Last week I wrote a post on becoming re-energized. Read it here! Becoming re-energized looks different for everyone, yet what IS often the same for everyone is the difficulty in finding the time to do so. Especially as Mamas. The following are some super practical ways to find time for yourself as a busy mama.
1. Take Help. When someone offers help it is easy to respond with 'Oh thank you, but that is okay.' We may want it to look like we have it all together, we don't want others to go out of their way for us, we don't want to be an inconvenience, or we feel helpless when accepting other people's help.
In truth, if someone is offering it, they WANT to help. People truly love to help. People desire to be wanted and needed as it makes us feel purposeful. Instead of brushing off the offer, TAKE it. And LOVE it. Beyond this, even ASK for help. Many people may not realize you need or desire the help or even how to help until you express this. Whether it be a free meal, help around the house, or taking your kids for an afternoon - use the time you otherwise would be doing for these tasks to spend for your self. Take away any feelings of guilt and simply enjoy! This is the beauty of the community around you.
2. Consider child-care. I have two young girls and I am a stay-at-home mom. Yet I still chose to have daycare for my toddler once a week. This gives me the freedom to not only clean my house, and spend time with my newborn, but to also spend time for myself. Without this one day I feel extremely stretched and worn out simply because I did not get a significant amount of time to refuel.
Whether it is daycare or having a friend or family member watch your kids once a week, consider this for yourself. You can give and give to your kids all day and night long, but taking that small break (even just for an hour while your friend takes them to the park!) can do wonders. Even as I write this, my toddler is spending the day with a friend and her kids - she so generously offered to take Emelyn for a day. It would have been easy for me to say 'That's okay'. Instead, I sucked up my pride and embraced this help. And I am more than grateful for this extra break!
3. Take 15 minutes every day. Block out 15 minutes of time every day to spend for re-energizing. Perhaps this means taking out 15 minutes from precious naptime when you could otherwise be cleaning, spending 15 minutes in the late evening before bed, or waking up 15 minutes earlier. At first, you will need to discipline yourself for this time as it may mean 15 minutes of less sleep, or a task that does not get completed. Once it becomes a part of your every day schedule you will notice if it is missed.
4. Take one solid block of time a week. Beyond that 15 minutes a day, take a solid amount of time one day a week to spend for re-energizing. Ideas include a Saturday morning while hubby takes care of the kids or a planned evening during the week. Make it consistant and make it a priority.
5. List priorities. Speaking of priorities, listing your priorities and leaving them for you to see is extremely helpful in finding the time to re-energize yourself. This list can remind you what is of utmost importance and what tasks are okay to let go for that day. You can't do everything or be everything -- as much as we want to :). Read my post on Setting Priorities Straight.
6. Plan week. If you have been reading this blog for a while now you will know that I am a huge fan of planning ahead and making lists. This does not come naturally to me, but I have noticed a huge difference of accomplishments and successful days when I do so. Planning your week ahead of time will allow you to see where you can take out those significant times to re-energize. Grab a cup of coffee, your planner, and your favourite pens and spend a bit of time at the beginning of each week planning out how you can find time to re-energize yourself that week. And if it looks like an extremely crazy week - MAKE the time in your planner.
Be sure that you do not allow that known feeling of guilt to creep in when spending these times for your self. We can feel guilty all day long for the tasks we do not complete and for any time we spend on our own but these feelings of guilt are not true reflections of all that we do.