My “one little word” for this year is Priority. It is also one of the themes this month at LYM.
In January, I was starting a new job, my son was turning 1, my daughter had just turned 8, my husband was out of work, and we were still settling in from a move the previous autumn. Setting priorities was going to be imperative in helping me cope with my new classroom, while also balancing my family’s needs at home.
In the layout below, I mention that priorities do not remain the same over time, and should be allowed to shift.
Fast forward to today. My husband started a new job in July, allowing me to finally take some time to stay home with the kids. My daughter started 4th grade at the beginning of August, and my son is now running around the house (literally) like he owns the place.
So much has changed when I compare our situations during these two months, but one thing remains the same: I still have to make sure my priorities are straight. When I was working, I had to make sure that my work got done, which sometimes meant taking it home to finish after the kids were in bed, but I also had to make sure that things happened around the house too.
I had to prioritize: Was my time better spent cleaning the bathrooms or listening to my daughter practice her spelling? Was it better to make a meal from scratch (and clean the kitchen afterwards) or chase my son around the house after bathtime? Was it better to grade those papers tonight or watch a movie with my husband? Watch that movie with my husband or make a scrapbook page? Or both?? There were a lot of decisions.
Now that I’m home, I kind of thought some of those things would magically fall into place. There were no papers to grade, but everything else was still there, so I still find myself prioritizing. The computer is usually put away during the day. It’s too easy to waste the whole day plugged in, on Facebook, Pinterest, and so many galleries, rather than engaging with my family. I put play above cleaning the house… I’m ok with a little dust and clutter if it means I make memories with my kids. But somewhere in there, I do have to fit time for myself.
When I was working, I had to consciously make time for myself. Whether it was dropping the kids off at daycare 20 minutes early so I could stop at Starbucks on my way to work or heading to a friend’s house for craft night once a month, I had to set time aside for myself to just be me. Now that I am home all the time, I still have to remember to take time for me… I just have to be more creative about how I get it.
Some of my favorite ways to get a little me time in:
- Stop for coffee on the way to work
- Get up 20 minutes earlier than usual
- Read a book
- Make a scrapbook page
- Get a manicure
- Take a walk or take up exercise
- Sit on the porch with a friend while watching the kids play
- Have a craft night, movie night, game night, or just dinner
The best part about most of these items is they aren’t confined to times when you are by yourself. Sometimes treating yourself with the company of others is the best medicine.
Whatever your other priorities in life, don’t hesitate to make yourself a priority. Your family, friends, and those around you will thank you when you take time to do the things that recharge your spirit.