What’s your priority?
The topic of priorities has come up a lot for me since becoming a mother. What do I list as being the most important thing for me as a parent? and as a woman? I’ve had many conversations with mothers of similar parenting styles when we wonder how other mothers look so darn put together and well rested all the time. What’s important to me is not important to every mother and what’s important to some may not be anywhere on my list of priorities. The point is that we’re all mothers and should be helping and supporting each other instead of belittling what another mother feels is important. But that is right up there with world peace in the things that aren’t likely to happen.
When I see new moms dressed to kill with perfect hair and makeup before 8am I wonder why I can’t do that. I’ll take an extra 10 minutes of sleep any day of the week, and I’m also likely to prioritize waking up earlier to cook breakfast and sit down for a family meal with my still sleepy family before using that time for anything else. Because I’ve made it a priority. Not because I have unrealistic expectations of myself and feel pressure to do it. Sometimes I wish I had the self control to wake up before 5am and have enough time to look as put together as other moms I work with, but chances are sleep and a family breakfast will come first.
At the end of the day you’ll find time for whatever you decide to make a priority in your life. To me it’s important to make and share good, healthy food with my family, to spend time just enjoying each other and to have Annabelle explore nature and use her imagination as much as possible. Having a house that’s immaculate or having time relax and read a good book isn’t as important to me anymore. I’d much rather labor over the kitchen sink with Annabelle who is sure to make a mess and spill water all over the place than to let her watch TV while I cook. It certainly isn’t easier, but I feel better because it is truly important to me.
This is what my kitchen tends to look like while cooking with my little helper. Mixing bowls filled with water and flour for Annabelle to stir, flour all over the floor that she’s been trying to pour from one bowl to another. Surely some of you are thinking that you’d never let your kid make that much of a mess. To me I see that she’s learning the importance of healthy food and how it’s made, new vocabulary of all the food and things we’re using, using her imagination as she pretends to make things and feed us pretend bites of whatever she’s making, a plethora of fine motor skills as she pours, holds spoons, tears broccoli off the stem. I could go on and on and on. Maybe it’s because I teach PK but to me what she’s getting out of the insane mess she’s making is so much more important than the actual mess. And she helps me clean up when we’re done.
This is what the kitchen looks like after we’ve worked together to clean and vacuum. The best part is that we’ve spent great quality time together while making and fixing the disaster.
Now that we’ve started a new year and have surely made New Years resolutions it’s a great time to re-evaluate your priorities. Find a way to make them work, shift things around, get rid of priorities that no longer serve you, whatever it takes. If you’re not happy with the amount of time you’re dedicating to something then you need to think about how important it really is to you, if it’s not that important then try letting go of the guilt about not doing it, if it is make it your number one priority. If it’s important to you you’ll find a way to make it work, if it’s not, you’ll find excuses. Don’t let anyone tell you what’s normal because only you can decide what is normal in your life and to your family. I understand that a lot of people think I’m nuts but believe it or not, I know plenty of other moms who have the same priorities and plenty of other great moms who have different priorities. It’s not about doing things to make you a great mom, loving your child the best way you know how makes you a great mom, its about doing things because they fulfill you and give you satisfaction.
My big 2 priorities this year are to get into (and stick with) a regular workout routine. My body has been craving the kind of workouts I did pre-baby, heavy lifting, deep squats aching muscles kind of workouts. My other priority? To spend a little more time getting ready in the morning, putting on a little more makeup and maybe wearing less kid-prone outfits which might be a challenge considering I’m surrounded by 4 year old all day but I can try. Hopefully sleep doesn’t end up over ruling this, only time will tell.
What are some of the things you want to make more time for this year?