Featured Mama ~ Angie Andrews Creator, Angie Andrews Inspire

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My Story…My name is Angie Andrews.  I am the creator of my business, angieandrewsinspire.com.  I blog and do one on one coaching centered around the idea that self-love and self-care are the foundation for both joy and personal transformation.  The goal of my business is to support and hold space for women and men to fall in love with themselves and nurture themselves thereby allowing them to share deeper more connected love with all those around them.  My business is new, but my goal is to not only blog and coach, but to speak publicly about how important self-care is and to hold retreats to allow individuals to connect with themselves and gain clarity around their purpose.

Career evolution…I have almost 20 years of experience in Ophthalmology both as a technician and as a practice administrator.  That was most of my career up until recently.  For several years I have been experiencing a shift in my life, a shift towards personal and spiritual transformation.  Last summer I went on a retreat and since that time have been very clear what my purpose is here, hence the creation of my business and my departure from the world of Ophthalmology.  (Well mostly.  I still work as a consultant in healthcare to allow myself the time to grow my business)  My goal is to blog/coach and speak as my full time job in the next few years.

There have been many challenges being a woman and being a mother. Working full time and helping to run a household is exhausting.  I am very much a nurturer, so I would say for me the most difficult piece is finding the balance between too much mothering (spoiling at times) and not enough.  I still struggle with this sometimes.  When I am home I want to do things for them and give them everything because my time is limited.  But I also realize this can be a disservice to them as it hinders their independence.  This is a work in progress for me.

What is most rewarding… to me is that I set an example for my kids that women can work and be good mothers.  That being independent and productive is important.  Just as importantly, for me I love working and contributing in this way.  Being of service in some way is extremely important to me.  I want my kids to see that.

Supporting working mamas…in my last place of work, which was the practice I ran, was very conscious of supporting our working moms.  We created a space where they could bring their kids to work when they had a childcare emergency.  We were always flexible to allow them to make appointments, field trips and other special occasions.  It was a very supportive environment.  When my business gets big enough for me to employ others, this will be a big focus for me.

Freedom and flexibility…It really desire to be able to take time off to be with my kids and my husband.  I want to be able to travel and work remotely from wherever we are.  I have only recently discovered that this is what is true and essential for me!!

My Family…I am mother to 2 boys. Evan is 7 years old and Cameron is 15 years old.  With this big age difference we are often very busy dealing with 2 totally different sports/activities schedule.  For instance juggling Drivers Ed with day camps.  Evan is very outgoing and super energetic.  He always makes us laugh, but at the same time keeps us on our toes.  He has zero fear and will try just about anything.  He likes school, but mostly for the social aspect.  Sitting still and being quiet are not his favorite.  Cameron is also very social and makes friends very easily.  He is also very kind and pretty intuitive for a 15 year old.  He excels is school and really enjoys writing.   As a child he was much more reserved than his younger brother.  He was also much more timid and afraid of trying new things.  My boys have an amazing relationship.  Cam is such an amazing older brother.  I feel very blessed by this.  They certainly have their moments, but that is to be expected.  My husband works at a retail job close to our home full time.  His job is close to home by design.  I travel often for work, so he is often parenting on his own for days/weeks at t time.  I am the primary breadwinner at this time.  Steve (my husband) is amazing with the boys and does a fantastic job holding down the fort while I am gone.  He spends a lot of time trying to foster their independence which is great.  It is often hard for me to come home from being on the road for week and not spoil them and wait on them.  As I said this is a work in progress.  I certainly don’t want to undermine all the work he does when I am gone.

My chaotic organization…I have always handled most of the bills, so I continue to do that.  With online banking and banking apps, it is easy for me to handle that while I am on the road.  We share grocery shopping, cooking, laundry and other chores.  Who does what depends on if I am traveling or not.  For instance, when I am gone, the boys make piles of clean laundry in the living room and get dressed from that each day.  It works for them and at least they are clean and clothed.  I could not tolerate that if I was home, but when I am not, they do whatever works for them.  I had to learn to let little things like that go.  I did finally give in recently and hired someone to come to the house once a month to do a full cleaning and we fill in in between cleanings.  I have historically fought this, but I finally decided it was necessary and boy has it been amazing.  Now when I am home I can focus on time the boys and Steve instead of cleaning.  Best investment I have ever made!!!

Family fun…We like to spend time outside together playing basketball, lacrosse, football or whatever the boys are into at the time.  Many times because we are so busy during the week or I am gone, we just try to hand out together on the weekends.  Maybe go the farmers market or watch a movie.  We don’t do a lot of vacations, opting to do more small weekend trips.  When we do go away, we go to our A-frame in NH or to see my parents in Florida when they are there in the winter.  I am planning on much more traveling in our future.

Me time…I spend at least an hour a day on me.  I have set up a morning practice where I get up and journal or meditate and/or do yoga.  I have created a boundary around this time because I know it will help me start the day with focus and intention and allow me to be more present for everyone, including my husband and kids.  I often will take a small amount of time in the evening to switch gears from work mode to being at home mode. The activities I enjoy the most are yoga, mediation, writing blogs and hanging out with my family.

I wish…I had more time to just hang out with my boys and my husband.  It is hard to find down time with 2 busy boy schedules and 2 full time parents.

Inspiration…I find inspiration in other people, in nature, in prayer.  There are lots of places I find inspiration.

My essential must have… is time to care for myself and fill myself up so I can share more with others.  It can look different depending on the day and what I have going on, but I take the time every day.

Tips for us working mamas…I would say that my biggest take away has been to be present in whatever way works for you and your family.  Put down the phone, the Ipad or the computer and just BE with your kids and your significant other.  You don’t have to do anything special or extravagant.  Just be there and listen and enjoy the moment, even if they are brief because life gets in the way.  Oh, and don’t take yourself to seriously.  Life is too short for that!!

My schedule… is all over the place.  There are months when I travel 3 weeks.  That can mean leaving on Sunday and getting home on Thursday or Friday.  Then some months I am home more.  I have to get up early to get in my me time and I try to head to bed soon after my younger son goes to bed so I am rested in the morning.  I wouldn’t say I have the balancing part all figured out, but we seem to manage each day as they come.

My challenges… would be the same as most mom’s.  Trying to get my work done, keep the house in order, pay attention to my kids, my dogs and my husband and stay sane while doing it.  A challenge I have that only just realized is that my role as the primary bread winner has lead to me living in the masculine much more than I should.  At my core, I am very feminine, but that has fallen by the wayside as I have taken on more responsibility and more control.  I am working to turn that around so when I am not working, I am in my feminine.  It is not easy after years of living the other way.  Taking time to switch gears from work Angie to home Angie has been helpful.

Take each day as it comes…  I find planning to far ahead or thinking too much only overwhelms me.  I would rather focus on each day as a gift and deal with it as it unfolds.  It certainly helps that I have a very supportive, very helpful husband working it all out alongside me.  I would say teamwork is a big factor!!

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