If you’ve wondered “How does she do it?” when you see another mom running an amazing business, A Day in the Life of a Mama CEO, is for you.
This week, Mia Moran shares how she makes time for what she values daily and what has to give during a launch.
Mia Moran envisions a world where kids crave salads, moms feel healthy and energetic all day, and the whole family feels fabulous after every meal. She believes we can all do this if we make the choice and take one doable step at a time.
Mia is a best-selling author, speaker and wellness advocate. She created Plan Simple Meals to help other busy moms learn to eat clean, make family dinner happen every night, and manage food allergies and healthy weight with ease. Mia is the Mama CEO of PlanSimpleMeals.com where she guides busy parents to use what and how they eat to live their best lives.
She lives outside Boston, MA with her husband (who she met in highschool) and 3 kids — Felix (12), Orly (10), and Perla (7).
Every weekday, I wake up and sneak downstairs. I do a 10-minute meditation and write for 20 minutes (inspired by The Artist’s Way morning pages). When I don’t, I work differently.
My husband programed the stereo to start playing music at 6:30 every morning so the kids get up. When the music starts, I get rolling in the kitchen. I make breakfast: fresh fruit and something like oatmeal or granola for the kids, and a blender of green smoothie for whoever wants it. I admit to secretly hoping I get it all! My husband loves them too.
I also make sure we will all eat well for the day. I pack 3 lunches and snacks for the kids, and if there is any extra time, I move dinner forward or pull my own lunch together in advance.
Me and my green smoothie sit with the kids at the table and chat about the day ahead.
My husband leaves with the kids for school. I clean the kitchen and go on a run or to the gym.
I try to get showered and dressed by 9:00 (though some days, I work in yoga clothes!). I have from 9 to 3 to work. At the moment my job is getting my book done for the printer. My morning routine from 6-9 am, really helps me shift into creativity mode, and I try to do the most creative tasks— program creation, writing and design—between 9 and lunch.
I always take a lunch break. Lunch is usually a big salad, and I change up what goes on it. I try to read and sit away from my computer while I have lunch. Before I get back to work, I see if there is anything that needs to happen in the kitchen before dinner.
As an introvert, there are many times that I want to keep going with my creative work, but spending a few hours a day on my team, my tribe, and marketing has changed my business. After lunch I head into these connecting activities. I am heading into a launch of my course, so afternoons are focused on connecting with moms and partners, organizing talks, and showing up on social media.
Three days a week, I turn off at 3:00 and am a mom in a mini van. We keep activities to a minimum, but there are times when my daughter is in a play or my son has a season of soccer. When we can, we head home or to a friend’s house and get outside a bit before dinner.
I always unplug from 5:30 to 8:00 PM (or at least try!). We eat as a family every night, and I find that as I start to prep, everyone tends to come hang in the kitchen. I have not always loved to cook, but ever since I realized how what I eat maps to how I show up in the world, I place a lot of importance on it and find a lot of joy in the kitchen.
Sometimes my kids help me cook. Sometimes someone has homework and does it at the kitchen table. A lot of drawing, reading, instrument practicing, dancing, and sometimes a little whining goes on during that time, but I love having them all close by when they want to be.
I have always been strict about bedtime. It has gotten a bit later over the years, but everyone is still in their rooms by 8:00, and lights out for my 12 year old is still 8:30. I don’t really care if he stays up and reads, but 8:30 starts time for my husband and me. I do have to work evenings from time to time, running webinars (during launches for sure) and group calls for my programs, but I try not to schedule too much because that time is really important to us.
Every night before bed, I plan my next day. I start by writing out my big intention, and then choosing the 3 things that will get me closer to that. Lately, I also look at what worked and what did not work during the current day and what I am grateful for. Loving that practice so far!
I try to be in bed by 10:30 at the latest, though every once in awhile a good movie or book—or a launch—keeps me up a bit later.
Make It Work Everyday—and During a Launch
On a daily basis, I take care of a huge chunk of the day’s food in the morning. What we eat is really important to me. If I tackle it first, the day feels much more manageable.
When I sit to work at 9:00, I start with what needs to get done, and needs my creative mind, before checking email or Facebook. This is a new practice for me, and it helps keep me on track.
I have 4 work days each week—Monday through Thursday. On Fridays I spend extra time taking care of life and myself. I check on bills, go grocery shopping, go to yoga, meet up with a friend for lunch, get my hair cut . . . I also do a lot of my planning on this day because these activities tend to lead to new ideas for me.
When I am in launch mode, I am pretty good about staying on top of self care, but I am more likely to stay plugged in a bit more than I usually do. When I started in the online world, I used to disappear a lot more when I needed to be on my computer. As my kids have gotten older, I really want them to understand what is happening and what I am working to create — after all they are a big reason I do what I do. I find I have more night activities during a launch, which is a time that I am usually focused on my family. We all feel that, so over time I have gotten better about being really clear about what I am up to.
Get the Help You Need
Two days a week I have help at home. We have a nanny who also helps with laundry, cleaning, and picking the kids up from school. This has been my best hire. On my nanny days, I escape to a cafe or a coworking space for a change of pace if I am working in the afternoons. It is helpful for my brain to work around people from time to time! Sometimes I use this time as a chance to hang with one child at a time after school if my biz can handle it.
When Things Break Down
Sick kids, accidents, other family urgencies . . . I find I let go of the wrong things first in these situations, like exercise and good food, and get frustrated rather than being present with the urgency at hand. I am getting better at this as I grow a team and learn what actually needs to get done, but a lot of my business still rests on my shoulders, so I constantly work to not be a bottleneck.
In the past two years things have also broken down when I am launching the wrong thing. For me, I know my content inside and out but there are so many ways to present it. When I first started, I thought I would create weekly meal plans. This was not sustainable for me. It took me hours and hours and I was not teaching people the skills I am here to teach. The great thing about all breakdowns is they tend to lead to big growth.
One Take-Away Tip from Mia on Launching with Grace
Don’t let go of self care!
Thank you, Mia, for sharing a glimpse into your Mama CEO life!
Mia’s book Plan Simple Meals: Get More Energy, Raise Healthy Kids, and Enjoy Family Dinner is coming out in late May. Right now any mom feeling like food is the last thing she has time for, feeling like she wishes daily for more energy to get it all done, or feeling like she is not sure how to eat more veggies much less get her kids to eat them should check out Mia’s podcast and 6-week course (that she is launching for the 4th time now, with a new track just for mama CEOs).
Mia has created a special free class just for you — Mama CEO’s Morning Routine (bit.ly/MamaCeoMornings).
I love the way Mia really lives her values by putting so much food prep right away in the morning. It’s smart to get important things done early in the day before we get distracted or have our day thrown off course.
Mia eases up on her unplugged time during a launch, but sticks with self-care. What changes do you make to stay sane during a launch? I’d love to hear in the comments!