The last few months, finding time for yourself has probably been harder than ever with families at home together all day and many of the places you normally visit closed. But it’s actually more important than ever that you make time for yourself, regularly, especially with all of the stress and changes in the world right now.
Finding Time for Yourself as a Mom
If you are like me, you probably need to make some intentional changes to work time for yourself into your busy schedule. To get started:
- Talk to your partner: Let your partner know that you need time (every day, every week, etc) where you aren’t responsible for taking care of kids, or cleaning the house, or working. Be honest about what you need from them to help make this a reality.
- Define what time for yourself actually is for YOU: If you LOVE to work out, maybe taking time each day in the gym is exactly what you need. If you don’t love working out, maybe it’s just another thing you are doing because you want to take care of your health. For you, working out isn’t something you are excited about, and you need to make time for something else that actually relaxes or refreshes you. Know that what you want and need to do during your time might changes as your life does, and reevaluate if you feel like something that you used to look forward to is no longer working for you.
- Stick to your schedule: Once you have scheduled time for yourself, don’t get sidetracked. “I’m just going to clean this one thing” can quickly turn into a full kitchen cleaning session…and no relaxing mid-afternoon nap. Guard your “me time” carefully.
Here are a few ideas to help you find time for yourself:
- Wake up early: If you aren’t a morning person, the advice to get up 2-3 hours before your kids probably sounds like torture. I get that! But maybe you can try getting up 30 minutes earlier than your kids to get a jumpstart on the day. Taking care of a few things early in the day makes it easier to actually relax during nap time, or not feel rushed as you make breakfast. Or you can use this time to enjoy the quiet in your house and read a book or take your time enjoying your morning cup of coffee.
- Send your kids on walks: You can’t send young kids out by themselves, of course, but one of my mom friends has hired a preschool teacher from her daughter’s school to come over to days a week and take her kid for nature walks in the neighborhood. This is a great way to set up time alone in the house (take a nap, work on your novel, call a friend without any interruptions) while also providing your kids with a fun experience. You don’t have to hire someone to make this work, maybe your partner could do a daily walk with the kids. A great bonus of things that gets kids out of the house is that you don’t have a mess to clean up.
- Redefine nap time: If your kids are still taking naps, this could be great time each day you can spend on something you want to do. Take a nap yourself. Watch your favorite show. Work in your garden.
- Make a list of things you want to do: Sometimes you find yourself with an extra 15-30 minutes when you could something, and you don’t know what you want to do in that moment. Having a list beforehand (shows you want to try watching, projects you want to research, etc) can help you make the most of these extra pockets of time.
- Stay up later, but not TOO MUCH later: After the kids go to sleep is a great opportunity to take time for yourself. Watch a show. Have a drink. Work on that craft project that has small beads or hot glue guns you don’t want little hands reaching for. Just make sure you don’t stay up too late and feel tired the next day. It’s all about balance.
I hope you get to make some time for yourself this week.
Jessica — Mom of Sophie & Jake