I’m embarking on my mission to take better care of myself so that I can take better care of my family. Here is a list of reminders of what I really need to function optimally.
- A few minutes to myself mid-afternoon. I could have a nap but don’t have that luxury and wouldn’t want to take advantage of it if I did. I find that I function better if I take Ruadhán upstairs to nurse him to sleep for an afternoon nap instead of nursing him to sleep downstairs while trying to accomplish other things at the same time. Those 15 to 20 minutes alone in the quiet do me a world of good. I must remember to have a quiet activity planned for the kids in the afternoon (I used to set them up several times a day to work alone when I was pregnant as I was totally exhausted for the first half of the pregnancy…I’m still tired so I figure that once a day I can take a little 20 minute time out).
- Go to bed earlier in the evening. When left on my own, I generally head towards bed at about 10 BUT I’ve taken to staying up with Mike until close to midnight each night then reading until 1am or some. Combine that with a baby that is now sleeping very little and you have one tired Mama (maybe part of the reason I need an afternoon rest!). I’d love to make it to bed between 9:30-10:30 each evening and then taking the time to read at that point being ready to sleep by 11 instead of 1.
- Eat well (and often). I’m breastfeeding and need the food. With our new schedule of getting up later I haven’t been eating enough or regularly enough. I need to remember to feed myself, too. While the children always have their meals I’m often trying to do other things and am eating on the run or not at all. It’s not hard to sit and eat three meals a day so I need to make the time for them. I also need to restock my pantry with nuts and quick, filling, nutritious snacks.
- Write. I need to get back to taking 45 minutes to an hour in the mornings to write (whether it be on my blog or on other projects). I very much enjoyed my morning coffee and writing while the kids entertained themselves/worked independently and have not taken that time since Ruadhán has been born. He sleeps very late every morning and the children can keep themselves busy so there’s no excuse for me not to be able to sit quietly for a while in the morning.
- Read. We need to read more as a family. We’ve gotten out of the habit of reading books in the day. A lot of our learning would stem from different novels we read but these days we only read rogether at night time and don’t always follow up on learning more about the places/time period we are reading about. I found homeschooling more enjoyable when we were doing so it would be nice to get back into that more.
- I need to RELAX! Everything is so serious. I’m terrified all the time that I’m not doing enough and then try to do too many thing all at once with nothing being completed to my liking and setting me up for feeling not good enough. If I took one project at a time and tackled it I would be better off. With 5 cats and 3 kids the house isn’t going to stay clean (especially if I’m not occupying the children and they are messing up right behind me because they are bored and have nothing better to do). I need to have 2 periods a day where I focus on cleaning (ideally at least one of the two would involve the kiss as they are able to actually help now and it would keep them busy. The projects are generally manageable if they are done in a logical order. I might think I am the Queen of Chaos but I really do feel better when things are getting accomplished and I haven’t been feeling that way. I likely won’t ruin my kids and my house won’t fall apart around me so I should just relax and enjoy life more.
It’s now 1am (again) and another of my goals is to get up with the children in the morning when they wake up so I really must sleep. 6am comes way too early! Good night!