Mothers are under so much pressure to be perfect or to “do it all.” I am going to let you in on a little secret… There is NO SUCH THING! Big surprise, right? I know you all know that.
Sometimes we just need a little break. Finding time to do things just for us is a common problem for mothers everywhere. Now I am not talking about being completely alone for hours, upon hours a day every. single. day. No, I mean an hour or two every day to catch your breath and do something you enjoy.
Finding this time can be a challenge, especially if your kids are really little. Here are my top 5 tips on how I have been able to find the time to rejuvenate myself on a daily basis.
Tip 1- Decide what time of day works best for you and schedule time with yourself.
This is where having a good routine comes in to play. It took me a couple of years as a stay-at-home mom to figure out a good routine… I did a lot of trial and error to come up with one that works for me and my family. Once you establish your routine mark off your alone time and protect it.
My favorite time of day to enjoy my hobbies is in the wee hours of the morning while the kids are still sleeping. I am an early bird so this works for me. When our wild things awaken I am relaxed and refreshed, ready to take on the day. The trick is to find what works for YOU.
Tip 2- Limit social media and internet surfing.
The internet can be a HUGE time suck if you let it. The average person spends 2-5 hours on the internet per day! I know it is fun and a way to stay in touch with people but I think we are reaching an unhealthy level. I could carry on about this forever but will stop there.
Tip 3- Stop procrastinating!
We all have our “jobs” we need to get out of the way. The earlier they get done the better! Whether it is house work, grocery shopping or homeschooling just get up and get a move on it. This is definitely easier said than done, trust me. I have always dreaded house work and would put it off a long as I could. I would waste hour after hour doing not much of anything, just putting off the inevitable.
The result of this was seriously low self-esteem. I was convinced that I was just lazy and a terrible wife and mother. But once I started making my cleaning routine a habit it got easier and I actually started feeling better about myself.
Tip 4- Delegate chores if you can.
I know this one might not be possible for everyone but if you can delegate some of your chores to your spouse or older children you should do so. Learning how to run a home is an important life skill you don’t want your kids missing out on.
I might get some flack about giving your spouse “chores” just here me out…I don’t mean that as a way to belittle or disrespect our husbands/significant others. Especially if they work all day (or night), but I do expect a level of help from my husband and I don’t think that is unrealistic.
Example: I really dislike grocery shopping. I do all the meal planning, list making and ad-checking and he does the shopping. This gives me a couple of hours to relax or to do something fun with our kids.
Tip 5- Learn to say no and drop unnecessary engagements.
I am mainly talking about social time, playdates, mommy lunches, group coffee meets those sort of things. At one point I was going to a social activity twice a day, play date in the morning and coffee in the afternoon.
It was exhausting and most of the time I really didn’t want to go but felt obligated simply because I was invited. I decided to limit our social activities to three times a week and have been pretty happy with that these past couple years.
Remember, it is okay to take some time each day for you. This isn’t being selfish it is self-preserving, the refilling of your soul so you have more of YOU to give.
What are you going to do with the time you find?