Everyone takes priority over you. That is one of the wonderful things of being a mom that you love but also becomes tiring and overwhelming someday. When the kids are young and the schedules are full, how DO you find ME time for mom? The secret is to plan and think differently. Your ME time isn’t the same as it is before you had kids…and it will never look the same again.
I know a lot of people have a routine set by the minute and when something goes awry, chaos ensues, frustrations run high, and the panic sets in. Something I have come to understand as a mom is that nothing goes according to plan and you can not get everything done during the day; ever! It’s ok though. This is a community for IMperfect moms. We are here to give ourselves and our kids the best life. That requires a different kind of plan.
Priorities are the best thing I can tell you to have. This has changed my life. Having only a few priorities to be done throughout the day gives me the ability to make sure the kids come first and they have a healthy, active, and loving childhood to look back on.
When you plan your day
write in your “hard deadlines”
Kids need to be at school at 8:00
Pick up kids at 2:45
Doctor appointment at 3:20
Sally’s Concert at 6:00
Then look at how much time you may REALISTICALLY have to complete a task. In this particular example, you may only get your bare minimums of dishes, laundry, and 1 other thing done. Between your own work and what will inevitably go on between pick-up and bedtime, you do not have the luxury of thinking about how to fill what seems to be time gaps. Get your goals done early so you don’t have to think about them again and you can enjoy Sally’s concert at the end of the night.
In this example, I would throw my laundry in the wash before the kids went to school so I could put it in the dryer upon my arrival back to the house so I could work as soon as I got back. On my first break from work, I would get the dishes put away quickly while making my breakfast (remember it only takes about 3 minutes). Boom! 2 things done without missing a beat.
On the way to pick up the kids, I would leave about 10 minutes to pick up some flowers for Sally after her concert and that would be my extra thing for the day. As soon as the kids got in the car it’s off to the doctor while handing out snacks to tide them over until what will be an early dinner. We would get back home at who knows what time because we can never predict doctors’ offices so it’s a simple something for dinner, probably grilled cheese sandwiches. Everyone gets as much homework done as possible (time to focus) before it’s back out the door for the concert.
A nutritious but filling snack after the concert and everyone gets in bed when you get home. When they are getting ready for bed I would do my 30 seconds of quick cleaning and grab the clothes out of the drier. They may sit in the basket until tomorrow when I have the next load join them in the basket. They are clean and that counts for something! Tomorrow will be less busy and I can do a little more in my house than I was able to accomplish today, and that’s ok with me.
When the house is quiet I will finish whatever I needed to for work or maybe do one piece of homework and then spend a little time for myself getting ready for bed so I can sleep better tonight. This may be as simple as putting lotion on or exfoliating my face or taking a shower or breathing a few deep breaths. Not much on a busy day like this but enough to make a difference in my world.
Mom’s ME time looks different than anyone else’s. It’s your job as a mom to make sure you are taking time for yourself no matter what that looks like. My ME time can be snuggling with the kids and smelling their heads. It can be a stretch in the morning, some deep breaths during the day, and recognizing the things I accomplished that day. Any of these things do not take any time away from whatever else I am doing, but it allows my mind to readjust and focus on the thing that is important at that time.
I count these things as my me time because it enriches my life, it helps me relax and relieve stress. Isn’t that what ME time is?
This is something we all seem to forget. When we have a child that is sick and we don’t get much sleep, our stress level goes up and we do not get much of anything done. Our focus is scattered because our brain and body did not reset. As moms, we will have those days and it’s ok to not get much (if anything) done.
You need sleep! Sleeping and sleeping well should be a priority in your life. You will have those mom nights where you don’t sleep well for one child or another but for all the other nights, sleep needs to happen for you.
I am one that doesn’t need a whole lot of sleep but the sleep I get needs to be perfect. I prepare myself before I go to bed to sleep well. Having clean skin, clean sheets, a warm blanket, and a cool room are all important to me to maximize my sleep. If I don’t get a good night’s rest, I will be cranky in the morning. Do you think your mood starts when you wake up? No, it starts when you go to sleep.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your children is to teach them how to be independent. Check out my chores lists that your children can do by age 5, by age 12, and in their teen years. Giving them the gift of knowing how to be responsible and productive is one of the best things you can do for them. When they are able to pick up a portion of the chores in your household will free up so much of your time to be able to do other productive things to further your family.
My older children are responsible for helping with a meal per day and fully responsible for a meal at least a couple days a week. They get to choose which meal and then we work out which day would be best. They sometimes need help but I am able to walk away and let them do as much as they are able.
They both enjoy cooking because I started this early for them and when something was good I made a huge deal about it. If something was not-so-good we decided what would make it better or we didn’t make it again (we do the same for my meals too, this isn’t specific to the children. I do this so we are honest with each other and so we can always be learning and growing). They were able to experiment and get their own recipes together. Their self-confidence grows so much when they are able to feed the family with a meal they prepared.
ME Time for Mom is relative. If you will always believe that a weekend at the spa is your only true ME time, I am sorry to tell you; you will not get ME time for a long long time after you have children. When you plan things simply, make yourself a priority when you are reasonably able, and teach your children to take care of themselves and the family, you will be rich with ME time. You will find it in every little moment with or without your children.
Keep your mind flexible
Raise self-sufficient, productive humans
Peace and Balance,