When I started working at my most recent employer, I had to adjust my sleeping patterns a fair bit. My shifts either started at 6 am and finished mid-afternoon, or started lunch time and finished anywhere from 9.30-11.30. You weren’t supposed to be put on a late finish to an early start the next day, but occasionally it happened.
I loathed getting out of bed pre-dawn but once I’d finished my early shifts, I always felt great. I’d spend the rest of the day being super productive and getting things done!
Late shifts, however, I’d be lucky to drag myself out of bed before 10 am and even when I did, I was convinced I didn’t have time to do anything before work. I’d literally sit around for a couple of hours watching TV and having an early lunch and finally getting dressed and dragging myself out the door. Nothing would get done.
Since having kids… well. Whether I’ve been on Maternity leave or back working part-time on set shifts, my days looks vastly different to that old routine.
My new routine every day of the week is to rise either with my alarm at 7am or with the boys anywhere from 5.30 onwards, depending on the baby. Alongside getting us all dressed, cleaned and fed, I will put laundry out or wash up and get the changing/nursery bags ready for the day, this is usually all accomplished by about 8.30.
Depending on the day we then go to a baby group, play date, out shopping or just stay in and do a craft etc instead. We usually have an early lunch between 11-12, after which baby will have a nap. Depending on the day Gray might have nursery in the afternoon and I might have work!
Even if I get all of those things done in the morning, I still feel like I haven’t done enough with my day. It still feels like there just isn’t enough time to keep up with everything.
This makes me wonder; how could I have been so lazy?
I can’t believe I’d let myself lay around, oversleeping, driving myself mad with boredom, I wasted so much time!
What I wouldn’t give for more time now!
And yet, even now I find myself turning around at the end of the day and seeing the signs of that old, lazy self.
When we visit my mum in Wales, Gray stays outdoors from breakfast until bedtime. He runs around her enormous garden playing with the dog, exploring, gardening etc. He doesn’t watch even 5 minutes of TV all day.
We may not have the luxury of a giant garden at home but we do have a garden, with a trampoline! Yet some days I reach bedtime with a sinking realisation that out of sheer laziness, I let him stay in and watch cartoons when he could have been out there, getting fresh air and exercise.
On those days, I have no excuse. I get so angry at myself.
My old lazy ways had to go out of necessity; having a baby demands such change. But also, my babies deserve such change.
I have come to the realisation that I waste the opportunity to teach, play or exercise with my kids, out of pure laziness. I do this every day, even now, at least an hour a day.
I don’t need to read one more blog post.
I don’t need to check facebook again.
I don’t need ‘just a quick rest’.
There is plenty of opportunity to do those things in the evening when my kids are asleep. The days I am the most productive are the days I am happiest. The days I am lazy, always end in disappointment. this is not a coincidence!
I am trying, one day at a time, to remind myself I don’t need to be glued to my electronics, like in this post.
I am trying, one day at a time, to remind myself that they grow so fast, and I only have a few precious years with my boys to play and learn the way they are now.
I am trying, one day at a time, to remind myself there is nothing more disappointing and heart-breaking than looking back and realising all the opportunities you missed and all the things you never did because you made excuses.
It is hard to break old bad habits, but the key is one step, one day, at a time.
If you’re like me and need a little push now and again, try one of these tips to help give you a boost.
set your alarm. Do NOT hit snooze.
We all love to get some extra sleep but like in my post about being productive even with the kids around, getting up before they do can make a world of difference. If you are dressed, washed and ready when the toddler hurricane blows through it is much easier to deal with than if it blows you out of bed. Just sayin’.
write a list of all the things you want to get done.
Not just the daily to-dos, I’m talking long term stuff, DIY etc, things you put off because you haven’t got time. Then promise yourself you’ll cross at least two things off each week. Make sure you don’t let this one slide! You will be amazed how good it makes you feel seeing that list shrinking!
Put your phone somewhere inconvenient.
This is one of my biggest issues and one I can’t recommend trying enough. For some reason, if my phone is on the arm of the sofa next to me, I feel the need to pick it up and check it every 5 minutes. This is so unnecessary!
If my phone is out of sight, it is out of mind. I can hear if I get a call or text but I am not constantly reaching for it because I can’t be bothered to get up every 5 minutes like I would usually check it! (See this post for more on this!)
Be careful of the double-edged sword, here! If you go overboard and schedule visits and play dates and so on for every single day of the week, you will find yourself burning out and then the laziness will feel almost justified, after all, you’re doing so much!
Nope. You must find the balance that works for you. Even if you are able to recognise that just one day a week, let’s say Thursday afternoons, you get lazy and stick the TV on instead of playing, why not find someone who is also free to make a standing play date with? The kids get exercise and socialisation, you get adult company and a good chat, win-win!
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
We are only human. Some days, for whatever reason, you will feel like being a little lazy. On those days you might be able to push through and get one more thing done. Or one of our favourites at the moment, pull out a game instead of switching on the TV. Or, you might curl up on the sofa and let Disney babysit for you.
Either way, it’s not a failure. You are still doing fine. Just keep moving forward, use these useful tips, keep your head up and focus on the big picture. Enjoy your life, and live in such a way that you won’t have to look back one day with regret.