had a kid and BAM our confidence is gone.

One of the things that shocked me the most about becoming a mother was the actual change in me physically and emotionally. 
I look back at photographs of myself in those early years of motherhood and I legit don't recognise myself. Even though I managed to continue to exercise before, during and after pregnancy and generally kept myself fit and strong, like most mothers, I completely lost the ability to look after myself, my appearance and my body. 

This was partly due to the incredible lack of sleep and consequent fatigue I was experiencing..I mean seriously, who can be bothered brushing their hair or even their teeth for that matter when you are THAT tired. With both of my children I experienced significant PND, with my little man Sam (my second child), well there's no real way to describe that experience, other than traumatic. 



Sam and I in his first year.
But I do look at those photos (I have attached one for your viewing pleasure) and I see the sadness and tiredness in my eyes. 
I remember coming out the other end of those years and wanting to feel good about myself again. But feeling completely overwhelmed at the task ahead. Admittedly, working in an industry where I needed to look and feel strong was certainly a driving force for me, for which I am extremely grateful as it gave me a reason, other than my own perceived selfish needs, to get myself back into shape, physically, emotionally and mentally.
Put two photos side by side, the one of me as a new mum and one of me now and you would think you were looking at a completely different human. 





Every day in my world I meet mums who feel defeated. They have lost the ability to feel good about themselves, they don't want to look in the mirror at themselves, they don't feel like they deserve to invest any time or money in taking care of themselves and feeling better about themselves. This act alone would be associated with massive amounts of guilt. They describe themselves as physically weak (except in the arm they carry their kids in!). They point out their wobbly bits, their tuck shop arms, their saggy butt and their floppy belly that carried their child. 

They compare themselves with all the other mother's and they feel guilty for taking that teeny little bit of time out for themselves to come into a gym and explore the possibility of maybe, just maybe starting to take care of themselves again. 
Every single mother deserves to feel comfortable, strong, happy and healthy. No wait - they NEED to feel those things. How can we raise confident, healthy children if we are not role modelling this ourselves? 

I will continue to believe in these women when they walk through my door, until they have re-established that belief system themselves. I will continue to help women rediscover their strength and confidence, indirectly through a solid strength training program and beautiful connections within an authentic community. 

To see a woman feel strong and proud, and to see their family proud of their achievement and celebrate their success in and out of the gym,  as a family unit (in whatever format their family unit may be)......this is the greatest gift. 

Every mother needs to experience their child telling them that they are so glad they have a strong healthy mummy. My daughter wrote this on my mother's day card last year and it was without a doubt, my proudest moment as a mother. 

CC





Sam I in 2017. We have an incredibly special bond.
I put it down to all the extra hours we spent together
when he was a baby and was meant to be sleeping!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Chantal's thoughts and world - introduction to my page

My name is Chantal, also known as CC, also known as Ronnie, or Big Ron or the King, to my coach (there is a lot irony in that given my size).

I am the Co-Director and CEO of Ritual HQ. Founder of Mums who Lift RHQ, one of the Head Coaches at RHQ, single mum to Josie and Sam, girlfriend to a much younger man who also happens to be my business partner, power lifter who somehow managed to snag a National Record, boss lady to an incredible team, best friend to a group of the most incredible women, but most of all, I am a woman trying to keep her shit together on a daily basis.
This is my blog. A place where I will provide a raw, open and honest conversation on  variety of thoughts and topics.

I have been through my fair share of challenges. Business troubles, relocations, a marriage separation, an early stage cervical cancer diagnosis, post-natal depression x 2, injuries (SO many injuries), epic amounts of self doubt.....but none of these things define me anymore. 
They are not my identity. They do however contribute to the person I am now. 
That woman attempting to keep her shit together.
They also provide me with a platform that enables me to help others. They provide me with first hand experience, knowledge and tools to allow me to help others become the best possible version of themselves. 

I am also lucky enough to have discovered my life purpose. I am extremely grateful that I have discovered this so early in life. To be able to help men, women and especially mothers, rediscover their strength and confidence through a connected and holistic approach to their strength training, health and exercise, is truly a wonderful experience and something I never grow tired of.
I will continue to believe and fight for people who cross my path or reach out to me, even when they have given up the fight for themselves.
I will carry that belief for them until they have the strength to do it for themselves.
This is my story and I welcome feedback.