Yesterday as I was scraping out the old caulking in the shower, preparing to re-grout and caulk it just before we leave next week so it has plenty of time to dry and cure; my children seemed to have other ideas. Don't get me wrong, I specifically plan these activities during my daughter's nap time so I can work undisturbed. But yesterday was one of those days that she had other ideas than sleeping.
We have a rule that she does not have to sleep (because let's be honest, you can't force a toddler to lay still and close her eyes) but she has to use the time to quietly look at a book in bed or talk to her stuffed animals. By the crash and wails that called me I could tell that had not been the case. Instead it was a monkey on the bed scenario, luckily her bed is a mattress on the floor.
After some comforting and tucking back in I returned to my project only to be greeted by my fur-baby. Usually my daughter's nap time is my opportunity to make calls while working out and then sitting down to rest before work while cuddling the dog. And my dog was not liking this change in routine. Luckily, I keep a small bottle of bubbles in the bathroom so we played just a little and I gave her a few pats before sending her off appeased to her dog bed. ...back to work.
This is only one example of how priorities come into play. As a mom, it seems each task has snags. I have yet to finish the Mother's Day gifts I set out to make. I have yet to get groceries this week because my car needed serviced. And yet with all the pulls in different directions and the schedule being off balance I sit here calm because at least my priorities feel right.
For me, my first priority is family and the hierarchy puts my daughter ahead of my sweet dog. My immediate family comes before the extended, though I do my best to keep all the parents as top priority too. (After all they are why we are here.) The next priority falls to doing the absolute necessities and no I don't mean vacuuming. I do my best to keep a clean house but it can get trumped by things that need done like working to provide, getting food so we have something to eat in the house, and doing the vital maintenance to keep the things we have in god working order.
Self-care gets slipped in here and there and while I know it probably should be a higher priority I balance it by checking off three reflective goals each day. Each day I ask myself, "Did I laugh, truly laugh, for fun and to get through a bump in the day?" "Did I do something for myself?" This could include reading, art, meditating, etc. And "did I take time to just sit and breath? Did I keep my patience?" If any of these are no then I plan for more self-care time the next day. It isn't about me having the perfect day or me handling every moment with grace and perfection. If that were the case I would be in trouble. Rather it is about doing a self-check on how I feel and how I am expressing myself because I have learned that is a good indication of how well I am taking care of myself.
I'm grateful to feel at ease knowing I have a system. I'm grateful to know this crazy, overextended week is for the purpose of a family vacation next week and the renewal of time away. I'm grateful for my excitement to get out into nature. I'm grateful to prioritize my family above all else. I'm grateful to feel pride and energized by a productive start to my week. I'm grateful to have a great check-up at the doctor and hear things are going perfectly with my little coconut. I'm grateful to take time to make sure my daughter, dog, and husband feel loved. I'm grateful to plan times to spend with each of our parents as we celebrate our moms. I'm grateful to do a self-check to make sure even on these weeks of chaos and overextension I am still getting the care I need and my priorities straight.
What are your priorities? How do you keep them in check? Do you ever take time to review or do a self-check on where you fit in those priorities?
May today provide balance. May we take the time to reflect and adjust anything that is out of balance with the priorities of our heart. Have a beautiful day!