In Part 1 of this post, I likened my boys to clowns and feral cats to make the point that we parents can focus in the most hairy of situations...like shopping at Wal-Mart, Target or Toys-R-Us (ouch!) with our kids.
The ability to focus intently helps mompreneurs use a 1-hour naptime like it’s open-heart surgery. No time wasted. Laser focus. It allows a dad to maximize the early hours before others are stirring. In those moments, he gets more accomplished on his side business than many do in eight hours. It’s intense. It’s intentional.
Little momma (or big daddy), don't take for granted your ability to focus in hairy, tough situations. Not everyone can.
My belief…if you can purchase 85% of your intended items and get all family members back in the car with most of their clothes (not necessarily on, just available), you are ready to build a business or take on your next challenge.
Below are 2 more reasons why we who shop with our kids can succeed in life and in business.
Skill 2. You can prioritize.
What happens when we take Octopus Hands with us shopping is lots--and I mean, LOTS--of things get touched, yanked, dropped and smashed.
This is where our ability to prioritize (and to focus) comes into play. Yes, we technically need everything on the list…but when Sticky Fingers has touched 100% of the items our buggy has passed, it’s time to prioritize. What are the most essential things to buy TODAY…before I lose my mind?
A Kenny Rogers' Mantra
Know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em. Know when to walk away. And know when to run.
Have any words been written more true than these?! Thank you, Kenny Rogers, for a song about a gambler that so efficiently reminds us to prioritize! No kidding here, this song plays in my head in many parenting situations. And it’s definitely true in shopping…and in business.
That tire pressure gauge? Important but not as crucial as the pound of chicken needed for DINNER TONIGHT. So, when Poopy Pants has a blow out, we PRIORITIZE. Get the things needed for dinner and run out of the store.
That lady razor? A luxury that gets relegated to the bottom of the list when it’s 15 minutes until soccer practice. It’s fall so you realistically have several months to get that razor. Prioritizing at its best!
That face lotion promising to remove years of wrinkles? Imperative, yes, to your self-confidence. But, the screams from Sleepy Head are causing even more anxiety than your wrinkles. So you prioritize. Grab the milk and head home. (Your thinking--it took years to develop the wrinkles so waiting one more week to start your new beauty regiment is fine.)
These decisions come natural to us parents because the skill of prioritizing has been forged in moments of vomit, poop, tantrums and schedule conflicts.
We know that we can’t have it all, all the time, so many times we decide what’s crucial and do that. Then, we walk away—or run—from the less important things.
Skill 3. You challenge yourself.
Let’s face it--starting a business (or training for your first 5K or taking your first college course in 10 years, etc.) is a huge undertaking. It’s a challenge.
The fact that you brave Wal-Mart or, heaven help us, Toys-R-Us with your children shows you’ve got spunk…tenacity…willpower…the spirit to take on a challenge.
How do I know this?
Well, in these modern times of Shipped, Wal-Mart Pickup, virtual assistants, hired shoppers and more, we don’t actually have to shop with our kids.
But for many reasons, there are still some of us who brave the wild (not wide!) aisles of the store. With. Our. Kids.
We know what we are signing up for when we pull into that parking lot. Yet, we still unload everyone, dominate (or survive) the shopping and then pack everything and everyone back into the car when it’s over.
That means we love challenges! Right? We aren’t insane! Are we?
In business and in life’s great challenges, some people are going to think we are insane to chase our dreams. Other people are going to admire us. That’s just how it is.
People thought the Wright brothers were crazy for attempting to fly, but that didn’t stop them. Consider what they accomplished and how far the science of flight has come.
Shopping at Wal-Mart with your kids and mastering the physics of flight are basically the same thing—challenging. :) But, the Wright brothers didn’t back down, and we won’t either. (Cue Tommy Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”) We like a challenge.
This post is lighthearted. It’s an attempt to laugh at all the craziness we parents do and endure. This post is not a jab at Wal-Mart or any store. And, it’s not a dig at our children.
It’s meant to uplift you through laughter while reminding you of the skills you exhibit on a daily basis. And, if you choose to employ these skills in other areas of life, go for it.
Ask God for wisdom. If it’s His will, I promise He will give you the necessary skills and the time needed to take on this next big thing. (He never promised it would be easy, though.)
Surround yourself with confident, uplifting and honest people. Tell some of your closest friends and family members your dreams, and ask for their prayers and encouragement. Subscribe to and follow people (like me perhaps) that uplift you and that you connect with.
Lastly, develop a mantra or memorize your favorite Bible verse for the tough times (and to keep you humble in the good times). For me, “Everyone starts at 0” and “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” are on a continual loop in my brain.
And, the next time we pass each other in an aisle seemingly designed so little octopus hands can grab everything off the shelf…and the clowns have almost taken over the buggy but not quite, we’ll give each other a knowing smile. The smile that says…hey, momma, you can do anything because you’ve shopped at Wal-Mart. With. Your. Kids.
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