On a Sunday evening, most people relax in preparation for the upcoming working week. A week ago I found my eyes closing while I was sat on the sofa watching Luke cook tea, before rushing to get Jenson to sleep in time for #lbloggers and #BlogosphereChat, then making the final edits to a blog post ready to go live in the morning. All while battling a pounding headache and nausea.
I reminded myself that the night’s workload was self-inflicted, with self-enforced deadlines, yet I still powered through. I recently increased my hours at work, which means I have a much more strict schedule for blogging and it’s easy to get behind. I told myself I’d rest the next night, but did I? Nope.
I was sent a beautiful goals notebook to review the other day. Simply put, you pick a goal and then use the page templates to work towards it. But singling out a single goal proved difficult. What’s the one thing I really want to achieve, particularly before the end of the year?
I consulted my 2018 goals list and realised there was a theme running through most of them: time. I want to watch more films, read more books, go on more adventures, spend more time being creative… And the key to achieving this, I think, is learning to be more productive with my time. I haven’t got Bernard’s Watch but I can be more strategic about how I spend my time.
But it’s not just about doing more with what time I have, it’s also about making sure I’m rested enough to enjoy myself, rather than flitting about from one thing to the next. Last week, I set myself a challenge: to note down every single act of self-care. Every time I took a breather, or did something just for me, I made a note of it. The aim was to reflect on what I’m already doing and find room for improvement. Want to see how I did?
Typical day: Alarm went off at 6.20am, drafted the first half of this post on the commute, made a start on Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy in preparation for upcoming review post, worked 9-4, read more on the way back after consulting the day’s emails and social media on my phone, had dinner with Luke and Jenson, put Jenson to bed.
Self-care: Nothing. Fell asleep with Jenson rather than writing a blog post and/or catching up on This Is Us.
Typical day: Same as yesterday.
Self-care: Same as yesterday. This should be about more than just resigning myself to sleep, right? Did buy sweet treats at Sainsbury’s though… Also, no bread in the house for packed lunch, so when I called in to the supermarket for canned macaroni cheese, I also picked up an almond croissant for breakfast. So, today, self-care = sugar.
Typical day: As before. Got home a bit late due to meeting.
Self-care: Jenson wasn’t feeling well so I went to bed with him on purpose. Good excuse to watch two episodes of This Is Us.
Typical day: Took Jenson swimming, visited the fam, went to the pumpkin patch, put Jenson to bed.
Self-care: Didn’t even have time for my morning coffee before heading out for the day. Spent a lot of time carrying Jenson and really felt it in my back (I always carry him on the same side). Really fancied a soak in the bath but once he was asleep I decided to seize the opportunity to write instead. Felt exhausted so just wrote one blog post and had a semi-early night.
Typical day: Worked from home in the morning, took Jenson to the library, played at home, caught up on housework, put Jenson to bed.
Self-care: Felt awful telling Jenson to wait five minutes so I could have a coffee. Left Jenson with Luke while I popped to the shops because trying to take him shopping is a nightmare at the moment. Did an extra hour of work in the evening before starting a blog post, only to decide to reschedule and treat myself to the new episode of Grey’s and an early night, in the hope of being super productive tomorrow night.
Typical day: Had breakfast with Dad and Jenson, stayed in most of the day watching Fireman Sam and baking biscuits, put Jenson to bed. Managed to write one blog post before Jenson woke up unwell. Fell asleep holding him as he sat up coughing.
Self-care: Um… Let Dad buy me breakfast.
Typical day: Long morning at home on account of the clocks change, Halloween house party with the fam, put Jenson to bed.
Self-care: Because of the clocks change, Jenson was in bed and asleep by 7pm. Hello, evening to write! I joined in a Twitter chat and scheduled this post, as well as drafted and edited photos for two others, before heading to bed for a decent night’s sleep ahead of another busy week.
Instead of a self-care record, this turned into a ‘week in the life of a working mum’ post. It still did what I thought it would, though: show how little me time I have. I’m just not sure how I’m going to build it into my ‘routine’, particularly when sleep seems to be a priority. Hopefully the goals notebook will help. I’ll post a full review soon.