Who are you?

A mum?  A woman?  A man?  A dad?  A partner?  A colleague?  A daughter?  A son?  A grandchild?  A carer?  A listener?  A pet owner?

Who do you prioritise?

Of all the labels you may be, who takes priority in your life?

  • Child? Feeding a child? Entertaining a child?
  • Partner? Feeding? Washing?
  • Work – the people we look after, the responsibility of responding to emails, requests, phone calls.
  • Cooking? Cleaning? Washing?

All of these things should be prioritised within a day, absolutely.  At no point, should your priorities change solely to focus on you at the detriment of dependents without careful planning.

Write your daily priority list –

Prioritise it now. Get your notes out on your phone.  Write down who do you prioritise. What do you prioritise.

Do you skip having a shower because you can never find the time with children around?

Regularly forget to brush your teeth before you leave the house because you’re thinking about other peoples things?

Forget or ignore breakfast or lunch because other things come first?

Why is it important that you do it right now, while you read? Because procrastination can make anxiety worse and make you feel like you’ve failed because you never get round to the thing you want to do.  Procrastination can also lead you to feel that you will never be able to achieve a goal because you don’t just get on and do the thing you want to do.  If you really want to find a way of prioritising yourself, the first step will be putting you into perspective of all of your other priorities.

Writing lists may not be your thing, but for me, without a list (a huge number of lists), I struggle to keep on top of things and getting through what I need to.  You are unable to keep too much information in your mind at one time or over time.  If writing notes isn’t your thing, record voice notes in your notes with this priority list.

What a daily priority list might look like –

My prioritise Most days would be:

  1. Wake up (no snoozing on the alarm)
  2. Brush teeth
  3. Wash face
  4. Morning gym/workout/run/home yoga/walk.
  5. Shower
  6. Breakfast
  7. Toddler routine 
  8. Attempt at work/getting a business functioning.
  9. Activity mostly outside if possible for toddler (and my mental health)
  10. Down time for me and tiny human.
  11. Dinner
  12. Eat with family, make family time important
  13. Bath time bed time for baby.
  14. Relax.

This is a huge list and maybe looks overwhelming.This was not my priority list when I first had a baby. My tiny human caused me a fair amount of bodily pain and drama during pregnancy and postnatally (see https://powex.co.uk/fit-pregnancy and https://powex.co.uk/my-postpartum-recovery if you are interested.  As a result of my physical body struggling with pain, adjustment, new ways of moving, my priorities looked more like this:

  1. Go to bed early (19:00/20:00) when baby would have long (ish) sleep.
  2. Maintain a routine of ‘getting up’ for the day even if I had barely slept – normally well before coffee shops were open.
  3. Find out the earliest possible time I could get coffee or to a shop.
  4. Have a shower, brush teeth, get dressed in the morning before going out for coffee first thing.
  5. Hopefully baby would sleep en route to coffee/boots/supermarket, so I could get a walk in before getting home to set up for feeding again.
  6. Get breakfast while out and baby sleeping or snack before getting home to have proper breakfast.
  7. Baby routine, baby play, baby food and sleep all day.

This was how I prioritised myself and my baby for the evening and morning every day for months.  I didn’t prioritise baby groups or meeting new people.  I needed to feel better in myself.

In turn as my prioritise allowed me to feel more ‘me’ and I had a clue about what I was doing with a tiny baby, my prioritise changed – baby groups came, the gym came, the regular socialising came.

What is most important to you?

For these things to take place, has been a journey. And compromise with my partner. 

I tried:

  1. Working out with baby in tow first thing.
  2. Doing it all, all the time.
  3. Baking fresh bread (thanks lockdown). 
  4. Cultivating sourdough starter (thanks lockdown)
  5. Creating artistic things to do that would involve child and myself for at least 30 minutes.

Let me tell you. None of the above are things I continue to do.  I wanted them to work but they do not work for me as a regular part of my routine.  But they may for you! 

You, on the other hand maybe find joy in sourdough starters or kombucha brewing. I can’t maintain it. That’s ok.

  • Believe that you can prioritise things. 
  • Find things that are worth prioritising.
  • Find a way to prioritise.
  • Let go of what does not work.
  • Find the time that is most convenient (For me, it’s 6am. Do I like that time. No. But it works for me and my family.)

Please get in touch if you need help sorting through your day and giving yourself some time.