I have never been a fan of the cold and every winter I find myself hibernating indoors and living in my dressing gown but this a/w has been particularly difficult. Not only do we have another addition to the family (one of which who likes to put EVERYTHING in her mouth) but also my eldest son George is now in a pre-school nursery and he has bought an array of cold and sick bugs into our home. As I desperately try to battle the germs with an army of disinfectants and wipe a lot of snotty noses I often end up feeling very low (hence why I've been so inactive lately). After a difficult few months, I'm taking my chance to get back on track by setting myself new goals and creating healthy habits in the new year.
After a discussion with my partner Ash, it occurred to me that I have three sets of priorities, keeping the house clean, doing my work and looking after the kids. After months of trying to juggle all three, I've found that it is seemingly impossible for me to do all 3 effectively in one day, each day something has to give. If I spend the day tidying the house I barely get any work done and vice verse. As I explained this to him, by verbally saying it out loud I suddenly thought of the solution. I needed to manage my time more efficiently. I quickly began brainstorming and implemented an action plan to help myself and other mums who are struggling with the same problem.
Priority 1, household chores:
If your lucky enough to have a partner that regularly helps out around the house then that's perfect but if your babies daddy isn't available (or is just useless when it comes to cleaning like most men) then you need to seek help elsewhere. If you haven't already try to pinch the pennies for a while and invest in a dishwasher and/or tumble dryer as these items half the time you spend washing. Try to get all the chores done in the morning in one big bulk as I've found that taking a break while in the middle of chores completely extinguishes the momentum you built up and often leads to procrastination, however, this is easier said than done when you have young children but you can get your little one to join in on certain tasks such as loading up the washing machine or tidying toys away, make it a game. It's also important to prioritize tasks in order of urgency so if you run out of time it doesn't matter too much.
Priority 2, work:
So many mums opt for self-employment after having their baby but managing your new workload while raising your baby can be very overwhelming so it's important to manage your time effectively in order to do well. Set yourself realistic daily targets that fit around your baby's nap times/schedule and try to find some alone time where you can so that you can fully focus. If you have supportive friends and family that would be happy to help by taking care of your child for even just an hour here and there then reach out to them, they will likely be happy to have the chance for some one-on-one time with your little one.
Priority 3, looking after the children:
Unlike the other two priorities this one has no room for maneuver, you have to drop everything to care for your child even if you are on a roll which can be very frustrating at times. You will master the art of stopping and starting with time. The best thing you can do to help yourself (and your child) is to create a daily schedule that works for both of you, stick to it for a week and it will become second nature to both of you. This will enable you to predict nap times and pre-prepare for mealtimes and other things meaning that you can easily identify where you can fit priorities 1 and 2 into the day.
All of this is going to take some practice and sometimes life gets in the way and can hinder your progress but don't get let this discourage you and remember:
It's also important to find some time for yourself to mentally unwind, I personally use my evenings after the kids are tucked up in bed to relax and turn my mind off before bed with a good book or some trashy tv. I often think to myself that I waste far too much time by doing this but I then remind myself that this time is very valuable and essential for my mental well-being, If you don't allow yourself to rest then you will just burn yourself out so enjoy your downtime, you earnt it.
Love Beth x