Asserting Personal Policies for yourself is a great wellbeing technique that provide your daily routine with so much value. As an exhausted Mum myself, I simply need personal policies to prevent myself going round the twist. I’m here to explain what a personal policy is and how they could benefit your life as a busy parent.
What is a Personal Policy?
A personal policy is a boundary that you set yourself to maintain your happiness. It’s a set of life rules that you abide by to prevent negative situations occurring on a regular basis from either past experience or your own personal values.
The book The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knights discusses the concept of a ‘fuck budget’. This means, you really only have so many fucks you can give about a situation – use them wisely.
For example, I have a personal policy that I no longer go to nightclubs. Even ten years ago in my early twenties I was never a fan. Now as a parent, I find that they are a lot like experiencing children again.
They are loud, and messy and cost way too much money. They involve extreme emotional outbursts where I can always hear myself saying ‘It’s going to end in tears!’ (it usually does) Oh and what about all of the vomit?! Not enough sleep is involved, and there is usually a severe headache when it’s all over.
What are the benefits of adopting personal policies?
There are many benefits of personal policies, including:
- Less Anxiety
- Time Saving
- Minimise Stress
- Clarity on your own personal values
- Establishes your comfort zone
- Self Worth
- Confidence & Empowerment (Own it!)
- Ability to assert yourself
- Helps you achieve your goals
- Eliminates decision fatigue and analysis paralysis
- Sets clear boundaries for others
How to set your personal policies
Intrigued? Great! Creating your own list of personal policies can be such an enlightening experience – and also fun!
Grab a really pretty notebook and start writing a list (HUGE list fan) and identify some key areas that will help you create your own life rules. Ask things like:
- What are your life goals?
- What are you doing to contribute toward those goals?
- Is there anything you are unhappy about in your life?
- Do you often feel resentment? Why?
- What / Who are your triggers?
- Do you often feel overwhelmed? Why?
- How do you use your free time?
- Do you often feel guilty? Why?
- Do you feel comfortable in your own skin?
- What are your weaknesses?
Things that might help you
Write a list of goals. You could write weekly or monthly goals. Or it could be long term goals ranging from one year, two year or five year. Decide your areas of weaknesses – what might prohibit your goals coming to fruition?
Perhaps keep a journal for a few weeks. Keep it by your bedside table. Before you go to sleep, write about your day and how you felt throughout the day. This will give you key information on your triggers and if there is a pattern to your behaviour or feelings.
Take a Myers Briggs Personality Test. If you haven’t heard about this before, it’s a really detailed personality trait quiz with sixteen different possible personality types. They absolutely nailed mine (INFJ) and I own it. I won’t try and be someone else when I’m not. If people don’t like it, screw them. Give it a go, it might help you on your journey.
My Personal Policies
After a little thought. I’ve written a few of my top personal policies. I’m sure I will have more to add at some point. Some are quite deep, and some may seem quite trivial. But each may have a substantial knock on effect for me and holds its own importance in my life.
I will not feel guilty about using spending money towards my own necessities.
Budget adhered to, I really need to get my hair cut once in a while, and the occasional new pair of jeans. Isn’t weird how you don’t even flinch spending £30 on your kids? But when it comes to anything for yourself you hesitate. Treat yoself, Mama!
I will not go shopping on a Saturday
Heading into the city centre on a Saturday feels me with dread. Especially if it’s a solo parenting trip with both kiddos.
The journey and car parking anxiety (I hate parking) alone can be too much to bare. Along with being confined in a shop with too many people with no clear exit routes, and the consistent expenses of food and bribery toys, I’d would happily rather leave it to a weekday. Or better yet, Amazon Prime!
I won’t use the children as an excuse.
I may or may not have (ahem) used the children as a way of getting out of an invite for an event that I don’t want to attend. I’m sure I’m not the only parent to have done this, but it did make me feel incredibly guilty.
I felt shitty that I couldn’t assert myself and just say no. Why did I have to lie about my child being ill? I feel like it would be tempting fate in some kind of twisted way. Plus, I’m sure most people can see right through multiple illnesses your children have.
Children will obviously be a reason that you can’t attend certain events on occasion, but you should always be genuine with others in your reasoning.
Cheap plastic toys are a no no.
I will no longer waste money on cheap plastic toys that cost a few pennies just to keep the kids quiet. (You know those pocket money section toys from the supermarkets or budget shops) I have set myself rules about items I no longer buy, but this used to be one of my downfalls.
They’re bad for the environment as they always tends to be cheap plastic. The kids won’t even look at them again once we’re back home, and it immediately turns into clutter.
I don’t want my children to develop an expectation of receiving toys whenever they want. I will always try and instill the value of money and saving, and to waste cash on rubbish goes against that.
Write it down!
If I don’t write down an important date or ‘to-do’ immediately after I schedule it, I will 100% forget this. So I make it a rule to eliminate last minute panic or that awkward conversation after you forget a meet up.
I will limit self-justification
I am an introvert (INFJ to be precise) and often feel like many overlook me because I am a little bit of a wallflower. Queen of fitting in, my ability to adapt is practically a super power at this point.
I do find I rationalise my behaviour constantly to try and adapt to another persons point of view. I always berate myself after I’ve done this. Why do I need to justify why I sent an email? Why do I need to justify why I decided to give my child Calpol to others? I know them more than anyone.
Mum guilt is BS
This is a difficult one, because there will always be something I will feel guilty about as a parent. But I am gradually understanding that Mum Guilt is mostly bullshit. This could be created by other people causing me to feel guilty, or it’s about things that I have no reason to feel guilty about.
The worst Mum guilt for me is leaving my two pre-schoolers behind to work three days a week. I know that there are parents that work way more than this and I’m sure find it equally as heart breaking.
But teaching my children to have some self worth in developing skills in the workplace and the importance of contributing to household costs is a value I want my children to understand. It gives their Grandparents a day each week to bond with them both. It’s also good for me to have my own life outside of the home, and though my children will always come first, I need another outlet during the week.
Creating a list of my own personal policies has given me real insight into what I value and what would make my life so much easier, especially as a Mum. I could go on, and am learning to control my fuck budget as I become a more seasoned parent.
Did you find this helpful? I would love to hear some of your personal policies as a parent and how it has impacted your day to day life. Comment below 🙂