This is a fun little “know yourself better” activity I think Gretchen Rubin might like. I did this with a friend via text. I think we were both a bit overwhelmed with the days that seem to blend into each other and the fact that we are both stay at home moms.
What it means to be a stay at home mom
Being a stay at home mom means you basically are your own boss. Your days can be scheduled (or not) as you see fit. The problem with this isn’t the lack of freedom. For me, the problem is unlike any other job I’ve ever had, the goals aren’t as clear. I know the basics– I need to feed my family, do diapers or help with potty training, and keep everyone safe. I need to make sure my kids feel loved and get attention. Now that I’ve taken on the role of homeschooling my eldest, I have to make sure he is learning. As far as the role of homemaker, I like an orderly house as does my husband. These basic expectations are clear. I know what my kids need and my husband needs from me.
The plight of the stay at home mom
What isn’t so clear is what I need from this role of stay at home mom. That’s where the two lists come in. Taking the time to write down my priorities helps me identify my needs in terms of my well-being and my goals for being a SAHM (being my own boss).
My priorities lists
My top three priorities-
*with husband, kids, friends, family
- making sure Nate gets his love languages met- affection and acts of service
- having meaningful family time on the weekends
- getting stuff done around the house for the remodel- participating in this makes Nate feel loved because it’s acts of service
- spending meaningful time with kids- at a playground, reading at home, cooking together, playing games
- making sure kids get outside and stay active
- having prayer and devotional time with boys
- homeschooling Noah
- calling a friend daily to connect and catch up
- keeping up to date on Marco Polo chats
- calling my dad weekly
- having a monthly day out with my brother
- texting and calling friends regularly
- having monthly date nights
- giving Nate weekly massages
*includes health, spirituality, beauty, rest, personal growth, money, and home
- 7 1/2 hours of sleep on average
- staying active by doing chores- keeping a clean and clutter free house is an act of self-care for me because mess and clutter make me feel stressed and anxious
- getting time outdoors- I get SAD so getting some outdoor light for me does wonders
- getting time to blog as my own creative pursuit and meaningful work outside of raising kids- it’s not enough for me to raise kids and keep a home. I need meaningful work outside of the home to feel fulfilled
- eating delicious homemade meals- since doing intermittent fasting (it’s been over a year now) my taste buds have changed and I prefer my own meals usually over take out or restaurant meals
- connecting with friends- I need energy from people since I’m 100% extrovert
- getting regular breaks from kids
- doing my makeup
- doing my gratitude prayer journal and bible reading time daily
- getting regular foot massages
- doing regular home manicures
- prioritizing personal growth by reading non-fiction and learning through podcasts
- having an organized, clean, and clutter free home
- doing intermittent fasting daily for health
- eating desserts daily for pleasure
- eating plenty of organic produce daily for health
- keeping updated on my budgeting app
- doing novel things regularly
- writing two posts 4 days a week
- doing photo shoots as needed for monthly posts
- posting on my FB group 4 days a week
- working on my Ebook and updating freebie
My not priorities list
- skincare- everyone is focused on their skincare I feel these days. As long as my skin is not breaking out, I really don’t have time to fuss with this
- making art
- doing my hair
- social media
- tv shows
- eating out
- setting aside time to work out
- playing with kids- I don’t like playing with my kids besides reading to them, taking them to fun places, cooking with them, or playing games with them. You won’t find me often doing leggos, racing cars, or playing pretend etc.
- reading fiction
- new tech
- volunteering- I love helping strangers, but my priority right now is helping my friends and family
- religion- I don’t prioritize church going currently with the pandemic, but limit myself to at home bible reading for myself and my kids
- art and culture
- news and politics- I get my news and politics second hand from my husband who shares similar political views. He enjoys keeping up with the news. I’ve tried, and it just brings me down, so I’ve chosen to not to focus on news and politics.
The value of the NOT priorities List
I feel it’s just as important to write my NOT priorities list as it is to write my priorities list as a reminder that I am not super human and by saying yes to the important things, it also means I’m having to say no to the not as important things. Given, these lists reflect the current 2020 pandemic and laying low at home most of the time, and I’ll revisit all of this once the vaccine comes out, and we are free to roam and be indoors with others.
Your list is right for you
Lastly it’s worth noting that there is no right or wrong in these lists. It’s just a matter of what is important to you. Your list might be completely opposite of mine! I have friends that would list adventure and travel as one of their top priorities or making art and that’s important for them to make space for!
How to use these lists practically
The beauty of these lists is when something conflicts, let’s say I didn’t get enough sleep and yet I’m vegging on Netflix shows, I can be reminded that clearly sleep is more important to me than tv shows, and it’s a good way to nudge me to turn off the tv and just head to bed earlier.
If I get two opportunities, I can check my priorities list to see which one would line up to what’s most important to me. Let’s say I have the opportunity to see my best friend in Texas but have no specific plans for activities or go to a yoga retreat by myself. My priorities are my friendships over setting aside time to work out or be alone so I’d choose seeing my best friend any day!
Find out more
If you’re having a hard time thinking about your top three priorities, this article and video are a great place to start.
What are your top three priorities? I’d love to know your specifics!
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