What Working Moms Can Learn From Olympic Athletes

It’s September.

If you’re the mom of a child from preschool through college age–Congratulations!

You survived Back-to-School 2022.

Take a deep breath.


Acknowledge your accomplishment.

Do something to celebrate yourself.

You deserve it.

For working moms, back-to-school time is like the Olympics.

Every year at this time, working moms all over the world have to go above and beyond their usual heroic feats of balancing their work and family responsibilities to go the EXTRA mile.

  • Extra shopping: school supplies, school clothes, groceries
  • Extra planning: school lunches, school drop-offs, carting kids to sports practices and extracurricular activities, attending school events and sporting events
  • Extra laundry: enough said
  • Extra emotions: emotions tend to run higher around transitions such as back-to-school, and exponentially so if you have a child in the throes of the hormone wars of youth

All that to say that back-to-school time is tough on working moms.

Brutal even, at times.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

If you want to sail through back-to-school time next year, you have to prepare for it.

Train for it.

Like an Olympic athlete.

What does that mean?
What do elite athletes do that the rest of us mere mortals don’t?

🏅 They prioritize self-care.

  • They take care of themselves PHYSICALLY and MENTALLY so they can reach peak performance.
  • They prioritize sleep, fuel their body and brain with healthy food, and avoid things that sabotage their performance.
  • (If you want to learn more, I have several chapters about this in my book).
  • They train hard, for sure, but they know that post-workout REST & RECOVERY are where the real gains come from, so they plan for this and commit to it.

🏅 They know that high performance is a mental game.

  • Physical skills and abilities are the necessary starting point, but elite athletes know that winning begins and ends in the mind.
  • They practice like a winner and show up to games like a winner.
  • They look at setbacks as a normal part of the process and not a moral failing.
  • They know that having a bad game or bad race doesn’t mean they are a bad athlete or a bad person.

🏅 They rely on a formal support system.

  • No man (or woman) is an island.
  • It takes a village to raise a child.
  • There is no “I” in team.
  • We are better together.

Elite athletes don’t expect to succeed without help.

  • They don’t think they “should just know” what to do and how to get better.
  • They don’t think that driving themselves harder and harder to exhaustion is the solution.

This is why they have coaches – to help them get better faster.

  • To help them achieve their goals.
  • Improve their performance.
  • To help identify their challenges, their opportunities, their blind spots, and successfully navigate around them.

Elite athletes don’t consider it a failure to ask for help–they consider it essential to their success.
They also rely on their informal support system; teammates, parents, partners, friends.
The load is lighter when shared among many.
Elite athletes don’t think they are solely responsible for everyone else in their lives,
But somehow as moms, we have assumed that responsibility.
Even if no one has asked us to or expected that of us.

🏅 Elite athletes manage their time exceptionally well.

  • They plan effectively
  • They honor their commitments to themselves and their training schedule and
  • They don’t waste time on things that aren’t aligned with their priorities.

So …

If you want to sail through Back-to-School January 2023, you can train for it.

  • Prepare for it.
  • Practice planning your time. Practice executing your plans.
  • Take care of yourself physically and mentally.
  • Know that your performance, in any role, begins and ends in the mind.
  • Get help. You don’t have to do it alone.
  • Hire a coach if you want to get there faster and more efficiently.
  • (BTW, I happen to know a really good coach if you’re in the market 😉).
  • Rely on your other support networks.
  • Celebrate your successes and know that the “failures” or “bumps” are just part of the process.

You got this!

And if you ever want extra help along the way, I’d be honored to be your guide!

Here’s to celebrating you,