Motherbility Mom is an ongoing feature spotlighting entrepreneurial moms. Find the whole series here.
Goals can be sneaky little buggers.
Health coach Jamie Mamerow gives a specific example:
Her client was a busy mom whose stated goal was to stop eating cookies and drinking coffee at 2 p.m. So Mamerow asked her a series of questions.
Why does she eat cookies and drink coffee? For a mid-afternoon energy boost.
Why is that necessary? She wasn’t sleeping well.
What would help her sleep better? Exercising on the elliptical after work.
What’s stopping her from exercising? Her kids needed her after school, and then she had to start dinner.
What would help her have time to exercise? Her husband prepping dinner instead.
Why doesn’t he? He doesn’t know what to make.
So … the solution for “I want to stop eating cookies and drinking coffee at 2 p.m.” wasn’t “drink water instead” or “stay out of the kitchen.”
The solution Mamerow and her client developed was to create a meal plan and communicate it to her husband, so she could exercise after work, sleep better and therefore no longer need a mid-afternoon pick-me up.
“It’s like trying to pull those layers away of what’s not happening? To make (the desired behavior) happen instead,” Mamerow said. “Those patterns were happening a lot with my moms.”
Helping moms is kind of Mamerow’s specialty.
A mother of three herself, Mamerow works with men and women through her health-coaching business Dot Your I, and she’s beginning an after-school program for kids in the Oregon school district.
But this summer she’s launching a new program titled Top Mom.
The 12-week program has two parts: Part 2 focuses on the health and wellness of the mom herself. But Part 1 addresses “environmental stressors” that wreak havoc on health-and-wellness goals. Part 1 helps moms with meal planning, communicating with kids and spouse, getting a chore system going, setting family expectations and making sure everyone follows through.
“Moms are already superheroes,” Mamerow said. “Sometimes they just need a little extra support.”
Hannah Schecher met Mamerow last fall and signed up for Dot Your I’s 90-day coaching program over the winter.
“It’s kind of the same thing as going to the gym and getting your own personal trainer because you set goals and have homework every week,” Schecher said.
The 90-day program includes weekly phone sessions with Mamerow. Schecher said phone sessions were great because they easily fit around her already-busy schedule, even when she was out of town.
“One of my goals was, (since) I just went back to work full-time … I feel like my life is out of control because I’m working all day and then I come home (and still have the family things to do),” Schecher said. “I have lots of help from my husband, but I still feel like I’m doing it all. And I needed some semblance of control.”
Working with Mamerow, Schecher developed a “command center” for her home, so (for example) her kids know what chores they need to do after school before they earn electronics time, without Schecher having to direct them.
“She never told me what to do,” Schecher said. “She’d say, ‘I invite you to … try this, and if that doesn’t work, come back to me next week and let’s see what works.”
“I think seeing her was more of a ‘Oh, I do know what to do, but I’m not doing it. Why am I not doing it?”
A path unseen
If goals can be sneaky, well, it turns out careers can be, too.
“I’m really enjoying the path I didn’t foresee for myself,” Mamerow laughed.
A former kindergarten teacher, Mamerow quit to spend a decade as a full-time, stay-at-home mom.
Wanting to be healthier, she joined a gym and started playing volleyball. That led to being an “accountability leader” for a two-week, small-group session at the gym.
Liking that experience, she worked for a year on her life and health coaching certifications, followed by an additional, one-year mastery program (which concludes in August). Plus, she’s taking business and marketing courses to help her develop Top Mom.
The point Mamerow emphasizes: Her programs are designed to help moms make their lives easier — to identify changes that will help — not to make moms feel guilty about what they’re currently doing.
“You’re already coming (in) pretty awesome (as a mom),” she said. “But how can you up your game even a little bit more for the benefit of yourself and your family?”