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The 36-Hour Day

with Amy Urquhart

I’m Amy and I’ve spent the last three years trying to strike that perfect balance between being a wife, mom and professional career woman. I’ve decided that I’ll never perfect the art of “having it all”, but this blog is a chronicle of my attempts to continue to do so. I’m a blogger (my personal blog about Canadian home life is Hearts into Home), gardener, college instructor, wife to Graham and mom to Nate. If you’re also a working mom who finds there just aren’t enough hours in the day, I hope you’ll enjoy this column!

Read her blog at Hearts into Home.

Working mother seeks inspiration

Categories: Hacking Life, The Juggle, Working? Living?


I’ve been a bit overwhelmed recently. Not with work, per se, but with trying to juggle all of the things I’ve got going on right now — when you put it all together, well, there’s a lot on my plate, and it can leave me feeling uninspired and unmotivated.

I’m sure you can relate to that feeling. I like to pretend I’m SuperMom but, of course, I’m not (I don’t even come with interchangeable heads — I feel like the frazzled one has been attached for the past few weeks).

So I thought I’d share with you a few of the places I turn to when I need a bit of inspiration (besides Work It, Mom! of course)…

1.) The Happiness Project. You’ve read some of Gretchen Rubin’s great tips for happiness right here at Work It, Mom! Her blog has plenty more, plus quotes and articles and her own insights into happiness.

2.) Affirmawords. I didn’t find this blog, to be honest — it found me when founder Kristen Marie Schuerlein sent me an email. And I’m so glad she did! Her blog asks different people two thoughtful questions, showing readers how the power of words can encourage and inspire others. The answers are enlightening and sometimes surprising. (Want to know what my answers were? Here they are!)

3.) The Big Picture. This fantastic photoblog is full of awe-inspiring (and just plain inspiring) images from around the world and beyond — check out the set of views of Jupiter if you need a reminder of how amazing life and the universe can be. See the picture of the moon Io floating in front of the massive planet? I looked at that and realized that my own issues are really pretty tiny.

4.) Despair, Inc. It seems counterintuitive; after all, these are the people who perfected the art of poking fun at those inspirational posters and plaques you see in so many offices. But a little humor goes a long way, and sometimes a bit of sarcasm is enough to give me a new perspective on a difficult (or ridiculous) situation. Current favorites: “Tradition: Just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t make it incredibly stupid” and “Meetings: None of us is as dumb as all of us.”

5.) The Good News Network. This site is a portal for good news of all sorts, from positive stories that you don’t usually see in the mainstream media to profiles of inspirational people. Everyone can read the headlines throughout the site, but membership is required to get the whole story, post comments, discuss news in the forums, or submit stories of your own (free, 30-day trial memberships are available, but regular membership fees are on a “pay what you can afford” basis starting at just $2 per month).

Where do you go when you’re looking for inspiration?

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8 comments so far...

  • awesome! adding to my reader now :) i am so relating to the uninspired feeling. but i am on a mission to change it!

    also is free and full of all the happy news out there!!

    thanks for this - i needed it today :)

    Kate  |  August 7th, 2008 at 3:38 pm

  • Your post is just what I needed. I just finished writing on my own blog about my stressed out day. I’m sure all the Moms out there know the kind of day I’m talking about…when the the chaos of the day starts even before you get out of bed.

    Thanks. I am going to check out your suggestions.

    Christy  |  August 7th, 2008 at 9:44 pm

  • When I am looking for inspiration I come here, got to,, watch Donny Deutch the big idea.

    Vera Babayeva  |  August 7th, 2008 at 10:05 pm

  • When I am looking for inspiration, I turn to nature. Being outside even for 5 minutes is refreshing. I love the link to The Big Picture because there are certainly times I am glued to a desk or computer and cannot escape!

    Minette  |  August 8th, 2008 at 9:49 am

  • Kate: Thanks for the tip on — I’m adding that one to my list!

    Christy: I’m so glad! And I’m going to surf over and check out your post today, thanks for telling me!

    Vera: Be sure to check out Dr. Debra Condren’s archive of “Ambition is not a dirty word” articles here at Work It, Mom, too! Here’s the link:

    Minette: Going outside, even for a little while, is great for resetting my mind… thanks for the reminder!

    Lylah  |  August 8th, 2008 at 10:11 am

  • Lylah, of course I know that Dr. Debra Condren wrote articles for this site. She is the one who told me about WorkItMom.

    Vera Babayeva  |  August 9th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

  • I am a new mommy of a baby boy who is now 7 mo. I work full time, I am a wife, and an artist. Lots going on for me too!!!! Before I had my son, I was so determined not to be the mother that “gets the left- overs.” Well what I mean is that I didn’t want to just take care of everyone else, and give myself the scraps. Never having time to fix myself up etc. I want to be a woman of balance and a woman that takes time on herself and for herself. I havn’t achieved this yet, but I am learning… and as I have said in other comments, I am hopeful. :-)
    I am not sure how other women deal with this but I am open for input/advice! :-)
    This is my first day on this new site, and I am loving it already!! Thanks for the info. on the bogs of encouragement. I also like to read this scripture in Psalm 37:3-4 to give me comfort and encouragement when times are tough!
    Take Care, Lovlee

    Lovlee  |  August 9th, 2008 at 6:15 pm

  • Thank you for the bogs of encouragement! I look forward to viewing them too!!!

    Lovlee  |  August 9th, 2008 at 6:18 pm

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