Brenda Crawshaw, entrepreneur, Certified Professional and Whole Life Coach and member of Mothers & More for more than 17 years, shares her views on balancing the demands of motherhood while pursuing one’s own passions and goals. Brenda is the founder of With A Bird’s Eye View, a personal coaching business where she helps people to identify and achieve their goals. With A Bird’s Eye View is a Swag Bag sponsor for the Mothers & More Online Expo: Mothers’ Time Matters, January 25-31. The Expo offers moms a chance to take time for themselves and find inspiration and resources for their own personal journeys.
At one time or another, all mothers face the challenge of taking care of themselves and working towards their own goals while also taking care of their families. What are your top three suggestions for helping mothers who face this challenge?
You know how when you are on a plane and they do the emergency prep talk and say “Put your OWN oxygen mask on first!”? That would be the number one thing I would tell moms; always make sure that you take care of yourself – something a lot of moms let go by the wayside – at LEAST as much as you take care of your family. You cannot take care of anyone or anything if you are out of commission.
The second thing is to give yourself plenty of slack. These little love bugs don’t come with manuals and I have yet to see a fool proof plan for the perfect marriage. You need to love yourself as much as you love your family and you need to forgive yourself for your mistakes. You ARE going to make them – TONS of them! – and the sooner you realize that and make up your mind to learn from them and move on without beating yourself up the happier you all will be.
Lastly, make sure you put your relationships with your significant other(s), immediate family members and/or yourself high on the priority list. The most important thing you can model for your family are good relationships with the people who matter to you and your kids. Show them that people can disagree and still live in harmony, that they can have completely different viewpoints and still respect one another, that families come in all varieties and it is how we honor and nourish the relationships of the people we love that really matters.
How has your experience with Mothers & More impacted your own journey as a mom and entrepreneur?
I discovered – and immediately joined! – Mothers & More Chapter 95 (woot, woot!) right after my son was born more than seventeen years ago. The women were angels sent from God because I never would have made it through those first few years without the support and wealth of wisdom from these awesome women. Because I have experienced first hand the diversity and scope of experiences of all these other moms I am able to bring that much more to MY mothering. And now coaching moms of all types I am able to relate to moms with a deeper connection and far more acuity.
I am certain that I will forever be a member of Mothers & More and am awaiting the day when we start a “Grandparents Sub-Group”!
In your recent blog post Resolutions Shmesolutions! Choose Your Words to Live By and Watch Your Life Change! you talk about choosing annual words to live by. What are your own words for this year and what inspired you to choose them?
My Words To Live By this year are “What am I doing instead?”. I chose these because I needed something that would challenge me when I was questioning my choices. And the beauty of this phrase is that it works both ways meaning if I am procrastinating (yes, sometimes Coaches do that, too!) I can immediately redirect myself when I am unable to defend my (in)actions. But there are times when I have “priority overload” and sometimes in the middle of something truly legitimate I will start to wonder if I should perhaps be working on something else. This phrase allows me TO defend the challenge and then have the peace of mind and confidence that I am on track.
When considering your own Words To Live By, choose something that forces you to ask yourself a question that can help you either put or keep yourself on the path you are excited about following. These phrases are meant to shore you up and reinforce your drive!
How can a mother (or anyone) benefit from the services of a Whole Life Coach?
My job (which I LOVE) is not to tell you what to do or how to do it. My role is to first help you uncover what you truly want in your life, for yourself, from yourself and then to help you identify any obstacles you are facing and the resources you have and can acquire. Together we take all that information and create a map – an itinerary – that can get you to where you want to go.
Anyone who has a goal who would like someone to help them break down the journey to achieving that goal into manageable, doable steps and help them to be self-accountable is an ideal coachee. And I named my business “With A Bird’s Eye View” because it’s not that I am any smarter or more experienced than anyone else; it’s merely that I have a bird’s eye view into what you are experiencing and can help identify alternatives and solutions that you might not be able to fully see from your perspective in the center of the adventure you are undertaking.
What are your favorite activities when you need to re-charge?
I love to read and while a lot of my reading is for clients I do love a good juicy novel; Daniel Silva, Edward Rutherford and John Sanford are some of my faves. I am a magazine junkie, too and am on system 5,382 for managing all the neat ideas, recipes and tips I like to rip out of them. I am also an avid paper crafter so I like to scrapbook and stamp and teach the occasional class which is a blast for me. And I will confess here only to this group (hah!) that I am unabashedly addicted to Pinterest so I allow myself to browse away when watching the few hours of TV a week in which I indulge. Something about the plethora of ideas and sheer eye candy is, to me, exciting and inspiring though I will admit to more than one spectacular Pinterest Fail at home!