My mornings used to feel like a sprint. As soon as I heard my littlest cry out from her crib, I switched into mom mode. I had diapers to change, bellies to fill, board books to read and two little ladies to get dressed.
My girls had needs that had to be met – and they weren’t the only ones. I also had to find ways to give to my husband, my extended family, my colleagues, my clients and more.
A lot of the time, it felt great to be so in demand. It was externally rewarding to be seen as a giver and I craved the sense of accomplishment I got from helping someone out. (I love collecting gold stars.) But I was also fighting for my own attention; by giving my all to everyone else, I knew I wasn’t giving to myself the way I should.
The truth was I needed me too.
The idea that you need you can be a hard concept to wrap your head around. Sure, most new moms understand it intellectually but the actual act of prioritizing themselves proves challenging. That’s because they don’t think they have the time or money or energy to practice good self-care. Or they don’t actually believe they deserve it.
That’s a real problem because a life spent solely serving others isn’t sustainable. And the real irony is that it’s harder to care for your family when you’re running on empty. If you aren’t taking care of your health – including your mind, your body and your soul – you can’t show up as the best version of yourself for all the people who need you.
I learned this the hard way and now know that the only way to fill up my tank is to shift my priorities. Here’s how you do it. Start by making a list of your top five priorities and ranking them. Then ask yourself the following questions:
1. Why did you put your priorities in this order?
2. Why is your #1 priority so important to you?
3. Where do you fall on your priority list? Why did you rank your needs where you did?
4. Do your priorities reflect the way you want your life to look?
Now that you’ve studied your priorities, you need to decide if you like them and the rankings you assigned them. If not, what can you change to better align your priorities with the way you really feel and the way you want to live your life?
Sound daunting? I get it. Shifting my priorities was one of the hardest things I’ve done for myself. But it’s also one of the most important steps I’ve taken to get to know myself so I can be a better mom and better person.
If you need help figuring out how to make yourself a priority again, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or talk to you on a complimentary coaching call.
To believing your time is now,