This might be hard for you to hear…
Yes, it’s a bit of a cliche.
And of course many women immediately feel really conflicted about it!
What am I talking about?
The fact that you are the most important person in your home.
I don’t mean that you get swan about in a tiara commanding your family to do chores… Hmmm actually that sounds pretty great!
And it’s not just “Taking time for you”, “Treat yourself”, or “You deserve it”.
It’s more than that.
It’s about respect, from the people you live with and love. And respect for yourself.
It’s about doing things that support YOU, your energy and the things you want to do and have to do.
It’s about prioritising your time to plan, prep for and do the things that support you.
Even if it’s just 15 minutes.
It’s about prioritising your needs. But it’s also about balance.
What does all this even mean Liz?
It’s NOT selfish, self absorbed, vain, mean, unkind, un-motherly, un-feminine (Don’t get me started.)
Your kids are loved and cared for right? Adored! They pretty much get whatever they need and a lot of what they want. They get heaps of care and attention, cuddles and quiet time, activities and adventures.
But so many of my clients feel guilty. They feel like they’re not giving enough to their kids as it is. Or feel that they should devote themselves completely to their kids, partner or parents and automatically put themselves last.
So when I talk about them being the most important person in the house they feel squirmy about it. Uncomfortable.
No Tiaras required.
You are NOT a bad parent.
You are not being selfish.
You can choose. You are the boss of your time. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.
Stacey remembered she had a weekend organising routine once, maybe a year ago. She sorted the paperwork that grew SO fast, for an hour. What a difference that made! She knew what was happening at school. She had bills sorted by payment date. She had her To-Do pin board, up-to-date. She was organised.
Then, things changed.
Her partner couldn’t take the kids to soccer.
Her step daughter came to stay more often.
Her folks needed her help and the only time that suited everyone was that morning.
That precious time.
So now she does a That’ll Do Sort, on the fly. Things were definitely dropping off her radar. Things just didn’t get done. She was feeling disorganised and overwhelmed.
You’re running around after everyone else. You’re hunting for things they can’t find (and you can’t find either.) Fighting a losing battle with the stuff in your home. And it’s taking up SO much of your time!
Maybe your gym visits are fewer and fewer. Maybe your first coffee of the morning always gets cold. Your sleep time is shrinking. You haven’t updated your journal in two weeks, and you’re losing motivation fast.
The demands of everyone around you are pushing YOU out of your own schedule.
So what can you do about it?
You don’t have to do anything. You always get to choose. Everything can stay exactly the same. You don’t have to rock the boat. You don’t have to ask for what you need.
Make some little tweaks. Or some big changes.
Buy a really good insulated coffee travel mug and use it, every morning, whether you leave the house or not.
Get together with the soccer parents and organise a lift for kids who need it.
Move your organising time to a different day or time, and protect it ferociously!
Start a regular organising time for what ever is causing you the most problems. Set aside time to deal with the biggest time-sucker, the most annoying, most stressy things.
Even if it’s just 15 minutes.
Drop some things or simplify them. Simplify your life and home.
Make a space for you to do the things you have to do. Things that need concentration and a bit of clear space. And defend it!
Set up rules of behaviour and chores. Get your kids and partner to do small things that help them be independent. Pretty soon you’re NOT always being yelled at from across the across the house to do something for them. Train your team.
Think that’s impossible?
Rolling your eyes? Scoffing?
There is always a way. You’re resourceful and resilient. You can find a way to fix almost any problem if you care enough. You’ve done it before right? Made changes, found time, moved heaven and earth for people you love?
Do you care enough to make some changes for YOUR benefit?
You know the results will benefit everyone around you.
You’re less stressed, there’s less yelling, less tension, less rushing. More ease, more fun, more laughter.
One day you might suddenly notice you have more time.
You can find things, get to places on time and you can rest. Your whole family life just flows.
Because you put yourself first for once.