THE BLOG
01/22/2014 06:31 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Are You a Victim or a Leader? Your Choice!

Recently to my great surprise, I found out that the show 24 was coming back to television for a new season.

This is my favorite TV show of all times. It is filled with well-developed characters, intriguing story lines and suspenseful cliffhangers that end each episode.

If you are not familiar with the show, the entire season takes place during one consecutive 24-hour period. The day revolves around the main character, Jack Bauer.

If you don't know Jack, you should. He is the guy you absolutely want to be with should a natural or man-made calamity ever take place. One moment he is disarming nuclear war heads, the next he is interrogating terrorists.

While watching the show over the years, I remember repeatedly saying to hubby, "No one gets more important things done in a day than Jack."

And today, we are going to discuss how you spend your day. Some of what we say may sadden you; some of it may piss you off. But in the end, it will definitely help you. Because today, we are going to determine if the way you spend your day is actually helping or hurting your kids.

Now, I don't expect you to shoot down enemy aircraft or escape from a Chinese prison. But, I do expect and want you to be happy and fulfilled.

So hold on tight, because we are on our way for a wild ride.

We All Have The Same 24 hours in a Day

It's true; we all have the same 24 hours in a day. The working mom with six kids does not get more time than the working mom with two kids.

However, the big difference between each of us is how we use those 24 hours. And equally as important, is the difference between how each of us values our time and ourselves.

It saddens me beyond belief when I am speaking with a working mom and she complements me on something as simple as my manicure. Then, when I graciously thank her, the next words out of her mouth is something like "Oh, I wish I had time to get my nails done."

Well, here is a news flash -- you do!

However, in order to do so, you have to change your way of thinking.

Right now, most working moms put themselves last. Meaning they take care of everyone else and if time permits they take care of themselves. But, if time does not permit, they don't take care of themselves at all.

As a matter of fact, here is a list in order of whom and what they take care of before themselves:

Most Working Moms Priority List

• Kids
• Job
• Husband
• Parents
• Boss
• Friends
• Siblings
• House
• Church
• Kids School
• Employees
• Charities
• Neighbors
• Strangers
• Dog (and other pets)
• Working mom

There is so much wrong with the order of this list. But perhaps the biggest injustice is how our kids view it.

Let's face it, kids are smart. When they see this, they don't see it as "mommy taking care of everyone." The kids see it for what it is, "mommy not valuing herself." Which means, subconsciously, we are teaching our children how to be victims, the exact opposite of what we should be teaching them. We need to be teaching our children how to be leaders. True leaders value themselves. They understand that they cannot take care of everyone effectively unless they put themselves first.

First Things First

In order to change our actions, we first need to change our way of thinking. First step, throw away the list above and change the priority of whom you put first. Start taking care of yourself first -- today.

Yep, you heard me. The reason I am able to get so much done and enjoy my life is because I put myself first.

This does not mean I love my children any less than the working mom who constantly puts herself last. It means that I know if I am not healthy, happy and fit spiritually, physically, and mentally I will not be able to handle and take care of all people and tasks that I love and care about.

Here is what my world looks like:

Life-line System

2014-01-22-Lifelinesystem.jpg


It's Time to Take Control

I did not put the people I love and the important items on a list. Instead they are connected to me by "life-lines."

Since the people, tasks, things encompassing my life constantly fluctuate, so does the closeness of my "life-lines." They change depending on what's going on in my life and in the others closest to me.

Even though my mom lives in New Jersey, right now her "life-line" to me is closer than usual. That is because she has lung cancer. She had major surgery and is now going through intense and regular radiation. Because of this, I am spending more time and energy with her.

Notice that the kids' school is further away from me right now. Well, that is because it is summer time and school is out. So currently, I am not volunteering there.

It's important to understand that my "life-line" system is to be used for making sure you are the center of your universe and that you are taking care of yourself first. This way you learn how to get the most out of your 24 hours each day. When you do this you learn how to take care of the essential things first and realize other things CAN wait.

Everyone and everything is important. But depending on what is happening in your life, your "life-line" lengths will alter. Just because one is further away at any given time does not mean you love that person or care about that task any less. It simply means it does not require as much attention at this particular point and time.