As you may know or may not know, I’ve been married to a wonderful husband for four years, I’m a mother to an eight-and-a-half-month old son, I teach yoga classes around my city, and I run my life coaching business. On top of that I make homemade baby food, vegetarian meals and treats, and fit in regular exercise.
I’m not sharing this to brag, I’m sharing this with you so you can learn how I do it, so here it is:
I don’t do it all ALL the time.
I do a lot of the things some of the time, a few of the things most of the time, and none of the things the way I did pre-baby.
Here are a few key tips I want to share with you of how you can do the things you want and NEED to do when you are struggling to “do it all:”
I cannot stress this enough. We only have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in that week to do all the things we feel are important. If your days are anything like mine, your attention is constantly pulled in multiple directions and unexpected interruptions are the norm.
If you don’t know what is important to you then you can’t do them. Why? Because we will fill our day with the next most immediate demand instead.
All of us have things in our lives that are important. These are the things we are willing to stand behind and put time into no matter what.
I invite you so spend some time evaluating what those things are for you so you can put them at the top of your To-Do list.
You will feel more in control, a larger sense of accomplishment at the end of your day, and you will be happier for it, I promise.
For me, some of those things are: making my baby’s food and our food, not working when my baby is awake, walking the dog everyday (or some other form of exercise), getting in a bit of work time, teaching yoga, and having a few solo hours with my hubby every evening.
Because I am clear on what is important to me, I can implement the systems and routines that allow me to do them.
My baby needs to nap and sleep well for a lot of the above to happen, so we worked with a sleep consultant early on. I leave the house to teach yoga, so I found reliable childcare with someone I trust. My husband has picked up some of my previous tasks like grocery shopping so we can spend the evenings together once Magnus has gone to bed.
Being clear on your priorities will make it easier to plan your day around them, instead of trying to fit them in. Because as we all know, things we try to fit in don’t happen.
Create a “Semi”-Structured Routine
Habits are what run our lives.
Imagine if you had to think about throwing your feet to the floor when you got out of bed, and then placing one foot in front of the other as you walked to the bathroom, only to concentrate on each brush stroke as you brushed your teeth? You’d be fucking exhausted before you even left your house!
Habits allow us to do things automatically so we can use our energy and brainpower elsewhere.
This also means that habits use the least amount of energy and are the easiest to maintain. Routines, are a few habits grouped together in a sequence.
For example, my mornings look like this: Magnus and I get up at 6am. He nurses and cuddles until 6:30am we have a story and then I get in the shower and eat while he plays. He eats again at 7am and then I wear him as we take the dog for a walk. We get home around 8am, he eats again and then he has breakfast. 9am is his naptime.
He naps usually from 9am to 10:30am which is “my time.” I typically use this time to work, however, some days I go back to bed for a nap myself or do laundry, make food, or other domestic shit.
My whole day is cut up like this with chunks of time devoted to specific things, and specific days also have specific task during “my time.” For example, Mondays I write my blog, Tuesdays I prepare for upcoming events, the end of the week I most likely am doing laundry.
Routines are the secret for high productivity.
As an entrepreneur, I learned early that if I didn’t have a regular routine I would get jack shit done.
Needless to say, routines have been a part of my life for a long time and they are how I make sure I work, exercise, and most importantly, have focused time with my baby an family.
What routines can you implement in your own life to do the things that are most important to you?
This is where being a yogi has been a huge help for me, because it has taught be not to be too rigid and to be willing to make space for things as they come up.
Sometimes this requires me to let go of my plans, like if Magnus doesn’t nap well or he’s sick.
Sometimes, like when my husband is home, it opens up space for me to go for a run or get in a workout.
And a lot of times, it means letting myself have a break and laying down for a guilt free nap.
Everything is in constant change, and being stuck on things having to be only one way doesn’t allow us to see the opportunities available to us now.
(Also, if you have or had a baby, you know that routines are always changing anyways. Good luck fighting it!)
These three principles are what have allowed me to be a fulltime mom and work part-time at the jobs I love AND take care of me and my family the way I want to.
I’d love to hear from you now: Do you feel like you have to do it all? How do you juggle all your demands? What are your “most important things?” I’d love to read them in the comments below.