To do list

Dump, Delegate, Do, Delay – my motto for today

Yesterday I pulled something in my back, it hurts and the last couple of days I’ve fancied a jolly good cry, which means it’s time to listen to a bit of my own advice.   So I’m sharing this, not so that you worry about me, but just so that you know that I too am not always so tough or sorted.

The problem at the moment is feeling a bit overwhelmed with how much needs doing and how many decisions there are to be made.  They could be looked on as ‘opportunities‘ as I did the other day, but today they look like big decisions, that still have a big pile of unknowns and a slow slog uphill to sort them out.  It’s THAT stage.  You know the one where everything is a bit funky and nothing is clear.  I know it will end.  But in the meantime I need to do something so that I don’t get too stressed by it all.

I need to lighten the load a bit, and that’s where ‘Dump, Delegate, Do‘ and my additional ‘Delay‘ come in.  It requires a cup of tea and open mind to do it, because often it feels like there is no leeway for reducing the load (biscuits definitely help with the process!).

When I look at my work To do list and inbox, there are things that are not of big importance for my three overall priorities, so they will sadly need to be dumped or delayed.

Today I have to do my accounts, there’s no getting around that one.  Maybe I need to delay or slow down the ‘Mums Stand Together‘ campaign, whilst I’m writing my ‘weightloss without diets and boring exercise for busy mums‘ and sorting the paperback version of my ‘How to enjoy being a Mum more and get back your sparkle‘ book.

I’ve delayed a lot of cleaning already from weekly to monthly, but things are building up because it’s not clear on when they will get done.  Plus, the big northern one and I are both ‘boss’ types, i.e. we both work well as team leaders, less so as team members.  So we often assume that because someone covered a house chore yesterday, that they will do it again today, and then there is a panic at the end of the day when it’s not been done.  My powers of delegation need some more work here I suspect!

There’s also the general family or kids oriented jobs which are a bit all over the place at times as there are things as mums that we often assume are obvious, but they aren’t.  It’s weirdly helpful having the Big hairy northern one not working, but also not helpful.  So I’ve made a list on a white board, so it’s clear what needs to be done, and hopefully that will help things move along more smoothly.

Writing this I can see that the mistake I’ve made is increasing how many hours I work, because of hubby being around, but not taking into account the additional housework with no cleaner (I don’t get the evenings to catch up because of Little Dimples).  So I’m not getting as much fun ‘play’ time with the kids and I’m getting that ‘not doing any job well’ feeling.  I wonder if it’s the same for everyone, but time management is the step in the 6 steps of my book that I repeatedly have to come back to.  The contentment, health, space, money mgmt and sparkle ones get affected by time massively, but they don’t seem to go off course half as much on their own.  With time, the goal posts seem to be always changing.  Makes sense really, because as the kids grow, so their needs change and everything shifts again.

What I did ‘Do’ yesterday was go for a massage to give my back a break, see a friend and drink some wine.  There will be no running for me for a while, so maybe some walks with the dog and kids will bring back that sense of playtime for me.  Right off I go to get a horrid to do off my back …. my accounts ….. I can already feel the yawn coming on!

Are you looking after the foundations of your health, strength and vitality?

Life is getting tricky at the moment.  Since the big hairy northern hubby got made redundant, all I keep getting is messages about how it’s happening to loads of people.  Then there are the awful stories about mainly men who freak out and kill themselves or their whole family just because they have gone down the financial pan.

So I’m going to get on my soap box for a bit, because there is no harm in making sure that you are strong enough just incase things go wrong.  It’s like buying insurance and putting it in a drawer just incase you need it.  In this case the insurance is all about taking care of yourself, getting stronger and enjoying your life as it is.  That way you have the strong foundations to handle whatever life throws at you, and if life doesn’t throw anything at you, then you gained anyway.

I was where some of you are.  I was trying to make life work, be a great mum, work, be a wife, and keep all the juggling going.  But life started to get really hard for me when Little Dimples was born (the reasons really don’t matter, it’s just life), and for a year I got worse and worse, eventually ending up quite pathetic, very weak and terribly shocked at how I’d managed to get there.  I wouldn’t really call it depressed, because I was able to pull myself out of it, but it wasn’t a contented place either, despite Little Dimples.

On January 11th of 2011 I woke up one morning and thought ‘F*ck this for a game of laughs’ and started turning it around.  On November 11th of 2011 I published my book about it and it hit the best sellers list straight away; which is slightly freaky!

This time I did it the ‘right way’.  Because I’m a ‘coach’ type person I’d often go straight to problem solving, therapy or personal development types of stuff.  But I was in too bad a state to do that.  So I started at the beginning with the basics.  I blogged as I went, not always sharing how tough life was, but giving the odd hint here and there (you can see the blogs under the ‘sparkling you’ tab).  Gradually I realised what I’d always ‘known to be true’, but I really ‘got it’ at last.  A mum needs her foundations to be strong.  They are the foundations upon which she will stand and hold up her family in times of trouble.  They will help her support her hubby when he struggles.  Most importantly they will keep her going.  In many ways there is no point in doing the ‘clever stuff’ if the foundations aren’t in place, because everything will just come tumbling down.  Frankly, thank God I did it, because otherwise the last couple of months would have been really crap; whereas instead they’ve just been challenging and I can see the possibilities in them.

So what are these foundations?

  1. Simple ways of keeping mentally focussed on what we wants in our life and what we are grateful for, so that we can feel more contented and less worried about what is lacking.  Things that don’t take any extra time per day, and are practical to fit into a busy Mum’s life and help us to work out what our big priority is going to be.
  2. Sorting out our time with Dump, Delegate, Do and Delay according to what our priority is and making sure that there is time for other sides of life.  It is so important to keep the rest of our life going, not just as mums, because that is our safety net when the shit hits the fan.  You won’t believe the help I’ve been getting from the Mummy Blogging community over the last couple of weeks, to try and get my blog to pay more and take the pressure off.
  3. Getting Healthier and Fitter, because the body does an awful lot to keep us emotionally stable and give us stamina to keep going in the toughest times.  My running girls are great, come rain or shine, someone is daft enough to come out with me!
  4. Organise the house so that there is space to breath in by de-cluttering and organising it, otherwise for many it can be a constant source of discomfort all day long.  There is often so little time in the day, but there are ways of saving time and effort when the house flows well for the family.
  5. Sort out the financial mgmt so that it’s clear how the money is and will be spent.  It’s not about blame, it’s about being sure what the situation is so that you can adapt if need be.  I’m sure that you can imagine how important it is for us as a family now to know how we can cut costs quickly and easily, and we can only do that because we had a clear budget.
  6. Then add a serious amount of sparkle!
You might be surprised to see no talk of relationships in the list (thats my next book!), but that is because I focussed on what a Mum could adapt and change all on her own.  There is no need to change the kids, the partner, the friends, the house, the job or the financial situation.  It’s about making what you have got work before you move onto improving the rest.  I can’t tell you how much difference this has made to me, but I know that the people close to me have felt it, and that the Mums who were testing my book over the summer are beginning to get there now as well.
I’ve talked to so many Mums and clients this week who don’t have these foundations set, so I thought I would blog about them as maybe lots of people are thinking about it this week;  They aren’t clever foundations.  They aren’t some big complicated new personal development technique.  But they will work.
I really hope that with my book I can help thousands of Mums get stronger; which at the moment is really important as things out there in the economy still look gloomy.  That’s one of the reasons why I self-published instead of the traditional route.  This way my book is just 99p (you can read it on a Computer, phone, iPad or Kindle) and nearly everyone can afford it.
Anyway, wether you buy my book or not, just remember to check and see that your basic foundations are strong, and that you are taking care of yourself.  You are important in your family, and you deserve to enjoy your life.

If you’d like more information about the book <click here>

If you’d like to buy it <click here> (UK) or <here> (US) or search for ‘Mummy Whisperer’ on your local Amazon site.

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