For me, Mom Management™ holds a number of meanings, with Managing Mom Before Everybody Else™ being most important. I have always felt that being a mom is a lot like being a manager. The skills we use to run our homes are very similar to skills used to run a business.

Regardless of our individual circumstances, we share a common bond– that of being a mother. Being a mom is an incredible experience, but it is also very consuming. We have all experienced an incredible change from our pre-mother lives. Most of these changes are very positive, but one that we all have trouble dealing with is a loss of our sense of self. At some point, we realize that we have let being a mom become our entire identity. When my children were two and four years old, I realized that Tracy Lyn was missing. In tears, I realized I had lost my sense of self. In looking for myself, I decided to try doing a triathlon, thus setting one goal. Wow! The focus of that one goal, one thing just for me, re-established my sense of self. That initial goal led to five more triathlons, becoming an entrepreneur, a professional speaker, and now an author. During the long process of finding my true self again, I also became a better mother.

As I realized, being a mom is not who we are, but rather one of the many other roles that we fill in our lives. The term “Mom Management” was created as a reminder that the “me” in “Mommeee!” still exists and needs to be nurtured. Flying provides us with the perfect analogy. At the beginning of each flight, we are told that, “If flying with children, make sure to secure your own oxygen mask first and then secure theirs.” As a Mom, we need to take care of ourselves first so that we can better meet the needs of our families. Rather than put ourselves second, we need to secure our oxygen masks first.

“When we truly care for ourselves, it becomes possible to care far more profoundly about other people. The more alert and sensitive we are to our own needs, the more loving and generous we can be toward others.” ~Eda LeShan

Knowing we need to care for ourselves and doing it are two very different things. As moms, we feel that we are being selfish if we take the extra time to pay better attention to our own needs. However, it is not selfishness but an absolute necessity for moms to be cared for. By taking time to explore their dreams and determining their priorities, moms have the chance to learn to manage themselves and become their own friend!

“Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be a friend with anyone else in the world.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Excerpted from the book Mom Management, Managing Mom Before Everybody Else © 2003 Tracy Lyn Moland.  Used with permission of The Gift of Time. All rights reserved.