• Kerry Leppier

It's time to stop the excuses and make yourself a priority. Here's why.

I've had this conversation with female friends and clients time and time again. Women (myself included) feeling sad, frustrated, angry, taken for granted; all because their partner seems to get their needs met whilst she does not. Their husband will find time to exercise, relax, watch something he likes, do something he likes, take up or maintain a sport or hobby. And it's the same in our home too:

Ben meditates 2 - 3 times a day, he exercises around 5 times a week (in January everyday while he trained for a half marathon), he takes part in a men's circle, has a coach, will have time out on his own in nature. In fact just this week he asked: "how do you feel about me going camping on my own for a few nights?" Plus there's a retreat coming up he'd like to attend...

(Ben is LOL'ing as he reads Kerry's blog and feels like the most selfish twit on planet earth - "Read on!" she tells me)

And I could moan, it's true I have at times, or I could see this as an example. In doing these things Ben is more present, more full, more healthy, more energised and more loving. In fact if he doesn't do the things above he can be pretty grumpy and I send him off to do something on his own anyway.

He isn't being selfish, he isn't taking me for granted; he's making himself a priority because that makes him a better person, husband and father. And it's time I/we did the same.

I know the things I need which make me a happier person. For me they are: time with other women/friends, exercise, healthy eating, time alone and time for personal growth and/or learning. It feels a lot when I see it written down and I go straight to: "How will I find time for those things when we run a business and home educate 3 children?" Our schedule already feels so full of activities, kids and life....oh and buy a plot and build a house from scratch!

However, if I want to make myself a priority I have to be completely honest... I spend at least an hour a day (usually at night time) scrolling my phone. I spend time online shopping and can always find time - and a reason - to be on the internet. When the kids are in bed I can quite easily watch an entire film or a couple of Apprentice episodes. I do have time, but I use it badly.

I have some great excuses too that make me sound ever so holy:

Excuse: "If I exercise in the morning, everything starts late -- school work, breakfast, getting us all dressed and ready..."

Truth: I can't be arsed getting up early or out the door when it's cold and wet out.

Excuse: "It's a lot of petrol to go see my friend and money is tight so I'll stay put with you guys"

Truth: I am scared of the drive and I don't feel worthy of taking the time (or fuel).

Excuse: "If I start that course then other things will suffer, when will I fit it in? Look at my diary we have so much on right now, I'll start at a later date when we have less on"

Truth: Pah! When is there ever "less on?" I am scared to ask for help and worried about being a less than perfect mum.

The truth will set you free.

If I delete the excuses, admit the truth and make a plan for my own self-happiness just look at what I could achieve. I could be exercising regularly, seeing friends on my own (which often gives me the needed time on my own too as I travel to see them) and I could learn about a subject which I am extremely passionate about.

Those things will be hard, for sure I will be busier. But they are for me and they are good. Good for my health, good for my sense of worth and good for my family. When I choose me, I am also choosing us. My girls get the benefit of a mum who is feeding herself first, who is showing them that dreams are important and can absolutely be followed. I am giving them an example of a good balanced marriage -- and I hope -- a good balanced woman.

Stop the excuses. I know they will be good ones, and valid. But there is always a way, just as the author Marie Forleo says in the title of her book: Everything is figureoutable.

Another quote which keeps popping into my head lately as I start to forge this new path for me is: "How you do anything is how you do everything." My attitude in the mornings, my reluctance, my fear, my lack of self-worth, the excuses. This will be leaking into all aspects of my life. It's the real reason the house is messy, I'm not organised with our home education, it's why I sometimes make bad choices with food and stay indoors longer than is good for me.

But I have a plan! My personal well-being plan. And I started straight away. On Monday night after a breakdown to Ben he told me to get my running shoes on and go. And I did, then I ran back hard and ugly when he sent the urgent text reminding me of the kids swim and gymnastics class (that we both forgot and were now late for). But since that moment I've not allowed an excuse to stop me doing what I know is important, vital even for my happiness. OK I won't expect a medal yet, it's only been 4 days but for me that's flipping amazing... So yeah get me the damn medal.

Who's with me? What would would your wellbeing plan look like? How different would life be if you made yourself a priority? The world needs the happiest version of you.

After all, absolutely nobody will thank you for the things you didn't do for yourself.

So, are you ready?

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