3 Genius Productivity Tips From Wellness Coach Jamie Hess aka @nycfitfam

How do you keep your sense of self as a mom?

Good morning, gals.

I was supposed to go to Chicago last weekend to visit my girlfriends. I had been looking forward to this trip for months for several reasons — I missed my friends, I missed Chicago, and honestly, I needed a break from motherhood.

When the getaway got canceled due to my husband’s unexpected work trip, I was pissed. I realize this is nowhere near the end of the world, but it was still a huge disappointment that was deserving of a 10-minute crying/venting session about how fucking hard being a mom is.

The reality is…you don’t get a break from momming. Unless you have family down the street or live-in au pairs, vacations are few and far between for those of us with small people roommates (and without drop-of-a-hat nanny help).

During times of crises, I turn to podcasts for perspective, to which I am OVERJOYED to have found my new favorite podcast (highly recommend!), Off The Gram. Off The Gram is hosted by four very fabulous wellness-focused women who provide insightful convos on loving your work and living your truth. Again, highly recommend.

(1) Know what fills your cup, and own it.

In an episode with one of the founding podcasters, Jamie Hess (aka @nycfitfam and my new favorite person), the question all moms want an immediate answer to was asked: How do you keep your sense of self as a mom? To which Jamie replied:

“It’s about knowing what fills your cup, and owning that. I know I would be a shitty stay-at-home mom because I would be not happy and I would lose my sense of self. Work gets me excited. The busier I am, the happier I am. I love working. That is my thing during the day. Having something that fills your cup and knowing what you love is the most important thing. You gotta go in with eyes wide open.

I never want my kids to see my husband and I dragging ass to the office. I want them to think that your passion is what fuels you, and that’s what generates an income for you and your family.”

Staying focused in both roles — mom life and work life — might feel impossible some days. This is the reason I am so sensitive to new moms during that god-awful postpartum period because of how intense your emotions can get. Feeling like you no longer have an identity is simply too much to bear.

Where are the new mom mental health resources at? Someone invent this or I will. A mental health toolkit for new millennial mothers. Not a pretty subscription box with nipple cream and wine. Something that’s useful for more than 4 days. I’ll table this as a rainy weekend research project. Let me know if you want in.

(2) Anchor your week in your workouts.

The second actionable tip from Jamie is to anchor your week in your workouts — scheduling your entire day around your workouts, and drinking 5-6 refills of a Smart Water bottle. She does this 7 days a week, and I applaud. I used to feel like a workout psycho because I did (do) this very thing, and now I feel validated.

(3) Get an accountability partner (for fitness + nutrition +work).

Another genius bit of wisdom from her? Making a point to have an accountability partner — no excuses, get one, today, right after you’re done reading this.

“Asking for help is the most powerful thing you can do. We cannot do it alone. I’m a huge proponent of accountability partners, on all fronts. It’s the most advantageous thing you can do — with fitness, nutrition, with being your own boss.

Prioritize 3 things on your to-do list before noon and tell someone about it. Email your husband what the 3 things are, and get them done. And when you check in with each other, it’s like a celebration, a ‘Hell yes! We did this!’

As a recovering alcoholic, I have learned all the tools to make my days worth it. Live with integrity, take self-inventory, and see how you can do better tomorrow.”


  • Know what fills your cup, and own it.

  • Anchor your week in your workouts & drink 6 bottles of water per day.

  • Get an accountability partner (now), and use them to reach your goals.

Thank you for reading today!

Yesterday I talked about being the heroine in your life instead of the victim. It is a paid subscriber only post. If you’re interested in reading it (and receiving them each Monday), you can upgrade your subscription preference below.

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Xo, Ashley