Helping & Healing
Momma Lecture: Push Back Against the American Work Ethic

2022-06-28
Momma Lecture: Push Back Against the American Work Ethic

The focus of today’s Momma Lecture with Sparkle CEO Lisabeth Sewell is all about kindness to self, nurturing connection, and creative play. Do less today. Remove things from your to do list. Remember that connection, play, and creativity bring the most satisfaction, and that's what makes for a meaningful life. Watch the video and read more from Lisabeth below!

I’m fifty-two and at the age in which we stop caring so much about how others do things. One of the first things that I’ve recently decided is nuts is the American Work Ethic. Forty hours a week, 51 weeks a year? (Or really, make that fifty to sixty hours of work a week?) Eight continuous hours a day of being ON? Is this making us happier and healthier? If not, what is? Let’s do that.

Push Back Against the American Work Ethic (2650 × 1440 px) (600 × 350 px) (2)

How to Model Work in Honor of Your Own Needs & Rhythms

I actually love to work. I love to get focused and get things done. I love to create things, sometimes big things. I love to get lost in projects and surface hours later, thrilled at what I just did.

But do we work best in eight-hour blocks or more, five days a week or more? I don’t. Do you?

Finding ways to work efficiently and with your own energy patterns is ideal for you AS WELL as for your family. If you can work and end the day feeling good (or better yet, inspired), then you are bringing benefit to all the people in your life throughout your day. This feels better than giving all of your best hours and energy to work or your company or your boss, saving little for yourself or your people.

What do we want our kids to learn about hard work? I believe we want to teach them the joy and value of good work in alignment with their own needs and rhythms. We want them to thrive, not just adhere to someone else’s idea of how a productive week is structured.

I’m a person who loves change. Not only do I do a variety of things throughout my day, my work weeks also look different week to week! Sometimes I work one really long day and have shorter days or days with no work. Sometimes I do two-hour chunks, three sessions each day. Sometimes I choose to do all the computer-based work on one day so I don’t have to touch the computer the next day. I’m lucky in that I work for myself and have choices, and I let myself change it up. But there are ever-increasing opportunities for flexibility in the workplace these days. Take a risk and ask for what you need. Employers are more and more open to honoring your work style – you just have to make a case for it!

Stories to Inspire Us to Honor Ourselves in our Work

A Breathing Day

Martin & Sylvia: Learning Days

The first day of school arrives for Martin and Sylvia and they are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work. But before they jump into their school subjects, Momma and Daddy ask to discuss one more thing first: breathing. But wait — what needs to be learned about breathing? With a bit of practice, Martin and Sylvia discover the wonders of breathing … all day long.

A Breathing Day

A Breathing Day


Month Three: Work Is Fun and Fun Is Work

Martin & Sylvia: Day of Rest

The days leading up to March bring Martin and Sylvia's family a new challenge: what do we do when something that is considered fun for one person is work for another? Brother and sister want to travel on their Day of Rest, while Momma and Daddy want to stack wood and shovel the driveway. They seem to be at an impasse until Daddy realizes that the Day of Rest for the first week in March is coinciding with the first day of maple sugaring season. Then everyone in the family decides that sugaring is the kind of work that is fun and most definitely should be included!

The Let Go Approach

Martin & Sylvia: Saturdays!

It is gift giving season for Martin and Sylvia's family and Martin has a particularly magical gift for his sister. It is so magical that he wants to give it to her in a magical way. When all his ideas don't seem to work, Daddy suggests he use the “let go approach.” And what is the “let go approach”?

About the Author

Lisabeth Sewell

Doer of Many Wonderful and Odd Things (including CEO)

Lisabeth Sewell has worn many hats at Sparkle over the years, from Sparkle Kitchen Blogger to Editorial Director to Doer of All Odd Jobs. Her primary role is as CEO.

Get our Newsletter

Sign up to receive weekly email updates with new stories, Sparkle news, and seasonal activities!

Stay Connected

Download on the Apple App StoreDownload on the Google Play
©2022 Sparkle Stories. All rights reserved.