This Sunday is Mother’s Day! To show appreciate to all of the moms out there, we’re taking a few moments to talk to the matriarch of the Teichman family, Diane. She has three day jobs (1. Home care nurse, 2. Ambit Energy senior consultant, 3. Certified Legal Nurse Consultant), is mom to three kids (ages 13, 11 and 7), successfully manages her diabetes with clean eating and regular workouts and still manages to squeeze in weekly date nights with her husband (who you all know as Fred!). How does she do it?
Read on to find out and take a moment to give thanks to your mom or another working mom, single mom or stay-at-home mom you know – it’s truly the hardest job on the planet!
Q. You have three jobs and three kids, how do you make sure nothing falls through the cracks?
Plan, plan and then plan some more! Fred and I do communicate a lot and that’s incredibly important. He is just as involved in the daily lives of the kids and the household as I am and I know that is why we are so successful. I know I couldn’t work full-time and be as efficient as I am without his help.
Q. For those of us that are somewhat less efficient, give us some planning tips!
We have a clipboard that sits on the island in the kitchen and all of our important papers that require some sort of action get clipped onto the board in the order they need to be taken care of. Fred and I both sort through it nightly or every other night to enter dates and times things are due into our phones. We even set alarms on our phones to remind us if necessary!
Q. So that takes care of the paperwork. What about cleaning or cooking?
It’s all about prioritizing. Usually on Saturday or Sunday I start planning for the next week by making a list of what needs to be done including events and activities we have on our schedule. I put these into my calendar first and then I add other tasks like cleaning or organizing. This helps me wrap my head around what we need to do versus what it would be nice to get done. If our week just looks too hectic to squeeze in any of the “wish list” stuff it gets pushed to the weekend.
I also plan out our meals for the week and create a grocery list based on our menu. The key is to let the kids in on the meal planning! We then put our weekly menu up on the chalkboard – that way Fred can help start dinner if he knows I have a busy day.
Q. How does your family help out around the house?
We all help – but it has been a struggle getting the kids to want to help. We have something that I call ADLs (activities of daily living) – I stole that from work. These ADLs consist of brushing teeth, making beds, showering, putting dirty clothes in the laundry room, emptying the dishwasher, picking up after the dog, feeding the dog, etc. Then, we have the LTFs (links to fun) which are actually chores – but sound a lot better! We came up with “links to fun” so the kids would know that if they got them done this would be their link to do something they wanted to do. Usually our LTFs are weekly tasks like cleaning bathrooms, dusting, cutting grass and vacuuming.
Q. Describe your typical weekday routine.
I usually get up around 6:00am and the two older kids get up between 6:15 and 6:30. Fred takes care of breakfast and packing lunches for all three kids and I will put away laundry and start organizing my day. I leave the house between 7:30 and 8:30 depending on when I have my first patient that day.
When I get home from work I have to sit down and make notes on that day’s patients. I try to have all of my charting and phone calls done by 5:00pm – but that rarely happens. Instead, I take a break and make dinner (or Fred makes dinner if I really can’t take a break). While there isn’t a steadfast routine for this time of the day I can say with certainty that I do not watch any TV until I climb into bed and then it’s only for about a half hour until I fall asleep!
Q. What part of your day is most enjoyable?
When I have the time to put together a delicious, healthy dinner and my 13-year old tells me that I’m a great cook and that he’s happy we don’t do carryout all the time like a lot of his friends – that’s worth it! Of course, like any other mom, I also enjoy the peaceful moments when we get to say goodnight to everyone.
Q. What part of your week do you look most forward to?
Of course it’s Thursday and Friday! That means the week is winding down and I’ll have some time to be home with Fred and the kids and get a lot done around the house. I also use that time to get in some good workouts and cooking time – both of which I enjoy.
Q. What modern technology do you rely on most to manage your life?
I use the calendar on my phone to keep track of appointments and plans – it’s a real life saver!
Q. What key items to you carry with you at all times?
I always have extra snacks and water or juice in my car along with wipes for any sort of spill or accident. I’m a nurse, so naturally I have a small first aid kit, sun block and bug spray in the summer. As I mentioned earlier, my life’s schedule lives in my phone so I always carry that with me along with extra car chargers. I keep a pen and paper handy and usually have some sort of CD I listen to in the car – like Darren Hardy or the ones that come in Success magazine.
Q. When you have too much on your plate, who do you turn to?
I turn to my husband, Fred. He is my main help and stress reliever. He always seems to know just what I need and what help to give. I also have a sister and brother that live close by and are extremely helpful with the kids and helping out with errands. When I am really stressed I will find something to clean or organize quickly that gives me a quick sense of accomplishment right in front of my face.
Q. When was your last vacation?
Last June we went to the Northeast for 18 days. It was a family road trip in our minivan and it focused on Fred’s mountain bike race in Whiteface, New York. Along the way we also hit as many Ambit meetings and presentations as possible.
Q. Do you believe women can have it all?
No – not at one time. I believe that something will always suffer. What I do believe is that you can experience it all across the span of a lifetime. If you know that and stop wanting everything at one time maybe the journey will be more peaceful.
I also think that women could benefit greatly by working on self-improvement and self-esteem and developing a reservoir of courage so that throughout the years – no matter what kind of life situation you are in (stay-at-home mom, working mom, etc.) – you are always working on yourself instead of feeling like life is on hold until the opportunity arises to go back to work or the kids are older. I firmly believe that nothing is more attractive than a strongly confident, authentic woman who is self-aware of her weaknesses and is willing to acknowledge them and improve on them daily.
Q. If a large amount of money fell into your lap, what would you do with it?
I would do the obvious and become debt-free. I’d also take the opportunity to really focus on my health (I’m diabetic) by working out and eating a completely healthy diet on a daily basis (things that are often interrupted by work schedules.) Then I would work on paying it forward. I’d love to see how many lives could be changed by believing in someone and helping them change their life in a way that they would want to leave a legacy and pay it forward to someone else.
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Fred & Diane Teichman
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