Welcome! Get the information you need to win at parenting without losing yourself.
July 7, 2020
In the summertime, when the living is easy (no, forget it, that doesn’t fit anymore now that COVID-19 is around)…
Seriously, though, no matter what’s going on in the world, summertime really is the perfect time to re-evaluate your dreams and goals, but also to re-evaluate how you spend your time day to day and week to week. Summer is slower, there’s less to do, there are more opportunities for relaxing, and, especially this summer with hardly any summer camps for the kids or vacation spots open for adult getaways, there is a whole lotta empty TIME.
When things are slower, it’s the perfect chance to reset and take a moment to evaluate what life actually looks like for you and what you want it to look like.
Last week we talked about dreaming big. Dreaming big allows us to understand our “why”; it helps us understand where we’re going in the next month or year or even ten years. Figuring out our priorities, on the other hand, helps us to get granular about how much time we’ll give to one area or another on a daily basis.
Remember, this is fluid and depends entirely on the stage of motherhood you’re in right now. When you have a newborn, your priority is making sure you’re taken care of, making sure your baby is taken care of, and …yep, that’s about it. And it’s enough, Mama! When your baby or toddler, or even a little older, you’ll be in a completely different stage, …and with that stage will come more sleep and more brain space for bigger dreams and bigger plans. So, give yourself grace, but don’t give up on making time to audit on a weekly or monthly basis where you’re placing your energy and if those decisions are really serving you or your family.
My friend Christie is a business executive coach. She spends all day guiding leaders personally and professionally as they make million-dollar decisions. One night, discussing life at a bar, she took a cocktail napkin and wrote out the major categories of life—kids, spouse, work, exercise, friendships, hobbies, homemaking, travel and experiences, and appearance. For clarification, exercise to me meant releasing endorphins, stress reduction, and meditation, whereas appearance included everything that goes into looking put together (including exercise for the purpose of having a good appearance).
She wrote them in random order and then asked me to rank them in order in the left-hand column according to what I, in an ideal world, would spend the most time doing. “Rank them as a private, honest list, not based at all on what other people would think is the right way to rank them,” she said.
I called it my ideal list.
In the next column, she asked me to rank what I thought I spent my time on.
Here is my reality list.
Then, she told me to compare them.
That comparison was scary, Mama. I didn’t like at all how I was spending my time in the real world versus how I wanted to be spending it in my ideal world. So, I changed it. I switched it up. I decided I would spend way more of my time and energy on the top three items on my Ideal List, as opposed to the top three things on my Reality List. Why? Because joy lived at the top of the Ideal List. Stress and resentment found their unhappy home at the top of the Reality List.
To put your priorities into action, you’re going to have to get strategic. Weekly and monthly, take 10 minutes to make your reality and your ideal lists, then compare them against your list of dreams.
We’ve got a lot of togetherness with our families right now. Most of us are home more than we’ve ever been and, although it was great and all at first to spend eighty hours a week picking up laundry and hanging with our kids, it’s now getting old. You need space, Mama, and it’s not selfish AT ALL to take it. Give yourself the gift of 10 minutes of meditation or journaling in the morning before everyone else needs you. Take an extra 5 minutes in the car when you come back from the grocery store to roll back the seat and listen to your favorite jam and to consider how you want tomorrow to look. Take time to start thinking about how you feel and what you need before you start thinking about what other people need. If you do, you’ll be able to show up as a mom and as a human more freely and fully.
Sign up to receive the Modern Mommy Doc Newsletter. You'll receive exclusive tips and updates that will help you become a well-equipped parent: