Brandon and I spent this past weekend reviewing what is working and not working in our lives right now.
During this "seasonal review" (we try to do this once a quarter), we both had the same take away: we did too much.
We have both been feeling tired and a little burned out. Parenting two little people occasionally unravels me to a degree I never expect, and I am ready for this to feel easier. I'm ready to up my resources so that I can better care for my kids, care for myself, and care for our marriage. This includes upping my resources to support my business.
Despite my early conditioning to be a lone warrior, I am overcoming my limiting beliefs that something is wrong with me because I can't do it all by myself.
And I've gotta tell you, it is SUCH a relief.
Noting how well asking for help and receiving it feels, I am inviting you to do the same.
So we can up our external resources by hiring a house cleaner, or getting a babysitter so we can go out on a date with our parter. But we can also ask our friends and family for help. The more specific we are with them about the type of help we desire, the more likely we are do get it.
Another way I receive help is by planning ahead and knowing what my needs will be based on what my needs have been in the past.
I used to follow other people’s plans for what their ideal week would look like. I read blogs on time management systems and books, too. I always seemed to be chasing a system but never really sticking to it and then telling myself I was wrong or bad for what I saw as a lack of discipline.
Then I realized that I wasn’t following other people’s plans for managing time because they were other people’s plans. My needs and desires are uniquely mine and so my plan will look different from others in the same way that the help I need will be different from the help you need.
Rather than continuing to get sucked into the crummy notion that someone else knows how I should live my life better than I do, I decided to design my own optimal week so I can get where I want to go instead of where someone else wants to go.
Here’s what I did:
1. I got out a big piece of post-it paper. (Writing things big makes them feel important. Plus I like a visual reminder to keep on the wall of my workspace.)
2. I got conscious about the things that I really want to do each week and what type of help I need so I can do them.
3. I batched these things.
4. I blocked out time for them in the calendar (which I shared with Brandon if appropriate.)
I have 2 dedicated days per week for doing work in my business and 4 days for being super hands on mom. 1 day is totally unplanned to leave some white space in out week. Business is often done a little bit here and there on the other days (when kids are in school and after they go to bed usually), but I know for sure the days that are dedicated to creating my dream of empowering moms everywhere to live lives they love WILL HAPPEN because those are the days I know I have childcare (HELP.)
Since I’ve implemented this optimal week schedule I’ve already noticed my days feel more joyful and on purpose.
My invitation to you:
Identifying your priorities does not guarantee that they’ll get your attention. You’ve got to remain ever vigilant to ensure that the essential gets the presence it’s due and that you receive the support you need to get it done.
Asking for and receiving help is a practice. This is not a one and done. You will bob and weave and ebb and flow.
And just because you set yourself up with on going support doesn’t mean each week will be the same, nor should it! Our bodies and the needs of our family are in constant motion, always changing. Expecting ourselves to produce and operate the same every week is like expecting the leaves to stay on the trees all year long. We’re just not designed that way.
Some weeks I get way more done even though I don't have much help. Some weeks I’m super distracted on the days I have childcare. During a period when I'm not feeling well I get extra childcare, and when I’m in a really good place emotionally and I feel like picking up Ben early from school, I do.
An optimal week doesn’t have to be rigid. I listen to my body and my energy levels on any given day to inform my plans. But having the structure to dance within has helped make sure what I say matters to me gets the energy and time devoted to it that something that matters truly deserves.
As you design what optimal week (and the help it requires) looks like for you, remember:
You are so very worthy of your own love and devotion! Asking for help is an act of self-love.
OVER TO YOU:
What does your optimal week look like? And what type of help are you committed to asking for? Was this exercise helpful for you? What did you learn or notice? I’d love to hear from you in the Mother's Empowerment Facebook group!