Do you remember the opening scene of Bridget Jones’ Diary? It begins with Bridget having a moment of sad-life epiphany at a family New Years Day party. She realises that unless something changes she is going to end up sad, and alone and found dead in her apartment half-eaten by Alsatians. That is the moment that inspires her to buy a diary and set up her New Year Resolutions to take control of her life.
I really relate to that moment.
After Orla was born I lived in a strange state of exhaustion for a number of months. My brain was in a fog of sleep deprivation, breastfeeding and nappy changes that took twenty minutes because I dropped a dirty nappy on my knee and now everything is covered in poo. They were the weeks that I just had to get through each day and remember to enjoy the cuddles, oh and rely on the support of my Mum, who would pop round each day, wash up, make me food and send me up for a nap every afternoon. God bless my Mum!
But after a few months Orla eventually started sleeping more and breastfeeding less. I got some energy back and my brain kicked back into gear. And there came a moment when I realised I had to get back in to the habit of doing my own washing up and sorting out my own lunch. I wanted to pick up my old hobbies and responsibilities and I wanted the house to have some resemblance of order, and of course, I wanted to take good care of Orla. So, like Bridget I turned to my diary and wrote down ‘The Rules’ to help me get control of my life.
A list always helps me feel more in control and here is the list I used to get a hold of my day to day life and make sure I was achieving my priorities and staying sane at the same time:
Rule 1: Orla comes first.
Rule 2: Give Rob your full attention. Put your phone down, he is more fun anyway.
Rule 3: Do the daily household tasks every day without fail.
If you are curious my daily household tasks that I set myself (and yes I do have a chart for tracking this…) are make the bed, wash clothes, check/empty bins, wash up, wipe down kitchen counter and high chair, tidy up for 20 minutes, and put clothes away at the end of the day.
Rule 4: Ask Rob for help.
Rule 5: On Tuesday/Wednesdays/Saturdays and Sundays do 2 or 3 of the weekly cleaning tasks.
The weekly cleaning tasks are: vaccuum, clean bathroom, change bedding, dust, clean kitchen floor, check fridge for out of date food, iron and do an hour of gardening.
Rule 6: Read the Bible and pray at the first opportunity each day
Rule 7: Go for a run when Rob puts Orla to bed
Rule 8: Do blog activities (new recipies, photos, craft projects…etc) on Saturdays, write up blogs on Thursdays
Rule 9: Invite friends around on the weekend. Make lots of plans, you never regret spending time with friends.
Rule 10: Your brain turns to mush in the evening so switch off and unwind after 8pm. Go to bed early.
Rule 11: If it is sunny enough to sit out in the garden and read a book then do it! All housework rules are cancelled.
Rule 12: You can do most of these things even if you feel a bit tired but when you are sleep deprived do whatever gets you through the day, all rules are off!
Some of these rules I keep really easily, some of them (hello Housework!)I am still rubbish at, but these rules do help me by giving me a plan of what to do when I feel overwhelmed by things. They also give me a little kick in the backside when I am being lazy and they remind me of the important things in my life; my baby, my husband, my friends and my God.
What are your life rules?