Sometimes we create habits and just go about our day on auto pilot without giving it much thought. I’ve previously written about how busyness can be an addiction. It is a choice how we spend our time isn’t it?
So why don’t we choose something different?
Parents tell me they are overwhelmed (I get it!), and yet they still continue to do the same thing day after day and hope that things will be different. Hope; which does help in lots of situations, is not going to help you here.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
In last week’s mini training, Mums bravely shared about the pressure of being a Mum and that nobody tells you that having a child is scary – it is like having your heart walking around outside your body. If you haven’t got the training, it’s worth a listen if you feel like that too. You are not alone! You can grab your copy here.
Let me help you!
In today’s blog I want to ask you to step back and I’m going to show you how you could try a different approach. If you want to. If you are happy on the hamster wheel, I’ll leave you there.
At business school they teach you to prioritise your to do list in terms of profitability. Makes sense doesn’t it? You do the tasks which bring in the most money first because you have bills to pay. People forget that sometimes, especially when you give out so much free advice (and I do here and here).
So, let’s translate that into parenting speak and find a way to help you prioritise your to do list so that your day feels as if it has more meaning, is less overwhelming and is waaay more productive.
You’re more likely to get stuff done too because overwhelm keeps you stuck and procrastination is just your fear of failing or getting it wrong. (note: you will get it wrong especially when you are a parent because humans are complicated like that and it is safe for us to make mistakes…in fact it’s mandatory in order to learn).
1- Prioritise your day in terms of what matters most
If I asked you what mattered to you, you would tell me that your kids mean everything and how you want them to be happy. Write down 3 values which matter when it comes to your family. e.g these could be my 3 values love, security and health.
If my to do list looks like this one below. I can take each task and see how likely it is to meet my values. Notice doing house work or chores is not how I want to be a Mum. I delegate that to a cleaner or get my hubby and the kids to chip in. Some Mums like to take on this role because they think it is nurturing and maybe that’s because nobody ever took care of them in that way. My Be The Mum You Want to Be online learning pack will help you look at why you do the things you do and how you can change that if you want to.
REMEMBER: You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. If you choose not to try something else, that is a choice too. A choice to stay stuck in overwhelm.
“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” ~Roy E Disney.
- Unload dishwasher – delegate, kids to do it before school
- Do coloured wash – shove in before school run as Mia needs her PE kit for school = SECURITY (she knows I’m there for her)
- Change bed sheets – no time, doesn’t matter if they get crusty for another day!
- Fill up car with petrol – hubby – it’s a blue job!
- Pick up dry cleaning – me, I can grab this on the school run and hubby will be happy he has clean shirts to wear…then I can ask him to fill the car up with petrol
- Ironing – me, drop off at dry cleaners (see above)
- Prepare supper – me, yummy stir fry tonight = HEALTH
- Take Mia swimming – me quality time with my daughter = LOVE
- Yoga class – connection and self care for me = LOVE, SECURITY & HEALTH
- Walk the dog – connect with nature = HEALTH & (SELF) LOVE
- Bedtime Relaxation – really important routine for my kids when I connect with them at the end of every day = LOVE, SECURITY & HEALTH
My yoga class gives me security because it lowers my anxiety and I feel safer. My children sit in that energy so that helps them too and meets my values of love for them. You will also notice that I choose to cook supper because I get to exercise my creativity which makes me happy and I show my love by cooking for people. It’s a personal choice and so is your job as a Mum. You can also see that when I take care of my needs as a Mum, I am able to show up consistently for my children and that in turn helps them to feel secure. (I have written before about 10 Ways You Could Make Every Day More Like Mother’s Day).
Super Smiley Tip: If love is one of your values and I hope it is, working out your child’s love language will make this a whole lot easier. You can find out more here.
If I asked you how you wanted to feel, you might tell me: appreciated, confident, calm, relaxed. Write down ONE feeling you want to get from today and make sure you include something in your day which gives you that feeling. Let’s look at some examples.
- CONFIDENT – I’m going to do my affirmations and use my child’s Smiley Thought Cards because they totally rock for that. 😍
- CALM & RELAXED – I’m going to sit down and drink at least one cup of tea and enjoy that (without multi tasking).
- LESS STRESSED – I’m going to stop taking on stuff which other people can do for themselves. I’m going to say no at least once today!
- APPRECIATED – I’m going to make time for some gratitude journaling today.
- IN CONTROL – Errrrm good luck with that one, nothing is in control in this life…..except you! Try again!
Taking care of your emotional health is so important
And yet people forget because they are too busy looping the loop in that bloody hamster wheel. Clients #1 excuse for not doing things which are good for them is ‘I’m too busy’. It’s not a badge of honour you know. It’s not a good look on you either.
If you and your family aren’t healthy, you have NOTHING.
That’s right: nothing.
If you are sitting there thinking: ‘It won’t happen to us, we’ll be alright!’
Yep, you might be but given the ridiculously fast paced life we all lead and the fact that we prioritise other unhealthy habits over taking care of our emotional health, I tend to think that’s not true. Don’t you? I was thinking about drinking wine, over eating, being a couch potato (because we are so tired), perpetually keeping busy, getting lost in screens and social media for hours on end for starters.
Let’s get the big guns out + wake up to how serious this is
- 16 million people in the UK experience a mental illness
- More than half of young people feel embarrassed about mental illness
- Three in four mental illnesses start in childhood
- 75% of young people with a mental health problem are not receiving treatment
- The average wait for effective treatment is 10 years
- Suicide is the biggest killer of young people in the UK
- Less than 30% of mental health research is focused on young people
- Impact on life expectancy People with severe mental illness die between 10 and 20 years earlier than the general population
If, like me you’re awake and are committed to prioritising your family’s emotional health (health is wealth after all), I’m running a weekly workout class for the whole family. It’s called The Energy Pod.