15. Time Management & Marriage with Helen Abelesz

September 29, 2021

In This Episode
A good life and marriage require time management. Helen Abelesz, a Life Coach, works with women who are overwhelmed and need help prioritizing themselves and everything else in their lives. In this episode, she gives advice and tools to use to make your marriage happier and how to feel calm every day.

Highlights
00:55 Helen Abelesz works with busy moms who forget to put themselves as a priority and look after themselves.
03:36 Taking ourselves out of the situation and having a mantra or positive affirmation can help us when we are feeling overwhelmed.
05:48 The reason we get overwhelmed is that we try to do too many things. Multitasking is not always the best.
07:00 Rebbetzin Bat-Chen agrees that it is important to focus on one thing at a time, and gives examples of how she disconnects from her phone to be with her children.
08:59 When it comes to tidying up, Rebbetzin Bat-Chen shares a tip she learned from her friend, who looks at her house from another perspective–on top of a chair!
10:22 Music is another fun way to get the kids to clean up at Helen’s home.
13:54 There are subcategories to time management, such as systems that can be put in place to make your life flow better.
14:28 We make millions of decisions every day. Planning ahead helps control stress and allows your day to run smoothly.
16:50 Decision fatigue happens when you get exhausted from making decisions. Rebbetzin Bat-Chen uses if-then systems to plan ahead and is her key to success.
18:11 The first video uploaded on Connected for Real’s YouTube page is all about Rebbetzin Bat-Chen’s journey of working on herself to stop that all-or-nothing nature and doing just one thing: prayer.
19:49 Everyone has their one thing. During the Marriage Breakthrough Retreat, one of the participants shared what they do to create their system.
20:34 A listener and friend of Rebbetzin Bat-Chen asks Helen the question: How to have a cleaning up session? Three-year-old doesn’t want to help with his mess and it will take less time to clean it up myself, but on the other hand, we miss on the concept of cleanup after you play.
21:58 From one parent to another, believing in your child is so important in parenting. Trust that your child will do what needs to be done when he/she is ready, whether it is to clean up or make bigger decisions.
24:58 Helen is asked what to do when you’re a night person, and your husband is a morning person. This has a lot to do with time management because not everyone is in the zone at the same times of the day.
28:53 Hashem made us different on purpose. It is natural to be different from your spouse because you learn skills, tools, and abilities from each other.
31:13 Women can forget to put themselves first, even in the littlest of things, such as food.
32:05 The woman is the center of her world, and marriage revolves around her. If a wife doesn’t prioritize herself, everything can fall apart.
33:27 In coaching sessions with Helen where clients say that they don’t have time, they examine their weekly schedule and what they do. Helen helps women look at how they are using their time.
34:27 Journaling is a cool tool that Rebbetzin Bat-Chen uses to write down hour by hour what she remembers she did.
37:43 Remember to be kind to yourself. You don’t have to be doing too many things at once.

Links
Helen Abelesz: Facebook | Website
5 Surprising Ways to Improve Your Marriage
Marriage Breakthrough Retreat
Sleep Lady Method

Videos Mentioned
Get Clarity – Be Productive – Stay Consistent Video
Parenting Styles & Marriage – Video

Let’s Connect!
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For more information about Connected for Real, visit the website!

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REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Welcome to the Connected For Real Podcast! I’m Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman, a marriage coach for women in business, and my mission is to bring God’s presence into your life, into your marriage, and into your business. Let’s get started. The following is one of the many conversations I had with experts and professionals about real life and how it affects marriage. Let me know your takeaways on Instagram or Facebook, @connectedforreal. Enjoy. And we are live. Welcome I am Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman from connectedforreal.com. this is Helen. We are going to be talking about time management and how it affects marriage, as my specialty is marriage and Helen’s is time management. Helen take it away. What do you do? Who are you? Go ahead.

HELEN ABELESZ
Well, first of all, I’m just so excited to be here and to be chatting to you tonight, so thank you for inviting me, Bat-Chen. It’s already a treat for the evening. I’m Helen—Helen Abelesz, and I’m a life coach for women. I love to help women to feel calmer, to use their time well, and to just feel like their life runs smoothly. I feel like to do that, having good time management practices really helps them to feel calmer, for their life to run smoother, for their kids to be happy, and for it to be a happy home for everybody.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
I’m already calm.

HELEN ABELESZ
[Laughs] So that was what I do that is what I do. I work with moms who are feeling overwhelmed and busy, busy, busy, and don’t feel like they have enough hours in the day to do everything they want to do. Often, they’re working, have kids, run the home and are married—a million things. Sometimes it feels overwhelming and feels like too much. I think a lot of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves on top of all of that about getting it right for everybody, getting it right for your husband, getting it for the family, for your work for your kids, for your parents, and sometimes we forget about ourselves in the picture and put ourselves sort of as the lowest priority. So a lot of my work I find is also helping people to remember to find time in their week to make it a priority to do something they love to do or to look after themselves, look after their bodies, exercise, meet friends, to go on a date night—have time to do fun things. It’s not just all about giving to others. I think us, moms, are not very good at giving to ourselves.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Okay, so first of all I want all of the very busy and overwhelmed mothers out there to just know that you’re not alone. I find that a lot of the things that you’re saying resonate because I am one of those people who just likes to do a lot of things and wants to get into everything, and sometimes I have to pull myself back to the center and like, “What is really important to me? What is not?” priorities. It’s just really hard sometimes because, especially now with corona, it feels really easy to blame it on the fact that the kids are home, there’s no schedule, and there’s no whatever up in the air and so we’re sort of just trying to pedal through it, juggle it all. It feels like everything’s up in the air, and so I would love if you could give us one tool or trick that could refocus us in an instant or just something that you could do quickly. Obviously, we want to work on the big picture and really get to organize everything, which is why your work is so important but what is something that an overwhelmed—everything is going wild in your head—how do you pull it all together? I have my tip. I’m going to say it later, but I want to hear what you have to say.

HELEN ABELESZ
I feel like I’ve been put on the spot now. I have so many. I’m not sure which one to pick. What I like to do is if I notice that I’m feeling overwhelmed at that moment, what happens is we get overwhelmed and stressed, and then we start to lose it a bit with those around us, which is normally the kids, and we don’t handle what’s going on so well. So before that happens, if we can notice just the minute before work—it’s just feeling too much and we’re feeling so overwhelmed is to take ourselves away from the situation. Go into the bathroom. Lock the door and take a few deep, slow breaths. I’m very into having a mantra that you say to yourself—a positive affirmation that helps you to calm yourself. For each of us, we have to find the right sentence that resonates with us. Something like, “I can be calm,” “It’s okay,” “Everything’s going to be okay” or whatever—a sentence. Just give yourself literally a minute even if the kids are banging on the bathroom, “Mommy, where are you?” I still just try and switch off. Give yourself those couple of minutes of just breathing and saying something, “I’ve got this. Everything’s going to be okay,” and think what you need to do next. “What’s my next thing that I have to do now? What is my next step to do?” Sometimes it’s doing less. I think sometimes the reason why we get overwhelmed is we’re trying to do too much at the same time. Like you try to help this one with the homework, bake a cake, answer the phone, write an email, and do reading with a little—and it’s just too much. It’s too much to say, “Okay, what is the one thing that I need to do?” I’m gonna sit with this child and do that, and the rest I’m gonna do later. Do one thing at a time. Multitasking is not always the best. We think, “Oh yeah, we’re so great at multitasking,” but it means sometimes that our attention is on so many things. I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that where you’re reading a book to your kid and your mind is just not there. You’re not there. You’re trying. You’re reading. You’re thinking about the phone call. You think about thism and you’re also at the same time, “I just have to quickly write that note on your phone to somebody.” You’re trying to do a million things, and another kid’s asking you questions in the middle and you’re totally lost. You’ve no idea where you are on the page of the book. I mean, you’re not reading it in a nice way to your kid because you’re trying to do too many things.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
You know what helped me? You just brought up a couple things. First of all, I really like that you said one thing. What is the one thing that has to happen right now? Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I don’t notice the time is passing and then suddenly everybody’s starving. It’s like, “Oh, oops. Is it already 7:30?” and so there’s so many things up in the air so I have to stop myself and say, “What is the one thing that needs to happen right now—is that they need to eat and everything else can wait,” and that sort of focuses me back and brings me back to the center, where I now know my purpose in life is to feed these children and that will be a success. Like you were saying, trying to read a book and trying to play with your phone—I find that when I have my phone in my hand while putting the kids to sleep during that hour—that is something that is really hard for me because I really, really found I’m trying to fake myself out and say “No, I’m not addicted, and my phone is just a tool,” but it really is so difficult to just put it down or get away from it. It’s so hard. So I’ve actually been making little bits of tricks—put the phone to plug in while I’m with the kids or whatever. That’s one of the times when I noticed that if I have a phone anywhere near me between 8 and 9 at night, when I’m trying to put everybody to sleep, because now it’s summer and nobody’s going to sleep before eight but at least they should go to sleep before nine. I just feel like, “Ah!” So I’m trying to go with the flow. I’m not fighting it. Obviously, eight o’clock—it’s still light out. It’s very difficult to get the kids into bed and I have some older ones who are not going to follow along, but at least the younger ones should get in there and I find that it really helps when I disconnect from my phone and just be like I’m not here for the next half hour or for the next hour. It’s gonna be okay. It really is. So that’s a really good tip. The one thing and the getting away from your phone I think are two really big things, and my tip by the way, when my house is a total wreck and I just don’t know where to start—so I had a friend who is also a coach. We were in a friends get-together. She said she gets up on a chair and she looks at it from a different angle. She says it makes such a difference when you see your house from a different angle. She stands up on the chair. First of all, your kids are just gonna stop everything because you just did something crazy right but you stand up on a chair and you suddenly see the couch, the floor, the table, the dishes, and everything is all in front of you. It’s just there to see, and then all you need to say is, like you were saying, “What’s the one thing that if I do this will make a difference?” So, sometimes it’s the table. If the table’s clear then it’s this close to being filled with food or whatever comes out of the fridge type of thing, or just sometimes it’s the floor. If you can’t walk all over it, then there are toys all over my floor. Baruch HaShem, my kids are alive and well, and everything here is happy. So this is something that’s really practical. Just do something different, which changes a little bit the mood in the house in general, and then also it allows you to see from a different perspective. So, that’s a tool.

HELEN ABELESZ
Yeah, I’ve never tried that. I’m going to try. It sounds good. With the tidying up at the end of the day—my kid’s are big now. When they were little, I would put on some music and say, “We’re just going to clear up for the length of this song.” Put some really fun song on that is exciting. So we’re just going to clear up for the length of this song or two songs so it’s just very short and sweet. “The song is going to finish now. Just quickly and put all the Lego back in that box, all the animals—it adds a bit more so rather than, “Come on. Clear up, kids,” and no one wants to do it. Music is a great tool to changing atmosphere in the world in general.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
So, here’s a problem. The music comes with a music video and they want to just sit and stare at the phone. I’m one running around, “Let’s clean up. Let’s clean up. The music is almost over,” and the kids are lined up on the couch watching the song.

HELEN ABELESZ
Oh, no. That’s no good. So maybe you need to have one which hasn’t got it. You need to have a cd or one which doesn’t have a video on it.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Olden days—when we actually had music on a completely different—

HELEN ABELESZ
But don’t let them watch on the phone. Say, “The phone—” I don’t know. You could try.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Barcuh HaShem. Our house eventually gets cleaned up before Shabbat. We use little shows to get them to do it but Friday is the one day where everybody knows the house has to be spotless and then Shabbat comes in and we start the new week again. Of course, every night we try we clean up the table. We fill the dishwasher. We have a timer on our dishwasher that goes on every night at midnight so that we don’t have to think about it we just it’s a system that we put in, which actually we’re going to talk about systems because that has everything to do with time management. “I put the phone music on and place the phone on a high place.” That is such a good idea I have tried that. The good news is we are all tall so my children—my oldest daughter is actually taller than me. Thank God. So it’s been it’s been a journey. It’s exciting every time you come up with something new. You put it up in a high place and then they find it or you put one of those Bluetooth things. “There are many songs without videos here.” Oh, I’m loving these comments. Keep them coming. Yeah, yeah. You’re right and thank you. I will take all your advices and try this, but I really the idea of putting on a song and then they know it’s gonna be over because that’s one of the things that my kids have a hard time with. It’s like, “Ima, the second you say we’re cleaning up, this could last all hour where’d you say just the table, then you say also the couch, and then you say the floor and it never ends.” The word boundaries is really important here also from our end—is just to make it really clear what we expect and when it’s going to be over. I think they’re going to cooperate a lot more if we’re really clear about the square of this—the container in which we’re cleaning up. Thank you for all your comments if anybody else has a question or a comment about time management in general, we will address any and all questions and also we want to talk about marriage and how it affects your marriage. So if you have any questions, feel free to send them in. I really this whole thing with the comments and questions. It’s fun. So under time management, I feel there are many subcategories. So we have the systems that you could put systems into place that make your life sort of flow better because like I was saying, in our house every night the dishwasher is filled and then in the morning it’s emptied and it’s for sure clean because hopefully somebody turned the knob. It usually is always clockwork. This is just something that I don’t have to think about, which in the past we could just go on and on for days until somebody decides to do the dishes. What else is a system that really helps?

HELEN ABELESZ
I’m very, very into systems. I think that the more you can plan ahead, it just means that at the at that time when you’ve got to quickly make dinner if you have to start thinking up a new recipe and a new thing what to make it’s just too much and your kids are hungry already and they’re in bad moods because they’re hungry, that’s too late. You need to have thought about it before. I really like it. I I’m very into having a meal plan. I don’t know about you but there’s so many millions of decisions we have to make every single day. One less decision to make is just a relief for the mind because there’s just too many decisions to make. So if I know that we’re having meatballs and spaghetti on Monday nights, and I don’t have to think about it and I know I’ll always have those ingredients in the house ready and I’ve maybe made double last week, so this week I can just take out, it just means that when it gets to dinner time, everything just runs more smoothly. When things run more smoothly, when you have systems in place, like you have a system when you go to the supermarket, when you go grocery shopping and you have your list of what you’re buying so you don’t have to keep popping out to the to buy the things that you forgot to buy. If you have all the ingredients home, you’ve got everything ready, time you eat dinner and everything’s in a set time, your whole life runs more smoothly and it makes the home a much calmer place. Often when it’s dinner time, that is when the husband often comes home. I know corona is changing. They’re home all the time—some of them, they’re working from home or whatever but in general and so when the husband comes home to that chaos that is dinner time for some of us, that is not a great feeling. He’s had a hard day at work, he’s coming home, and you’re finished and still not made dinner yet and the kids are hungry and fed up—that is not a great setup for a marriage and a family. When you have a set system, you’re having spaghetti meatballs on Monday nights, it’s all ready and that you’ve got the food and you went to the grocery store and you have it and everything runs to plan the whole atmosphere is so much karma.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Right, so what you said before the decisions and something that I really is they call it decision fatigue, where you just get so exhausted from making all the decisions and that is something that changed my life. I just understood how exhausted I am in my head from all the things I have to think about, and I didn’t even think of all the little details until I heard about it and sat down to think about it. What happens if you’re running late? What happens if—when I was taking upon myself Davening every day, one of the things was the what if. If-then sentences. So if I run late then I’ll put a timer to Daven Mincha. If I have to take the kids then I’ll Daven after I get home. I had all these if-then systems in place to not have to think about it. It’s such an important thing for me that I sort of planned ahead and it made me it set me up for success. That’s what I’m trying to say. It really did, and this is something very specific. I feel sometimes my nature is to be perfectionist and if I can’t get my whole life in order, then there’s no point in getting one thing down. What’s the point of having a meal plan if your whole life is still a chaos? I really feel like I worked on myself in the last couple of years to stop that all-or-nothing and really just do one thing. You guys could see my video—the first ever video I made on YouTube is all about my journey and how I got to where I am today. The idea was that I had to think of one thing that when I do it, my life flows and my energy is high that day, and when I don’t do it the day is choppy and energy is low and it’s just terrible. The answer for me, and it’s just very different for every person but the answer for me, was prayer. It was Davening in the morning or anytime—just any Davening because I was with six kids—and Baruch Hashem. Everything is just all over the place and of course, you just have such an easy way out. Just like, “Oh whatever. It’s okay if I just talk to Hashem, and be like, ‘Hi. What’s up? Can you help me here?’” It just felt like I needed it for myself, and so the combination of taking something for yourself and making it a priority, and then also planning ahead with how you’re going to make sure to fit that into your day—I don’t know how to describe it. It’s just that is something that I found to be a power tool. I don’t know a power something, where you’re putting yourself first which is you’re prioritizing your health, your well-being and you’re planning ahead of how you’re going to make that happen. Suddenly, it just sort of affects and trickles into everything else in life and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It’s just this one little sliver of your life and you’re just focusing on that. When corona hit, I did a workshop and everybody had to say what was her one thing. One lady said, “I just need to be horizontal without shoes for 10 minutes in the middle of the day,” and so that was amazing. I told her exactly what to do and we planned it all out. There was one that said she needs to dance and one that said she needs the joyful movements. She just puts on music and just does whatever movements come out and she just felt that’s the thing she needs in the day, and these are little things. Ten minutes a day for yourself but when you do that consistently and create a priority, the system and everything, you suddenly find yourself in a different place. I love getting the feedback afterwards, so it’s so fun. So there’s a question and also there is a hi from one of my friends from 24 years ago, who was with me in elementary school, so that’s so fun. It’s really crazy that you could not talk to someone for so many years and then they find you on YouTube and it’s like, “Yay!” The question is, “How to have a cleaning up session? Three-year-old doesn’t want to help with his mess and it will take less time to clean it up myself, but on the other hand, we miss on the concept of cleanup after you play.” So what do you think about that question?

HELEN ABELESZ
Yes, I think we’ve all had that question. I think there are some days when you’ll just do it yourself and you cannot you don’t have the patience to sit there and spend 10 minutes doing something that will take you in one minute and you’re rushing to get out. It depends on the situation. If you’re about to rush out, there’s no time to do it but there are times when you want that to be a teaching lesson, and so you say, “This is going to teach him that. I know it’s going to take us 30 minutes to tidy up one thing and that’s okay. I’ve got the time and I’m just gonna do that today,” but I don’t think you have to always get them involved if it’s too much for you. I think you have to be kind to yourself and sometimes do it as a teaching tool but not always. I think that all-or-nothing thing is doesn’t work. Sometimes you can do it and sometimes you can’t. That would be my answer.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
I love that answer and I think I’m going to add my answer because I love that we’re going back and forth, and ping-ponging here. I think that one of the most important things in parenting is—we’re obviously talking about marriage here but we’re having so much fun with parenting—one of the most important things in parenting is belief in the child. Ima (mother) is from the word Emun (belief), to have belief in the child that he’s going to know how to do this and when he needs to, he will. So it’s not like, “I need to teach him how to tidy,” and tell him a million things a million times, and show him and make him do it and whatever. I think that just being able to keep it light and if you need help—if it was your friend and she didn’t tidy, you would tidy for her because who cares? We’re here in this together. “But because it’s my son, I can’t. No, he needs to do it.” No. Just have a light, fun time. Trust that when he is ready, he’ll tidy himself and he knows your rules. He knows the whatever it is. So, if you do it or he does it—I don’t think it’s the technicality of it as much as what’s going on inside you. If you’re all worried about what’s gonna be—“He’s gonna be 15 and not pick up his socks.” Who cares? Really. It’s not the end of the world. He’s going to figure it out. Believe in your children. They’re awesome. They’re resilient. They’re geniuses. They’re brilliant. They really are, and when you get into that headspace of—I call it higher consciousness. You’re just so excited about them as human and life in general. You’re not really fighting over the little things. You’re really there, you’re with them, and you’re having a good time, and so who cares if you picked up, if he picked up, or if you picked up together—if you have a song or you don’t have a song—but as long as there’s a good atmosphere and you’re having a good time, if you’re calm, then who cares if you clean up? Really, it’s okay. How do you like that?

HELEN ABELESZ
I love that having faith in your child that they’ll be fine. I think as moms, we tend to go to like, “Oh, they didn’t play with that one child in the playground. Oh my gosh, they’re never going to get married. It’s a disaster.” We tend to kind of go into the future—that means he’s never going to get married because he couldn’t play for one minute. So we just go back to this moment right now. He didn’t play with that friend but tomorrow he will, and having faith that it will be okay and taking the pressure off you as a mom for having to teach them every single thing—you will get there but in the moment if you haven’t got the patience to sit while he spends half an hour tidying up not very well then don’t do it if it doesn’t work for you. So it’s kind of what you’re saying if it doesn’t work for you, don’t put that pressure on yourself. Would you want to talk a bit more about marriage and how things come up for you with time management?

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
I get a lot of very fun questions. One of them is that the husband likes to go to sleep early because he’s a morning person. The wife likes to go to sleep late because she’s a night person, and of course I know this from experience because somehow I happen to be the same way, and then you have this clash where it’s sort of time management because now you have your time is not really on the same level as your husband’s time. By the time you’re finally in your zone, you put the kids to sleep and you’re so creative and whatever, and then he’s like, “Okay, that’s it. I’m exhausted I woke up at five,” “Okay but let’s do something fun.” “What are you talking about fun? I’m falling asleep on my face.” I think it has to do with time management because it just has to do with time. There is time involved. This comes up a lot and it actually came up today in the park with a couple of the women. I love sitting at the park you get all the best questions at the park, and the best issues come up because that’s when you finally are taking a breather and your kids are off of you and you get to speak to humans, like actual adults—obviously, your kids are human but during corona I saw someone and I’m like, “Wow, an actual human,” and she’s like, “You live with your family. You have six kids and a husband.” “Yeah, but they’re part of the furniture,” so I feel sometimes we need that human interaction, where it’s just adult language, and we’re talking about actual things. So this came up, and for me personally—I could tell you what helped me—was the more I get into that time management thing, where I’m not managing my time, I’m more managing myself within the time, where I know ahead of time my husband wants to sleep so early, so I try to push as many things into the morning or into the afternoon or the times when he’s not around or the times when I can and I try to really get things off my plate so that when I’m putting these when I put the kids to sleep then hopefully I have that little bit of time and I could really just not have to do chores or not have face it. Basically, I manage myself within the time that I have. I’m still a night person, obviously. It’s 9:30, and I love being alive at night but I’m very aware of it. I’m aware that this is healthy for me to go to sleep on time, it’s not good for me to stay up late, my kids do wake up really early just like my husband. So even with corona, everybody was like, “Oh, they’re finally sleeping in,” and I was like, “What? My kids are not sleeping in. Maybe they didn’t get the memo.” So I know I know it’s good for me. I know he’s right that it’s just the time in my life that I can’t stay up all night or be a late person. I found that what helps me is just getting things out of the way early, so that’s my tip, but I want to hear about your tips and what you have to say about it.

HELEN ABELESZ
Well, I think that makes absolute sense. I think that makes absolute sense—what you’re saying that you’ve managed your time during the day so that then in the evening, you’re not still having so much to do. I think in marriages, I don’t think you have to be doing everything together all the time and be exactly the same. I think it’s okay. I think it’s okay to be different. It’s fine that we’re different and I think we shouldn’t try and change the other person to be like us. I think you can try and one night he can stay up late—always on Thursday nights and stays up late but the other nights he doesn’t, and you get up in the morning. You can figure out a way together. You don’t have to necessarily change your whole nature. You can be late doing chores quietly somewhere. There are that—

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
I love that you said you don’t ways to be the same because here’s the secret. Everybody, I know you think you’re the only one, but I’m the marriage expert and I’m going to tell you this is built into marriage. Hashem made it that way that we’re so different because we need to be different in order to help each other get to the other side, in order to learn different skills, different tools, and different abilities. I wouldn’t be able to be so good at certain things if not for my husband, and he’s so helpful in getting me into these squares, into these boxes, and into his systems because he is like that. He’s so good for me and I’m so good for him. I do so many things that he’s like, “Oh, I would never go networking with people. I’d never meet new people just like that. You’re just so easy going. You walk up to people and you say, ‘Hey, what’s your name?” So it really is a very natural and helpful thing. You have to make it good. You have to make it work but in general you should just know that this is how He made it. It’s not a mistake. It’s supposed to be this way, so I love that you said that we don’t have to be the same and we shouldn’t try to force it.

HELEN ABELESZ
It’s not like, “Oh, this is terrible,” because he does this and I do that. You can make it work for whichever situation. You don’t have to panic and get anxious. How on earth is that going to ever work in our marriage I don’t think it is I think you’re evidence. You’re proof that it can, but they can work and I think it’s fine. I remember when I was first newlywed. I would also be like, “We have to do everything together and be exactly on the same schedule—

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Then have a kid and you have to be on the same wavelength with parenting because Chas ve Shalom (God forbid) that your kid should hear that you don’t like candy but your husband does or that you want Materna (formula) and your husband wants—really? You don’t have to be the same. You don’t have to agree on everything, and I have a video about that—about how the kids are just they’re capable of understanding that you are two human beings.

HELEN ABELESZ
Yeah, and that’s a lesson in itself. You can have your separate interests as well. That’s fine because you’re all your own person, then you come back and tell them about your interest and they tell you about theirs. It makes it a more interesting conversation than if you did everything together all the time anyway—

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
You just reminded me of something. You said you can have different interests. Do you have that the first couple years of your marriage you just didn’t make a certain meal because it had an ingredient that your husband didn’t like, and then finally you’re like, “Oh, but I like that,” and then you start making it? I’m bringing an example of food but it happens with a lot of things, where you forget about yourself and the things that you like because no one else likes it in the house. I’m the only one who likes mushrooms so why bother bringing mushrooms in? No, if you want, you should buy what you and make it for yourself and enjoy it because that’s part of prioritizing yourself. I think that brings us back to that really important point of time management is all about priorities.

HELEN ABELESZ
Absolutely, and not always putting yourself the lowest priority.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
Never put yourself on the lowest priority because that will make everything else fall apart. Think about it this way. If you are the center of your world, and your marriage is around you, because obviously your husband wants to do what makes you happy. You really are the center of the marriage and your kids are around you because they, too, belong to you. You’re their mother and so there’s a big connection factor there. So you have your husband and your parenting, and then work, which is also you—just also you and all these things that need you to be you, and then you put yourself last? So everything else falls apart. You need to be the top priority in order for all the things to work, and that’s something that I do with my clients, and I’m sure you do with yours is the stronger you are and the more connected you become to yourself, the better you’re going to be able to serve the other people and the other priorities. We didn’t even talk about parents—how can I help my parents and help my grandparents and be there for my community if I’m not there for myself? It’s so important. That is number one, really. It’s annoying to hear because the natural thing for the overwhelmed mother to say is, “I have no time for myself,” and what do you say to that? That’s very nice that I should put myself as a priority but there’s no time.

HELEN ABELESZ
It’s amazing how much time we waste that we don’t count as time. We’re scrolling on our phones on Facebook. You can spend 10 minutes scrolling on Facebook but I haven’t got time to do a 10 minute meditation, go for a walk outside to relax. When people say that I have enough time, I sit down with them and actually examine what are they doing very, very specifically, and we look at their whole schedule of their week, and what exactly they’re doing. If really they don’t have a minute in their day, then I think there needs to be some changes, something is not working. We’re not supposed to be working 18 hours a week and then cooking. It’s not meant to be like that so then maybe you need to make some changes but most people who say they don’t have enough time—it’s how they’re using their time. We don’t even notice where we waste time.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
One thing that I tried for the last two days was to write down hour by hour or at least when I remember what I did until now. So between this hour, what I did what I got accomplished. I Davened, ate breakfast—I fed the kids, and the next hour, I cleaned up, I answered phone calls, I answered emails, and then I sort of see a little bit of what I’m doing and how much time things take. The coolest thing is that there’s a lot of things that I think take a long time but were actually really quick. I would not have guessed that doesn’t take as much, and if I knew it doesn’t take that long then I probably would have done it way sooner and I wouldn’t have had to worry about it and stress about when to fit it into my schedule. I just did it and timed it. I was like, “That’s it? Sixteen minutes, really?” That was great because it just made me realize that I’m not aware. I’m not aware of what’s going on and I got this tip from the Sleep Lady method or whatever—how to help your kids sleep through the night. She said, “First, before you try to change their schedule and put them on a schedule, write down their schedule and notice that they have their own rhythm already—that babies are on a rhythm that you sometimes just need to tweak. You don’t have to recreate. You don’t have to start from scratch, and I loved that. I was thinking about it before Shabbat, and I said to myself “I think that applies to everything, not just to babies. We have a certain rhythm that we’re already living in. We don’t have to start from scratch. We don’t have to say, “Okay, I need my life to all be perfectly aligned.” All my systems, my meal plans, my time management, my scheduling, and I don’t know what else I need to have all in order, so I need to start from scratch. No, look at what you have. Look at what’s happening already. There’s a rhythm. You wake up in the morning, your kids wake up or your kids wake up before you and wake you up whatever it is. One of the things I had to change within me was that six o’clock is not early. It’s the time to wake up and that in itself was a huge thing because anything after six feels like a gift, and anything before six is like, “Okay, so I’m still allowed to stay in my bed and let them jump around me or whatever.” I was always thinking eight was late. I wasn’t really happy about the whole six o’clock thing, but a baby wakes up at six naturally. I don’t know why, so why should I fight it? I felt like I was always conflicting with reality, so I just stopped and I was like, “This is late enough.” Six is the time to wake up. Obviously, it helps that my husband is also making me go to sleep earlier, so now I’m not exhausted but ladies please don’t stay up late wasting your time on YouTube and stuff just to get your me time and then be exhausted. You’re just messing up your days. So it really is important—and it has something that I had to learn on myself, obviously. Any advice I tell you is all because I really had to go through it. It takes one to know one. So let’s hear your final closing words. What do you have to say?

HELEN ABELESZ
Be kind to yourself and take the pressure off to do less. You don’t need to be doing so many things, and just be kind to yourself. If you’re interested to hear more about how to use your time well, I’m here for you. You can find me on Facebook Helen Abelesz: Life Coach for Women. I offer a free conversation on Zoom to just see what you’re looking for, and if I can help you in any way to, so that you feel that you’re using your time well and that you can feel calmer. If you’d like to feel calmer and happier, and using your time well.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
“If you’d like,” as if everybody is saying, “Nah, I’d rather not feel calm. Thank you.” Are you kidding? If you’d like to feel calmer, please speak to Helen and she will help you be calm. If you want energy and like, “Yay!” then come to me. Just kidding. I really enjoyed having this live conversation with you. Please feel free to send us your questions and your comments. Reach out to either of us for help because you should not be overwhelmed and you should not be suffering—is not the way you’re supposed to live. So if you are suffering, don’t suffer any longer. Really, ask for help even just to call and get that free conversation is worth it because it will put you on your feet. Both of us do this so you can contact either one of us and I’m sure most coaches will give you a couple of minutes of their time because it really is so important that you don’t stay in that suffering stage. That’s it. Thank you very much for joining us.

HELEN ABELESZ
Thank you so much. It’s been fun.

REBBETZIN BAT-CHEN GROSSMAN
It is so fun. Thank you, thank you. We are happy that you came. And that’s it! Thank you for listening to the very end. I would love if you can leave a review and subscribe to the podcast. Those are things that tell the algorithm, this is a good podcast and make sure to suggest it to others. Wouldn’t it be amazing if more people became more connected for real? And now, take a moment and think of someone who might benefit from this episode. Can you share it with them? I am Rebbetzin Bat-Chen Grossman from connectedforreal.com. Thank you so much for listening, and don’t forget, you can be connected for real.

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