Megan Thee Stallion sang about having a “hot girl summer,” but my friends who are mothers are having more of a “hot car summer.”
My friend Lara added three extra hours to her daily schlep when her daughter’s sleepaway camp temporarily switched to day-camp hours because of a Covid-19 exposure. Lara’s daughter begged to continue attending, so for one week in July, Lara gassed up the car and drove her daughter 45 minutes to camp then turned around and drove 45 minutes to work each morning. Then, after a full day at work, she made the same commute to pick up her daughter. “It made me nostalgic for the school commute,” she said. “And for just getting to spend time outside my car.”
HealthyWomen CEO Beth Battaglino, RN, wants to remind busy moms that, while we orbit our kids’ worlds this summer, it’s our turn to be the stars this fall. “Fall is a great time to remind moms of the importance of taking care of themselves,” Battaglino said. “A-listers are stars. We know you’re a rockstar mom, so don’t forget to be a rockstar you, too.”
Battaglino offered moms a few tips on how to reclaim that A-list mindset this fall. To that end, we invite you to ask, “What would Beyoncé do?” (WWBD) when applying Battaglino’s advice to your own life. The “WWBD” filter prevents us from slipping back down to the C-list in our own lives.
Outsourcing. Yes, the pandemic has been long and hard, but it’s also introduced more of us to the miracle of delivery service. Battaglino suggested outsourcing time-guzzling tasks like picking up groceries and dry cleaning. “Delegating is a great skill to learn,” Battaglino said. “And it’s easier than ever to use technology to delegate. It gives you back your time and eliminates some boredom, too.” We believe Beyoncé would agree.
Put your workout time on the calendar. We may never be privy to the magic that prevents Beyoncé from aging at the same rate as mere mortals, but we can guess her daily workout time is sacred. If you believe the myth that the best workout is the morning workout, take heart. “The best time to work out is when you can — and actually will — work out,” Battaglino said. There may be some days we’d rather sink into the couch to watch Bridgerton, but it’s harder to dismiss a workout if it’s in the calendar.
iStock.com/JLco – Julia Amaral
Hit the off switch. Battaglino, however, has no problem with Bridgerton o’clock. “Moms deserve some end-of-summer fun, so take the time to enjoy the last days of summer,” Battaglino said. “While the kids are still at camp or playing with friends, carve out some fun time for you.”
If this seems tough, it will probably be easier to find the time in the fall, Battaglino said. “Finding enjoyment is just as important as completing tasks on your to-do list. Read a book, take a swim, grab a coffee and people watch, take an afternoon nap — any activity that gives you permission to hit the off switch for a few hours is never a waste of time,” Battaglino stated. “Downtime is critical, and as moms, we can overlook its importance or dismiss it as selfish. But it’s the opposite of selfish: Taking time to fill the tank will give you the energy you need to meet the rest of life’s demands.”
To answer “WWBD,” think of summer as the Super Bowl halftime show of motherhood. It’s a lot of work. You put your all into it. You earned that downtime.
Focus on your health. During the summer, we make the time to take kids to their annual pediatrician appointments and update their vaccines and medical information for school. “When you’re getting the kids’ vaccines, get yours too,” Battaglino suggested. Then, in fall, turn the full spotlight on your health. “Fall is a great time to make your annual wellness appointments, get your own vaccines and make sure that mammogram is on the calendar,” Battaglino said. “Your health matters too.”
Healthy habits cement themselves in our lives when we assign them the priority they, and we, deserve, Battaglino said. “It can be tough, even counterintuitive, to put yourself first as a mom, especially after a whole summer of focusing on the kids. But if we put ourselves on the A-list, we shift that mindset.”
So, what would Beyoncé do? You know she’d put herself on the A-list — she already did.
This fall, it’s your turn.