What routines do I have?

How to get into the habit of fitting in what is important

What routines do I have?

I got into the habit of fitting in what was important for me, in between the needs of those close to me.

I remember when my first son was a baby, l would hear him wake up and I knew my free time had just come to an end.

I wasn’t always ready to stop what I was doing, yet I knew it was important to go to him. It was lovely to hear him wake up happy and he would then talk to himself for a few minutes. I would continue to do a bit more of what I was doing, but it wasn’t long before I could hear the urgency in his cry; he was not going to wait any longer.

There were years where I would find myself feeling guilty for doing my own thing when those close to me were urgently trying to achieve something important. I would put down what I was doing to help and support them. It was an amazing feeling to see them achieve, but what wasn’t good, was when their goals became my top priority at the expense of my own priorities.

I love my family and they are so important to me, so it took me a long time to determine what it was that I needed to prioritise. What I had to do was to decide what l wanted most out of life. Then everything I did, needed to support that in some way.

I learned that my focus needs to always be to spend more time doing what is important but yet not urgent. Like my health and that of my family, before it became urgent. And there are lots of things I still need to make time for that is important and urgent, like paying the bills and having food in the cupboard or taking my kids to school in the right uniform.

To do this not just for my family but for me too. When my children are with me, they are my priority. I also make sure there is time in my diary for just me. I create times to do what is important to me. 

Like so many other women, I got in the habit of pleasing others, to do what was important to them. I was criticised for not doing things the way others thought l should. I felt tired, drained and started to feel resentful towards the very people I was trying to help.

Now as a single mum, it is not easy. I have learned to see the benefits of my situation. In reflection, my ex-husband did work long hours, so I became responsible for the children all of the time, hardly getting a moment for myself. I found it challenging to even get out for a walk.

Now my boys go to their dads four nights a fortnight. Sure, I miss them but I also feel very spoilt having the house quiet. It is lovely to hear my own thoughts and work without the cry of someone needing me.

I am now in a routine where l have a running list of what is important and what is needed for me to do. Each week I look at the list and check it and add to it making sure it includes something for each important area of my life, that will help me work towards achieving my goals. Then l allocate each item to a day of the week, making sure that what is urgent gets done first. Often when things turn up out of the blue, l need to move things to a different day. Then there are some days where I am able to do more than what I had anticipated.

Knowing I have time allocated in my week for all I need to do, and having space to be flexible, helps me to stay calm. A habit I like to be in. This helps to live in a more calm, ordered, and peaceful way, helping to create the home life I desire.