“It seems to me that a happy life would be a pretty good legacy to leave your children,” writes Lisa Druxman in her new book, The Empowered Mama: How to Reclaim Your Time and Yourself While Raising a Happy, Healthy Family. Druxman helps moms determine how to balance their needs with the constant demands of motherhood, and to do so with grace, humility, and wisdom.
Druxman was not born with the positive attitude she has today. A pivotal moment when she was thirteen changed everything.
“I got out of the car with my dad in a dark parking lot. A man came from the darkness, and I thought he was asking the time. He wasn’t. I walked right into the barrel of his gun. He told us to get on the ground and hand over our belongings,” she writes.
From that moment forward, Druxman realized that if it was a second chance she was given, she was going to make the most of it.
“I made small efforts that built up to a later success. And do you know what happened? I started to get better in all areas of my life,” she writes.
One part of her success has been that she chose to never, ever stop learning. As this applies to empowering mothers, the biggest lesson is to take time for yourself.
“If I could help moms with only one thing it would be this: getting each mom to take care of her own spirit,” writes Druxman.
And while that may sound like an impossible task for moms today, Druxman assures that the energy invested comes back in spades.
“You will find you aren’t turning to food or some bad habit as a quick fix. You will find that you react to the next tantrum with compassion instead of a cringe. You will start to create an energy around you that brings peace and happiness, even on the busiest of days,” she writes.
As much of our daily lives are occupied with tasks that won’t matter much later, or even be remembered, Druxman encourages readers to take time to think about what they want to leave behind.
“To set your desired legacy in motion, you need to know who you are. You may think you already know that using labels like mother or wife or sister or employee. But who are you underneath those labels? Who are you at your core?” Druxman asks.
One exercise she suggests is to take a few minutes and write down your dreams. By knowing what our dreams are, she tells us, we can create a solid vision for them that moves them from the fictional “someday,” and puts them clearly within reach.
Making dreams come true, however, requires more than a vision. It requires an action plan. Here Druxman suggests that readers create a date to achieve dreams, which turns them into goals. Then, she instructs readers to break the goals down into steps, which creates a plan. Finally, begin by taking action.
Many women wish for more time. However, Druxman asserts that not having enough time is rarely the problem. Rather, it’s our awareness of how we use our time that is lacking.
“A few years into my business, I was the one running around frantically with my head cut off. Until my sister confronted me about it. She said that I always seemed stressed, and that I didn’t have time for family or friends. Ironically, I didn’t have time to enjoy my kids – and that was the reason I started my business in the first place,” writes Druxman.
Transformational moments like this, she contends, can help us become aware of the most important things in our lives, and learn to say no to most everything else.
“Every time you say yes you are in effect saying no to something else,” she writes.
By first being aware of what we want, and then breaking it down into small steps, we can reach our goals. Simply getting started – much like Stanford researchers B.J. Fogg’s idea to just floss one tooth – helps us tap into our instinctive drive to finish a task once we have begun.
And by being intentional about our lives – thinking about the values that are most important, the legacy we leave, the example we offer to their children, and that little voice inside our heads that can be changed from can’t to can – moms can realize a life of meaning, fulfillment, and joy that doesn’t take away from our children and family, but instead nourishes us.
The Empowered Mama: How to Reclaim Your Time and Yourself While Raising a Happy, Healthy Family
Fair Winds Press
Softcover, 216 Pages