Oct. 1, 2021

Fresh Take: Whitnee Hawthorne On Strategies For Working Moms

Whitnee Hawthorne is a Fortune 500 executive. She's also a mom of two little ones, and the host of the SAVVY WORKING MOMS podcast. Whitnee explains how to delegate more effectively and why choosing joy every day is crucial to living our best lives.

Whitnee Hawthorne is a speaker, an author, and a Fortune 500 executive. She's also a mom of two young children. As the host of the Savvy Working Moms podcast, Whitnee supports and encouraging working moms to become the women they want to be.

In this episode, we discuss

  • why "working dad" isn't a term
  • why working moms are still "the mom," even with supportive spouses
  • the strengths that working women bring to their workplaces
  • why men also need to advocate for systemic change in the workplace
  • how all moms can choose to find joy
  • Whitnee's four-step plan for effective delegation

Get the transcript for this episode on our website: whatfreshhellpodcast.com/whitnee-hawthorne

Find Whitnee on social media @SavvyWorkingMom and on her website: savvyworkingmom.com.

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Fresh Take 45- What Fresh Hell Podcast: Whitnee Hawthorne

Margaret: Hello everyone. And welcome to a fresh take from what fresh hell. Laughing in the face of motherhood. This is Margaret, 

Amy: and this is Amy. And today we're talking to Whitnee Hawthorne, she's a speaker and author of fortune 500 executive, a mom and the host of the savvy working moms podcast. She has a passion for supporting and encouraging working moms.

She's also the founder of the savvy working mom website, which is a platform dedicated to helping working mothers be the woman they want to be. Whitnee is currently the vice president of customer service for jet blue airways. And she is also the mom of a three-year-old and a 15 month old. welcome Whitnee.

Whitnee Hawthorne: Hi, I'm so glad to be here. 

Margaret: Thanks for coming on amidst all the other things you have going on in your life. So little kids. Big job. What brought you to this work in terms of like helping other moms figure this? 

Whitnee Hawthorne: Well, when I had my first son three years ago, I was in a place where I had a supportive boss.

I was in a supportive workplace. My husband was supportive and it was still really, really hard returning from maternity leave. I am a woman who needs to work, but also wants to work. I can't imagine myself being a stay at home. Mom. I think working is just a part of who I am. And so going back and knowing that about myself, that I'm a woman who.

It has ambitions and a career and once to work. And then was also a mother. I had a lot of trouble figuring it out. And so I started talking to other moms like, Hey, how are you doing this? How are you figuring it out? Because this is really, really hard for me. And they're all like, no, it's hard. It's really hard 

Margaret: to something 

Whitnee Hawthorne: here with the hard.

And it was like, oh, well, if it's so hard, like why are we talking about it more? It really felt like I had nursed. So I nursed both my kids and I feel like nursing is one of those things that are also can be really, really hard, but no one tells you, right? Like in the movies you like hold the baby to your boob, to your breasts and they suck all.

And you're like, oh, this most beautiful experience ever 

Margaret: stare out the window at 

Whitnee Hawthorne: race. The sun comes through the window and. 

Margaret: I've seen those pictures not accurate. Yeah. 

Whitnee Hawthorne: And then you like get down to it and you're leading in cracked nipples and the baby won't latch and everything is miserable. I remember I had a lot of trouble with my first son.

He had a big tongue tie and going to a meeting and it was just a circle of weeping mothers trying to get their. To latch. And I was like, this is so hard, but no one told me about it. And I felt like the same thing returning back to work. Like this is really hard and no one's told me about it. And for me, I find strength and solidarity and I find answers and understanding what has worked for others.

And so knowing that other women were telling me this isn't easy for them as like, we got to talk about this more. Like if we can just all talk about the fact that it's not. Easy. And there's nothing wrong with us, for it being challenging to work and be a mother. And if we can share what is working for us, the tips, tricks, and hacks that we figured out, then the world will get better because I believe that when mamas are better, everybody's better.

Like your house has happier. Companies are more profitable communities improve. So if we can share with each other and get better, we're going to make the world a better place too. And that's kind of where the platform came from. That's great. You're an 

Amy: executive with a really big job, and I'm curious what you see.

Strengths are in terms of, you know, what we bring to the boardroom. There's so much about like, oh, we're making it work in a task and then it's all on women and it's not fair, but what's the value add that we 

Whitnee Hawthorne: bring in? What is the thing we do better? So the Kenzie put a study out maybe a year and a half ago, and the study proved that the more gender diverse your company is the more likely you are to be profitable.

More gender diverse companies have higher profits. So gender diversity really is a profitable thing for an organization. I think one of the things that I'm really passionate about is seen, I think I know I'm very passionate about seeing women in leadership roles and not just because it's going to make a company more profitable, but because.

Actually improve. I think the way that companies function and work, when I look at women and what we're bringing to the table, especially as mothers, I do think we see the world in a little bit of a different way, right? There's always that thought about, Hey, the future is there and this is the future. My children are going to inherit.

So we might be less likely to do things that are going to have a negative impact on a community or an environment. I think we also bring the sense and ability to. And understand others in a way that you just don't before you become a parent before you become a mother. And so that hearing and understanding allows you to take in more information.

And the more information you can take in the better decisions you can make, there are certainly an innumerable number of transferable skills. That come from being a mother, right? For sure. Yeah. I mean, look, crisis management. I thought I was good at it before I had kids. Let me tell you about my crisis management skills now.

I mean the ability to stay calm when things are completely chaotic and hectic, the ability to I call it the mama MacGyver effect, right? The ability to make, do with what is not with what you don't have. Right. I think. Is all directly transferable to an organization. So you bring that solution oriented problem solving ability as well as increase in enhanced communication skills from becoming a mother and from being.

Margaret: I think it's the kind of thing that you hear in kind of meme form a lot. Like, well, if mom's ran the world, like everything would be better, but it's nice to hear that the numbers actually bear that out as well.

 When we go to our Facebook page and say, we're talking about working moms.

What's hard. What we're hearing a lot of is all of it, all of it, all of it. Double all of it. We thought we were at max and now we've doubled the hardness, the idea of schools and daycares shutting down and, you know, people without coverage, people feeling they're tapping out and really overburdening, maybe their older parents to take care of kids.

And then just the generalized anxiety around what's going on. What are you hearing about that? And do you find that companies are seeing. And responding 

Whitnee Hawthorne: to it. So I'll take that last part. First, our company is seeing and responding to it, I think, across the board. Yes. Right. So I coach a lot of women and run a couple of mastermind groups and talking to these women, it seems like companies are getting it a lot more than they did before.

Are they taking enough action to address it? Are they taking action fast enough for me? No. Right. But at least, you know, I guess, you know, being aware is the first part and companies are now more aware than they have ever been about. What happens when women become mothers and are also working. And that awareness is the start to conversation, conversation around what policy updates can be made around, what benefits might need to be changed.

Also around on a day-to-day basis. One, an individual manager of a person can do to support them. So I think the awareness is the first step and we have it more than we've ever had, which is great. Is the action happening fast enough? I don't think so. And I also don't think it fully. On companies, as individuals, as individual entities.

I think it's also largely about society because the thing that I hear the most from women, whether they are working to support the income in the household or working as the primary breadwinner is I'm still in. Right, whatever happens. I'm still the mom. And what that translates to for me is I'm still the primary caregiver.

I am still the person who everybody counts on to do all the things. And so no matter how supportive the partner in the relationship is whether you're co-parenting you have a partner, you have a husband, you have a wife, like it's still. This feeling there's one individual who is still the mom. And if they're working, they have that pressure of continuing to perform at their job while also continuing to perform for everybody else who depends on them.

And the pandemic certainly has exacerbated that. And I feel as if it is really a societal thing that we need to collectively work on updating. So there isn't one person in the household who is always feeling so responsible for everything related to the success of that, the household. 

Amy: Do you think that the pandemic, I mean, everybody remembers that guy who was on the news and his two little kids ran into the room behind them and it was like, you know, we can't know you're doing this from home that has gone away.

Right. We're all doing this with the dog and the kid and you know, and the husband walking by in the background, whatever it is, Good for working women in the end. Do you think that will help change things? Long-term 

Whitnee Hawthorne: I do. So I think that it's going to help and because you don't happen to the guy it's happening to men, they're home now, too.

They're working from home and they've got kids and they can see that. Whether you're the primary caregiver or not. If you've got kids in the home, there's a whole nother thing happening. And maybe in the past, some of these folks, either because of the childcare that they had access to, that not everyone has access to, or because of the support from the spouse that they had, that not everyone had that same level of support, especially if two parents are working full-time jobs, they get to see what this reality is and what it feels like.

And can hopefully therefore empathize a little bit more with. Everyone else in their organization, because at the end of the day, we are people who show up to work. We're not robots are worker bees, and there's only so much compartmentalization that can be done. And I really believe that, you know, you bring the suckage from home to work and you bring the Sukkot from work home.

Margaret: So that is well said. And I also think it has facilitated some conversations. My husband worked at home before the pandemic. Then when the pandemic started, he kind of kept going down to his office as if like, oh, I just already worked from home. Nothing's going to change.

And I kind of had to sit down with him and say, the whole world has changed and, you know, I think sometimes it's easy to characterize the dudes as you know, clueless and they don't care.

They just keep going. But that is sort of a natural lane that my husband was in. And I do feel like after we had that conversation, he realized it was going to involve a conversation on his part to say to his work. You know, my wife is taking on all of the home care and homeschooling three kids. 

I think that the men have to be involved in these conversations too, because otherwise it's kind of us doing all of the labor around 

Whitnee Hawthorne: that. Yes. I think that's so important. What you're bringing up, it's this idea of. Probably we're not going to quote it the right way, but what's happening is a bit of a form of oppression and the oppressed can not free themselves.

Right. It's the oppressors who actually have to take the action to free the oppressed that repeats itself over and over again in history. And so when I think about the pressures that have been put upon women who work in are also mothers, we ourselves aren't alone going to be able to remove that pressure.

Right. We need the advocates. Others, largely men to step in and say, Hey, what's happening here. This has to change. And for it to change, I, myself as a man need to have these conversations. I, myself, as a leader of an organization, need to make sure that we have the right culture and expectations of our employees.

And I need to live up to that even if I personally am not impacted by it, or even if I personally. Don't feel the impact of it. If I know this is happening for my organization, I need to be the one to, as the person that pays in the place of power to actually start to help drive this change. So we need the advocacy for men, especially men who are in positions of power and leaders at organizations to start to change what this dynamic is.

Margaret: We're going to take a break and we're going to talk solutions for ourselves after this. 

Amy: We're talking to Whitnee Hawthorne of the savvy working moms. So Whitnee, while we're waiting for all this change to come, let's talk about how the working mom can find a little bit of joy amidst all this grind.

You said that that's possible. 

Whitnee Hawthorne: I think the biggest thing for me, the place to start when it comes to joy is to own the fact that it's a choice.

We have a choice to be joyful and we have a choice to be happy. And that doesn't mean that every day is going to be full of joy. And it doesn't mean we aren't going to have sad, horrific, traumatic moments. It doesn't mean that grief isn't real. What it means is that in any given moment, throughout any given day, we can choose to find something that sparks.

Joy and us, and that is part of thriving in life. That is part of how we bring our best selves to the world, but also how we don't, you know, stay stuck and in the co-pilot seat of our own life. And so when I think about finding joy, enjoy being a choice, it means that you have to then act on that choice, right?

You have the choice to be joyful. You have the choice to find joy and knowing that you have the choice, you then have to take the. Because knowing is never enough, right? If you don't take action, nothing changes. And so for me, finding joy, especially in those troublesome moments is about reflection and easy reflection.

So the best way to be joyful and a crappy situation is to have previously thought about the things that bring you joy. Right? Cause in the moment you're not, it's just so hard to actually find the joy. And so I keep a gratitude list. Gratitude is extremely important. I keep a list of the people I'm grateful to have in my life, the experiences that I've had, the things that I own, that I am grateful for and those crappy moments I can pull it out and look, and just remember, even though right now is horrible and awful.

I still have that ability to live in Paris and it was amazing. I still had amazing meals when I lived in Dallas. Lots of barbecue way into brisket. Right? I still have healthy children, right. There are things that I can go through that list. And even if I am in a really bad situation, they remind me that there is some joy.

I think the other thing, especially when it comes to work is making sure that you take control of your day. And that you not only control your career in the path of your career, but you control how you feel each day. And one way to do that is to think about what brings you joy. I once was in a place where I had delivered on a massive project and after that project really wanted more for my.

But my boss and surrounding superiors at the time, they couldn't give me a path forward. And so what went from being an amazing experience and amazing job, I just showed up and felt great each day turned into like pushing the button and so board and my numbing wishing I wasn't there. That sucked a lot of joy out of my life.

And so I took a moment to think about, gosh, well, every day I'm going to work. We spend so much time at work, half of our waking hours, a lot of us spend at work. And so I thought this is not good. I can't stay like. But I can't leave cause I need this paycheck. Right. So what am I going to do while I look for something new, how am I going to make my days better?

And what I realized is what I was really missing at work was being fulfilled. It didn't feel fulfilled the way that I did when I was working on that big project and delivering new things. And so I took a moment to think about what actually fulfills me. And there were really three things I love interacting, coaching, supporting.

Always have at one point in my life owned a gym, like it's, this is just something that really drives me. I also really like big picture and strategic thinking and I love dad jokes. Like I like silly ridiculousness. 

Margaret: I did not see that third one coming. 

Whitnee Hawthorne: Yeah. If I talk long enough on this podcast, I'm sure I'll embarrass myself at some point.

Margaret: You better deliver. Now we need a dad joke before the end of this episode. 

Whitnee Hawthorne: I though these are things that fulfill me and these are all things that I can bring. To work, regardless of what my remit is, regardless of the task I have to deliver on. And so I started actively seeking out women who might want advice.

Right. I see someone who just bombed the presentation and they were frustrated, you know, at their desk. I was like, Hey, let's grab a coffee, let's chat for a second. Right. That brought me fulfillment. I looked for other people who had big projects going on and was like, Hey, do you need a sounding board? You want to bounce some ideas off of someone.

Right. And it wasn't my project, but at least I could get in some of that big picture thinking. And yes, I got a little. And in every finance meeting, really dumb jokes. Right. And I mean, the ones that you've heard before, but it made me laugh. You know, 

Margaret: you have to give us an example of one. Now you have. It's 

Whitnee Hawthorne: so sad.

It's so sad about the parallel lines. They love each other, but they're never going to meet 

Margaret: solid, solid. I'm telling my kids that one when they get home today. 

Whitnee Hawthorne: So it's so bad. It's so bad. Well, you know, bringing that silly part of myself to work was something I never did because I always felt like I had to be super buttoned up, you know, especially being a black woman in corporate.

Like I have to be buttoned up. I have to be ahead of everyone. I need to do twice as much just to get the same. And that didn't allow me space for silliness. But when I was like, I'm done here, who cares? Right. And so doing those things actually really brought me a lot more joy. I ultimately did end up leaving that place.

But I had better days and more joy at work because I was actively doing the things that fulfilled me. And today what I've realized is I can keep doing those things, even when I still actually enjoy my job. Right. I love what I'm doing right now, but I'm also doing those other things because that just makes it bigger.

Right? Joy is not something that's fine. I it's infinite. And so the more things you can do that bring you joy, the more joy you will. There's no end for it. And I love 

Margaret: that you take into consideration because I've read some stuff on this topic. And right now, after decades in the working world, I have a job that is of my own creation that I love doing.

That is fun. That is fulfilling. Like I'm in a great spot. Being a working mom. But I know that for many years I had jobs that did not involve a lot of joy. You know? I mean, it didn't, if you're going to work because you just have to get health insurance, or you just have to feed your kids, or you just have to kind of string as much together and you just feel like you're on the hamster wheel of working.

I think the stuff you're talking about is a more elusive and be more important at the same time. So, is there a difference when you're talking to somebody who has a job that they love and that they have career advancement, potential, and somebody who is really just desperately trying to get health insurance for their baby?

Whitnee Hawthorne: Yes, of course. Right? Because ultimately it comes down to an individual and what their needs are and why they're doing what they do and what their circumstances are and what your position is. Our circumstances, our challenges, our issues collectively are not that unique.

 This is the tough love part. Like you're not that special. 

 But you really are unique right? In that it's the combination of those challenges that each of us faces that create this different need that we all have.

Right. So me, myself, I have a big job, a job that's very demanding. It's an operational focused. It's 24 7, right? I have on paper it's nine to five. But look, if there's ever a thunder storm, a rainstorm, a bombing at an airport, right. My job turns on and it could be 2:00 AM on a Sunday, or it could be 7:00 PM on a Saturday.

It doesn't really matter. Right. So I have a big operational job and I have two little kids. And I have one of my children has some serious health issues, right? So this is the combination of things that, you know, create some challenge for me. There are other women out there who have teenagers who are mostly self-sufficient and they are also caring for an elderly parent and they don't have a supportive husband.

I do have a supportive husband, right. There are also people out there who are working. Taking a massive commute over an hour each way, just to be able to get that health insurance or just to be able to get that paycheck. And while everything else in their life might be lined up, they need that job with a long, long commute.

So they can have the health insurance, right. All of these different challenges, they come together to say, okay, as an individual, your. Unique. And then it turns into what have I seen that work for those individual challenges that I can bring and say, collectively, these different things might work for you, right?

So if you have a long commute, here are some things that I've learned that worked for people who have long commutes. If you have a lot of struggle with getting support from your husband, here are some things that I've learned. For people who need more support from their husbands or their partners, if you have a job that is very demanding and on 24 7, here's what I've learned that helps people to get through that.

If you have the combination of the three, let's talk about all three of those things, right? So I think it really depends on an individual and where they're at and what their circumstances are, how you can go through and talk to them and address them. Ultimately, though, when it comes back to this idea of joy, It still is that choice, right?

Whether you work because you have to, or you work because you want to, whether you love your job or you hate your job, you still have the choice to find joy. And I encourage everyone to actively seek it. Whether you are in a moment of it's easy, right. Because it's easy when you're in the moment of everything's great.

I love my job. My husband's supportive. My kids are doing well. They're super healthy. It's easy then. So why not in that easy? Time, take the opportunity to create the practices that will help you to find joy in the hard times, because ultimately they do come right where human suffering happens and the more prepared you can be to deal with that suffering, the easier it will be to get through it.

If there's 

Amy: anything like a working mom needs, right? That all of these women, all these different situations, you were just talking about, all of them have in common that they have more to get done than they have time. Do it in, and I love this focus on joy because usually we start from a place of like, just delegate, just get better at getting more done.

And joy is a very, it's a distant star. Yeah. It's a distant star. I love that. It's like, it's approachable and you figure that out and that's a priority, but so is delegation. And so I wanted to talk a little bit about, because you talk a lot about that in your work. What are the sort of strategies you recommend?

For women to get more done by enlisting other people, I 

Whitnee Hawthorne: guess. Yes. So delegation is key to thriving. I believe like you said, there's just, we all have more our to do list is much longer than we're ever going to actually complete. And so delegation is really important. I like to go through a process that I call

You can like dad, when you actually do it, if you want to. 

Margaret: My kids will call you cringey. If you do though, I'm not gonna lie. I don't think it's a loud dabbing is over. Apparently I tried to dab the other day. My kids told me I was crunchy, but anyway, 

Whitnee Hawthorne: EDA and it really starts with eliminating first. You have to eliminate look at the things that are going on that you don't really need to do and cut those out and then delegate.

That's what the D stands for and then look to adjust, which is, can you do things a little bit differently? Can you cut out some steps? Can you do things a little bit more quickly and then ultimately that right. So the similar tasks that you have going on, try and get them all done at the same time when it comes to

Delegation is by far one of the more difficult things for people to do. And I think there's two big reasons for that. There's two fears that I found people have when it comes to delegating. The first is nobody's going to do it like me. Right. Let's do it myself. Right. Their response to that. Yeah, exactly.

I'll just do it myself. Nobody's going to do it like me two year olds. I do it. I'll do it myself, except for my son the other day. It's so funny. We were, I was making breakfast, which he usually likes to help me do, but we had a friend over and he was busy playing with his friend. I was like, Hey, pops, you want to help me make the eggs?

He was like, you do it yourself. 

Margaret: Delegate. 

Whitnee Hawthorne: I love that. So the what with delegation, it is this fear that no one's going to do it like us. And here is a little bit more tough love. No one's going to do it like. No one is you. No one can do it like you can, but that's O K if you can define what a successful outcome is and explain that to someone, they can get you that outcome, there is more than one way to scramble an egg.

Right? And I say that because I like to make breakfast, actually I do. I like making breakfast. I like making hot breakfast for my family that usually involves some form of eggs, often cheesy scrambled eggs. I make my exit a very specific way. Right. I crack them. Oh, you make them the right way. Let's be honest.

That's exactly the best way. The best way is the way that I make them. How dare you want to make them differently? I, but I take the eggs, right? I crack them in a bowl. I add a little bit of milk, some seasoning. I beat them. I put them into a cold pan with butter on low heat and slowly stir them when they are almost from my.

This is how I make a, 

Margaret: that sounds delicious. That is the right way to make scrambled eggs. You have been 

Whitnee Hawthorne: told. Thank you. That is yes. Please write this down. If you write down nothing else. Well, my husband does not make eggs the same way, but we still really want to have breakfast on a Saturday. And like I mentioned, sometimes my job.

Uh, requires me to be working on a Saturday. Sometimes I'm just too tired and sometimes I have a client that I need to talk to. And so sometimes I have to delegate and let him make eggs. And does he make them the same way? No, he cracks his eggs. He does season them. He's from Louisiana. He's a good cook, but he puts his eggs in a hot pan and they're cooked in all of maybe 60 seconds.

It's insane. Not the same texture, but are they still hot? Are they still nutritious? Do we still get to sit down together and eat something? That's not a smoothie or. Yes. And that's the outcome that we're looking for. And so I always have to remind myself, right? No, one's going to do it like I do, but that's okay.

Right. As long as we can focus on the outcome, the other big fear. That I find stopped people from delegating is this idea that if I delegate it, I'm less valuable, right? Society has told us as women, that we are valued for what we can do for others, for how much we do for those around us and not for who we are intrinsically and as ourselves.

Right. I mean, even think about the idea of working mother. No one says working dad, we only say working. Because we expect women to do more. And that's how they value us is by how much we do outside of ourselves, right. Men are just expected to work and do them. And that's enough. Women are expected to work and take care of the kids and take care of the house and take care of the husband.

And if there's time left, maybe take care of themselves too. And that value come from. How much are you doing for those other people? So the moment you stop doing something or ask heaven, forbid, ask someone else to do something for you. It can feel like you are suddenly less valuable. And that is something very deep that I found after talking to lots of women.

Not a lot of us Harbor. And if you think about it just for a moment, pause and think about, okay, you have enough money to pay for someone to clean your house, do your lines. Do you do it without guilt? Probably not many women. Don't right. And that guilt not comes from. If you have enough money, you have the budget.

Why aren't you doing it? Well, because I should be doing it because that's part of what makes me valuable to my family. But I would challenge that and say, It does it right. If you could trade off that time of doing the laundry with instead being with your family, playing with your kids on the floor, or hanging out with your teenagers, or even just having a moment watching Netflix with your husband, sitting on the couch, that's actually more valuable to your family.

Then you fold in some clothes. Right. So this idea of being less than, or giving away some of our value by delegating is something that a lot of people work through need to work through so that they can feel free to delegate without guilt, because if the guilt is going to eat at you, it really takes away from the whole reason that you're delegating, which is to free you up to be your best self.

Margaret: I love that. All right, we're going to take a quick break. And then when we come back, we're going to talk about goals, goals. 

Amy: We're talking to Whitnee Hawthorne, time to talk about goals because any working mom needs to have a clear sense of where things are headed right in her home and her career in both places.

What do we get wrong? When we think about 

Whitnee Hawthorne: setting goals? That's a really great question. What do we get wrong? I don't know if it's so much wrong as there's usually a missing step. When I talk to people about. Creating their goals. And that's having a deep feeling behind the goal. Right? We can create these goals, but if you don't have a deep feeling, something that really stirs you, then your goal probably isn't big enough.

Right. So it's really comes down to that idea of thinking about your why and what is going to move you through the tough times. So let's say, you know, your goal is to lose weight. You're like, I want everybody to, most of us have been there. I have not. I have definitely been there several times. It's like, okay, you want to lose some weight?

You wanna lose five pounds, 10 pounds, 15 pounds, whatever it is, you want to lose? Cool. You want to lose it? And you're like, I would be so excited if I hit that mark that 15 pound mark. Well, two, three weeks into it. It's going to get old. And so you have to write the, eating, the salads, the. Not eating the ice cream, the not eating the chocolate, the not having the wine in the margarita is this is probably just my personal problem.


Margaret: I think you're speaking to all of that. No, sounds 

Whitnee Hawthorne: familiar. Then not doing those things can get old. So you really have to come back to remember like, well, why did I even want to lose that 15 pounds in the first place? And if you can focus on that, right. That big feeling, it's going to help move you through.

So to illustrate that, what I would say is like, if you want to lose 15 pounds, All right. Well, I want to fit into my jeans better. Okay, cool. You're gonna fit in your jeans better and how, why? Well, I'm gonna feel good then. Okay. Where are you going to feel? Good. Well, because I'm going to really be at that place where I know my husband used to look at me a certain way and maybe now he doesn't look at me quite that way.

And I want that. I want my relationship to improve. Right. You get a little bit deeper or. I wouldn't lose that weight because I'm on meds that I need to get off my meds because they are annoying and I don't feel so healthy. Okay. Well, what happens when you do that? Why do you want to do that? Well, I'll be able to play with my kids and have more energy with my kids.

Okay. What happens when you do that? I'll probably actually be able to be around longer for them. I want to see my kids get married, right? This is the type of like when you can dig in and have those deeper understandings about why you have your goal and what's driving it, that big feeling. And you can remember.

It will help to pull you through when you don't have the motivation that you need. Right. When you're not having those days of the high of just, oh, losing the 15 pounds, it's going to be great. 

Margaret: I think another thing that people get wrong about goals is kind of forgetting about them. So I run my own business now and Amy and I spend a lot of time.

Goal setting. And what's our five week plan. What's our five-year plan. Like we have these conversations all the time because we run our own business. And I think to myself and I. Talk to younger women in my life. I wish I had been doing that about my own life when I was too often, I feel like I saw myself at work as a cog, a useless cog and the giant machine that I had no agency in.

And that I didn't do goal setting at that time because I was like, I just need this page. Because I'm really trying to be a writer, be an actress, whatever else. And that I recognize now that I wasn't doing goal setting what, I didn't feel like I had a lot of agency over my own life. But goal setting kind of gives you agency over your own 

Whitnee Hawthorne: life.

Yes. A hundred percent goal-setting is what creates that agency, because you can take any situation that you're in and say, how can I leverage this to get me to my goal? Right. And if it's a job that you don't. That paycheck you're getting is helping you get to your goal, right? Because it's sustaining you in that moment.

And I really just like what you said about goal-setting does create agency for you and your life. You can set goals and then use the situation that you're in to get you there. I think that's another thing that people tend to focus on. And I just did it when I was talking about, you know, the dieting thing is we often focus on what we can't.

But what we should really do is reframe that to focus on what we do have and what we can do about it. Right. So for example, in dieting, rather than saying, all right, I can have the margarita is, and I can't have the chocolate instead. It's like, well, I can have salad and I can have grilled chicken and I can take a walk.

Right. Instead of saying, I can't sit on the couch. Right. So if we focus on the things that we can do, it gets our brain going in a way where we start to create that agency for ourselves. Well, okay. I'm working nine to five. And I'm stuck here in this office. It's not really driving me towards my goals, but it does sustain me cause I have the paycheck.

What can I do outside of nine to five to move me to, yeah. 

Amy: You're not waiting for your dream job, right. To start living a joyful life and start having goals. Yeah. It's parts. 

Margaret: Yeah. Life is what happens to you when we're busy making other plans. \ you just said the word stuck.

And one of the things I like a lot in your work is talking about this feeling of being stuck. I feel like that was the overarching emotion of my life for a couple of years. When I had young kids, my career, I was so. Duck, I am supposed to figure out what's next while I'm raising three kids under four, I guess I'll just like lie on the couch and be depressed. What's your advice for people? 

Whitnee Hawthorne: The feeling stuck comes from a place of not knowing what you want.

Right. When you don't know what you want, when you don't have that clarity, it's almost impossible to take action. That's well 

Margaret: said. I wouldn't have thought that, but that's exactly what it was. It was like, what's next? I guess I'll just change 

Whitnee Hawthorne: diapers. Or I just take the next job that comes along because it's better than what I'm doing right now, even though it might not be what you really want.

And so that stuckness. Is something that you can unstuck yourself, right? You can move through it. And the first step really is to get clarity on what you want. And I have four magic questions that help people to get clarity and one exercise that I'll share. 

So as a working mother, as a woman who works and is also a mom, I think you have nine areas of life. You have your career, which is how you're making your money. You have your finances, which is how financially secure you feel. You have the relationship with yourself. You have with your, sorry, you have the resonance with your kids.

You have the relationship with your partner. You have the environment which you would have it. So your home, your office, your car, where you're physically spending your time, you have your community, which are the adults and the support network you have outside of your immediate family. You have. Your personal development and you have your sense of fun and adventure and your health.

I can't remember if I said health or not. Um, but you've got these nine areas. And if you can go across those nine areas and answer these four questions, you're going to get a lot of clarity and it's, what do I want more of? What do I want less of. What is going well and what is not going well, really simple questions.

But if you take the time to actually answer them and answer them from a brave place, not a place of what my mom thinks is going well, what my husband thinks is going well, what, you know, my best friend thinks is going well, what you truly believe is going well and not going well. 

Margaret: My younger self thought going well would have looked like that's a very interesting point is not later.

Other people's sense of those 

Whitnee Hawthorne: questions, if you can get, and it takes courage, clarity takes confidence and clarity takes courage because there is just so much pressure outside of us to be a certain way. And so if you can really truly answer those questions, you're going to get the clarity that you need to start to reprioritize what is going on.

And then you have to take some action right directly after that. When you have such 

Amy: great advice and you have online courses at the savvy. Dot com that I wanted to make sure you had time to tell us about tell us what our listeners can find when 

Whitnee Hawthorne: they go there. Oh, thanks. Yes, I do. I have courses. What I found is that women who work in are also moms don't have a lot of time.

And so I've created these digital courses. They are highly actionable. I'm all about taking action. So they're highly actionable. Usually they come in bite-size most of them are a series of. Exercises that you do, it takes five minutes or less to watch the video. And then you can create, take the exercise that day, right?

So you take the course over time, but each day you will get better. And it only takes five minutes to watch the video and take the action. And I've got them right now and bundles. Um, the first bundle actually is clarity and confidence. That's the one I suggest everybody start with. It will help you to get unstuck.

It helps you get that clarity and the confidence that you need so that you can really actively start to create. That you want to have. And from there it just grows. But I would say if you've not experienced me before or taking my courses, start with clarity and confidence, because it's something we can all use more of.

Margaret: I loved this conversation. Tell us where else we can find you online and where people can hear you. 

Whitnee Hawthorne: Sure. At the savvy working mom at the savvy working mom on Instagram, Facebook, my podcast is the savvy working mom and the website is the savvy working moms. So you can find me wherever you Google the savvy working moms.

Margaret: Awesome. And of course we'll link to all of that stuff in the show notes. I loved this conversation. It really put a smile on my face today, not just the parallel line joke that did, but everything, 

Amy: Whitnee. Thanks for talking 

Whitnee Hawthorne: to us today. Thank you so much for having me. This was amazing. Thanks so much. .