While I would like to think that I am ‘superwoman’ and can do it all the reality is I can’t. Well, I can’t do everything I would like to do (or feel like I should like to do) well and still keep my sanity. Yesterday Chris was asking my thoughts about a teaching he was going to be doing this week, and while I was truly trying to focus and put myself into the situation to help him plan, I just came up blank. Later I started to process why…I didn’t CARE about what he taught. I didn’t have the energy emotionally or mentally to put myself into their shoes and be able to help him see how best to teach them. (He is the teacher, but he wanted my input on the practical application portion.) And that fact left me feeling drained because I do want to to care, I just don’t, so I felt guilty.
This led me to think about what it is I expect from myself this fall. Who and what will get my energy? Emotionally, mentally, and physically? I think this is an ongoing process and should be done every 3-6 months based on your schedule. I find for me it will work best to look at Sept-Dec, Jan-May, and then June-August as ‘chunks’ of time to evaluate what my life looks like. This fits well with the kid’s schedules, and also holidays.
I think the bottom line is that when we take time to evaluate what we want/need to be doing, it helps us to not feel guilty for saying no to other things. I often find myself wanting to please everyone, but the right thing is to take care of ‘me’ first which means knowing how I will spend my emotional/mental/physical energy. So this was a list I made for myself for the fall of my priorities, maybe it will help trigger ideas in your head as what to expect from yourself and you can make a list too!
1. Exercise 30-60 minutes at least 4x a week. This one sounds simple but when life gets overbooked it’s not about not having enough time to do this, it’s about having enough energy! Yes, exercising gives you energy but I’m telling you if I am running ragged there is NO energy to even pull from to get this going! So I need enough margin with the other tasks that I feel good enough to exercise!
2. Being Mom! In the fall we have soccer, which takes up Saturday mornings and one afternoon of practice. Chris coaches so that helps. It also means helping Joshua with homework, having food for his lunches in the house (lol- no needing to run to the store in the morning because I haven’t planned ahead- sad to say how many 10pm runs I did to the store last year), volunteering in Joshua’s class, and taking him to the random parties that will come up with friends this fall. Then I have Zachary who isn’t going to school yet, so that means doing some schooling with him, getting him to the park for exercise, play dates, and enjoying the one on one time with him while Joshua is in school. (Seriously moms, have you ever written down what you do. When you think about our worlds it doesn’t seem like much, but I didn’t even write out some of the things I was thinking of because I was like wow this list is getting long…BUT…that’s what we need to do. We need to see where our energy is going!) Oh…and did I mention I’m growing a human inside my body this fall? (AKA- I can never sleep enough!)
3. Being wife. It may seem weird that I write that but I think as a busy woman/mom we can sometimes be really good at knowing what we need to be doing with the kids, house, & work and then our men just get the leftovers. So take some time and figure out what this fall, just Sept-Dec will look like for you and your man. Will you hire a babysitter weekly or monthly? Whatever it is that you like to do, make sure there is time in the schedule for it to happen. I know that can sound so unromantic, but what’s really unromantic is looking at your spouse and wondering when the last time you even connected was. For me it also means supporting my man as he travels to teach, and works on his master’s degree.
4. Being house manager! Now, my man helps out a lot around the house so this isn’t all on me. But I do want to be better at keeping an orderly house. Not the mom that freaks out when anything is dirty (if you know me you know that would actually be considered a miracle), but just in keeping on top of things. It means delegating to the boys what their weekly responsibilities are. It means communicated with Chris about meals and food prep. This doesn’t mean you do everything!!! It just means you may need to be the one who keeps things running in order. I’m excited to get some more chores running on auto-pilot with Joshua this fall. At this point he knows without being asked to take the recycling out every week, but this fall I will work on adding one in that I don’t have to remind him about. (Like daily check for clean dishes and put them away! Others I am still okay for him to look at his list…)
5. Relationships! This is where I get to see who I am investing my time in. Since after reading the above I feel like I have so much of! LOL! But for me for the fall it’s the relationships I have with other moms through Joshua’s school, the Bible study I am attending, the new church, and then a few other women I have met since moving here that I feel are key people in my life. And then you have my friends that don’t live locally, like my sweet Heather in China who I will always make time for a Facetime chat with!
6. Work! I run my own business online as a Beachbody Coach. That entails: hosting weight loss groups, helping my coaches learn to build a business of their own, marketing, blogging, keeping up on social media, making videos, and giving my time and heart to those in my group and the coaches on my team to help them succeed. (Help the customers lose weight, and the coaches learn how to help others and also bring in income for themselves.) It sounds like a lot but I keep it to 10-15 hours a week, and it allows me to help the family out financially and I really enjoy working with the women I meet. But this can’t be done with kids running around. I know some people tell you that you can work from home, and be supermom and everything else. But the reality is you need some quiet moments to focus. Otherwise you will work 30 hours a week just to get done what you could have done in 10 hours of focused time. And by then your family hates your ‘at home’ job because it feels like you are ALWAYS working, because you are. For me, I either get up before the kids do or work after they are sleeping. It means Chris and I have to communicate about when I will be ‘working’ even though I am still in the house. And 3 hours a week I will pay a friend to hang out with Zac while Joshua is in school so I can get work done. But I have a set a goal that between Sept-Dec I will see a 30% increase in my income so that moves this up high on my energy needed list! The joy of investing energy into this is that it grows exponentially, so my efforts this fall will still be paying me off next fall and beyond.
Writing this out has been so good for me. Seriously, I’m like woman no wonder you were feeling like you had no energy to add one more thing to your mind! Have you thought through this for yourself with the fall coming? You notice I didn’t even mention Thanksgiving or Christmas plans?! But my intent is to get myself, and you thinking about your fall and dictate how you will run it rather than letting it run you ragged. Sure, unexpected things will come up. But even this can help you have enough energy reserves to deal with those unexpected events in a better way than maybe if you were just running from one event to the next never knowing when you will get some downtime.
Can you relate to anything I mentioned?