This wasn’t the blog I was about to write…and that’s because I was about to write this blog at 10am. It’s now getting on for 1:30pm, I’m not particularly poor at time management so what happened?
Teen 2: “I don’t want to do my school work today, it’s boring and I’m fed up”
Me: Internal groan, external empathy “Ok, let’s talk about it”
Skills of influence (no money changed hands 😂) and coaching
Me: Settled to write the blog
Teen 1: “Trigonometry is SO hard!” said in a Kevin tone of ‘Kevin and Perry’
Me: Pushes laptop away, internal sigh, external smile.
I tried coaching but a mentor was needed
Cue some YouTube tutorials to understand Trigonometry Cosine rules
Back to coaching on what she’d learnt in the video and first successful example complete
Success! So back to work…until
Teen 2: “Mum, I need to design a mini-golf course”
Me: Thinking…what the…?
So…more coaching using quick and easy GROW:
Okay, I’ll be honest, it wasn’t quite that quick and easy when I realised he wanted to source a mini rollercoaster for the golf course(!), but I thought he deserved points for creative thinking, then we re-visited reality 😂
Me: Sitting at the laptop, ready to write this blog
Teen 1: “Finished and I got them right!” (Trigonometry Cosine)
Me: “Brilliant work, well done.” Important to praise the progress!
Teen 1: “But I can’t work this next one, it’s Sine Trig this time, why is it SO hard!”
Me: Internal sigh,external smile “What approach worked for you earlier?”
Teen 1 “I dunno!” oh the joy teens!
Me: Pulling on every bit of strength “YouTube…?”
Teen 1: “Oh yeah”
Teen 2 “Is it lunchtime”
Me: “It’s your turn to cook” – but as this is a new skill and a meal he hasn’t cooked before I’m in mentor mode as he makes a rather splendid lunch of BBQ Chicken, Potatoes and Vegetables
Me: Praise for Teen 2 and a brief memory check of what he learned during the cooking
And now…peace and quiet for me to write my blog
The reality of home-schooling, working, parenting and getting some restorative time for oneself is challenging.
I wrote this because, ironically it’s a reflection of some of the conversations that I’ve been having with leadership role parents (single, co-parents and together parents). The impact that this can have:
Luckily for me, today is a day I have purposely not scheduled coaching, I co-parent, so I gave myself a flexible agenda.
Some of the conversations I’ve had with clients are about:
Uncertainty speaking to senior leaders for fear of looking weak/less resilient
High expectations of their own; I SHOULD be able to be Supermum/dad & leader extraordinaire
I feel guilty taking time out for myself
As coaches we don’t have a magic wand and as you can see from my shared real-world example, we experience similar challenges. As external coaches though, we bring a different perspective, we help you and your organisations to solve these problems, so I've helped turn the above limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs:
I am human, my boss is understanding, I am in an experience no-one has faced before Covid19, even the most resilient have been impacted
I’d like to do it all, but realistically for myself, my family and work this is unsustainable and I will benefit from putting less pressure on myself
I’m going to take ½ an hour in the morning and ½ an hour in the evening just for me to do…
Interestingly, many of the leaders I’ve spoken with are very happy for their teams to do what they need to and change/amend workloads, yet they are role modelling (or trying to) perfection.
We are seeing a new trend leaning towards burnout and exhaustion. We’ll be doing some more posts on this shortly.
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Written by Director of Coaching, Zoe Lewis.