Finding Your ‘Not-To-Do List’
Have you ever had that feeling like you’re pulled so thin that you’ve got nothing left for the people and things that truly matter to you? Self-care is something that so many of us forget about once we become mothers. I know I find myself barely having enough time to be sure Ford has everything he needs in a day. By the time my day with Ford ends, I’ve got nothing left to focus on myself. Not to mention, that as a mother doing something for yourself feels so foreign that it can sometimes feel wrong! It’s an everyday battle back and forth.
However, taking time for self-care is of paramount importance to your stress management. If you’re constantly feeling like you don’t have enough, or that you’re lacking, I promise you that you’re not alone. The unabashed truth of it is that taking time for you isn’t selfish. It’s actually an immense part of being the best mother you can be to your children, the best wife you can be to your husband, and the best human you can be in this world. So how do you do this? I can’t answer that for you, but I know some things that I do to find this space.
One of them is having my Not-To-Do List. We all have the To-Do Lists and more often than not, they seem to keep getting longer no matter how much time we invest in them. Finding your Not-To-Do List is even more important than what gets checked off on your other list. When I say your Not-To-Do List what I’m referring to are the things that you find yourself doing or participating in that don’t bring you joy or benefit you. Simply put, it’s learning to say no to things without worrying that it will upset those you’re saying no to. For those of you that have never done something like this, start by doing it with smaller things. Someone asks you to volunteer for something, but you know you don’t have the time to do it with all your other responsibilities. Whereas most times you would’ve said yes, take the time to say no. You’ll find that even the space that opens up for you can make a huge impact on your stress management.
Instead, fill the time with some much-needed self-care. Run a bath with your favorite bath bomb and some candles. Drink your coffee while it’s hot. Read a book. You’ll discover that when you take this time for your stress management that finding gratitude will come much easier. And in my time as a mother, I’ve come to realize that being able to stay focused on living in a space of gratitude has led to more appreciation for my time with Brock, the moments we share with Ford, and an appreciation for who I am as a human and Mother.
Once you take the time to think about finding your ‘Not-To-Do List’, it will probably be almost as long as your actual To-Do List. We all already know the things that don’t bring us benefit or joy, that don’t contribute to our own self-care. It’s more that we think we don’t have the permission to worry about ourselves once we become a Mom. Give yourself permission. You’re the only one who really can.
So, when are you going to start finding your ‘Not-To-Do List’?