It’s summer now, and being at home with 4 children, including a 13 month old who’s breastfeeding in that way only a 13 month old can, my days could easily be (and often are) consumed by the needs of others. There’s been a lot of upheaval lately that results in an intensifying of their need-level, and an unfortunate corresponding reduction in my capacity to meet those needs as my own space and time is so easily eroded.
There’s always a reason for not having the time – the floors need cleaning, the dishes need washing, the baby needs feeding or changing…even when we skip the floors as much as possible, the rest really needs addressing fairly regularly.
I’ve really noticed the impact of the erosion of the small spaces and routines I’d carved out for myself, kind of like the avalanche of small but utterly necessary tasks has gotten to a tipping point. There’s no room for mama, and that’s not healthy or good. (If you are some awesome super-organised and super-fit mama, please don’t judge us ordinary mortals! But I’m pretty sure I’m not totally alone on this one.)
Walking – real walking (sometimes interspersed with a bit of running) that makes me sweat – is a key non-negotiable practice for me and I’ve let that slide more than I’d like.
I walk every day anyway, but I walk with children, with a dog, with a baby tied to my back or my front. That means I’m outside (yay!), but I’m not sweating (boo!).
This week I’ve taken time to notice what that does to me:
*My stress and anxiety levels increase.
*My patience levels decrease.
*I end up angry and frustrated more often.
*I feel my body chemistry is off.
*I don’t sleep as well.
*I spend more time hiding out on the world of social media.
*I eat more crap to compensate for the crappy feelings in my body.
I’ve been in this space before, many times. I know, however much I’d love it, no ‘giving mama time’ fairy is going to swoop in and make things easier for me. I know that the more my energy erodes, the harder it gets, the more things fall apart. So I’m returning to non-negotiable practice.
What this looks like for me, to start, is that I get out there with the baby in the buggy, on my own so I can walk fast, no matter what. Even if I don’t have enough time. Even if my house is dirty or the bigger kids have to wait. Luckily for me my baby loves getting out there too.
These are my anchor points, the foundation for the kind of life I want to be living, the choice to be living now as the kind of woman and mother I want to be. And I know from experience what feeds me, will feeds the rest as I become more patient, more present, more in control of the choices I’m making (vs. making reactive ones).
There’s so much that doesn’t get done on a daily basis. Even more the case when there are children about. What’s important to me is living each day as I want to be living, even in the midst of chaos around me. At the end of the day, whether I’ve been out for my walk or not, those things will still be there…or not.
I’m committing now to 40 days to start. I’m keeping it simple. It’s part of my personal MuTu® System reboot (I’ll share more about that very soon) – but it is regardless my commitment to my family and myself, my non-negotiable practice.
What’s your non-negotiable practice? Please share in the comments below so we can inspire each other to keep going…and if you’d like to join me for the next 40 days, please do!
You can find me and others doing this over on Facebook – not a big formal thing, just a bunch of women supporting each other in carving out space – just pop on and let us know your personal non-negotiable practice, and you can use the hashtags #rebalancingwoman #40days and to keep us posted out you’re getting on.