How to find time for yourself as a busy mom
As a busy mom, it can be a real challenge to find time for yourself. I get it. And now with summer here, it certainly seems as if the light at the end of the tunnel is farther than ever. Fret not, there are so many ways you can sneak in time for yourself throughout your days.
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How to Get Up Early
The easiest, most obvious solution is to wake up earlier, before your children wake up. As tough as this may be, you don’t need to wake up at the crack of dawn if you aren’t a morning person. You can start by rising 15 minutes earlier, day by day, and each week increasing that time by 15-minute increments until you’re able to get an hour in or more (however much time you need).
Should you invest in summer camp or activities for your kids?
This option is obviously dependent upon your finances and may or may not be feasible for you in this season. But if it is, then this is something that you’ll definitely want to consider. It’ll easily give you 3 to 6 extra hours in your day. It’s a win-win for everyone. You get your time and your child gets to be educated and entertained in a safe environment.
Do you need a babysitter?
Many families have babysitters during the year when they’re working full-time. However, we tend to take a break or cut this out completely in the summertime because of our work hours lesson or other reasons. If you can, I’d suggest keeping your babysitter on call. Even an hour a week can make all the difference in giving you that self-care time you need and certainly deserve.
Creating boundaries with your family
I realize how forceful this sounds but hear me out. Sometimes your spouses and family members truly don’t realize the time you really need yet don’t receive. Despite how loving and caring they are, they may not see that you need your cup filled as much as anyone else (if not more).
So, politely demand that you get some time to yourself. You can do this one of two ways (only you will know which is the best solution because it’s based on your family members’ temperaments/personalities): You either want to start BIG, in an effort to leave room for ‘negotiation’. Or start small, in order to build a tolerance to this new idea and work your way up to more time.
How to let go of ‘mom guilt’.
This is the part where you let go of any mom guilt that you’re feeling because that’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! Feelings are fickle and they lie to you on a daily basis. Instead, you NEED to tell your body, mind, and spirit how to feel NOT the other way around. Don’t allow preconceived notions or thoughts from your past experiences dictate how you’ll feel…How worthy you are of this time…Whether you’re worthy of relaxation or worthy of change. So to give you a tangible example, you might say:
Hey Babe, I want/need a weekend away to myself. Now you’ll most likely get one of a few responses:
- I need to know more…Okay…Let’s talk about this (because that seems like a pretty daunting idea.)
The first and last response are the ones we are looking for because…
- The first response is ideal (& amazing!)
- The second response may lead to frustration or tough and heavy talks
- And the last response- isn’t a no…it’s just proof that your spouse is feeling uncertainty and is beyond their comfort zone. You can work with this! At the very least, you’ll be able to get a few hours away if the weekend is a big ask for your significant other.
Create an evening routine with your spouse
Now, this option is much like the first (waking up earlier) but for some reason, it might be easier for some moms to stay up later than it is to wake up earlier.
For me, what helps is to drink coffee around 3 or 4 p.m. and it allows me to stay up all the way to midnight, sometimes 1 a.m. This option, despite it not being the best option, will give you a lot of hours to yourself depending on when you put your children to bed.
So, if your children are in bed at around 7:30 p.m, no later than 8 p.m., you can get 4-5 hours of time to yourself. Now I know what you’re thinking, ”When and how the heck am I supposed to spend time with my spouse?!” Touché. I understand.
In this case, work out a schedule where you both agree on how many hours you’ll spend together after the kids go to bed and what you’ll do during that time. It could look something like this: Your kiddos are in bed by 8 pm.
Spouse time together for the next 2-3 hours (This could be dinner & movie, movie, lovemaking, tv show, etc. you get the point LOL.) At this point, it’s around 10/11pm and you have anywhere between 1-3 hours for yourself!
The Power of Distraction: The Pomodoro Way
If you aren’t familiar with the Pomodoro technique, here’s a quick sum up: It’s a time management technique that breaks tasks up into 25-30 minute increments. This flash option tends to be my favorite option for a few reasons. If you have:
- rambunctious children
- kids that don’t go to sleep early
- kids that wake up at the crack of dawn or through all hours of the night
- children who no longer nap
- kiddos with short attention spans
This technique will work like magic. And I call it the ‘power of distraction’. Please don’t discredit the power of creating a fun solo activity for your child to do on their own. You are (mostly) in total control. You can choose for this to be a messy or clean activity…the choice is yours.
Let me give you a few different ideas here but, the main premise is to
distract engage your child long enough to give you about a half an hour to yourself. I know that you forget sometimes to fill your own cup. I also know you sometimes forget to fill your children’s cups as well. The Pomodoro technique is an easy way to allow that to happen. Give 25 minutes to your children and then 25 minutes for you. Continue alternating this as many times as you’re willing and able.
Here are some ideas to fill the next 25 minutes:
- Give your kids some new stickers and journals and crayons or markers and fancy glitter pens from a ‘dollar store’ near you. Purchasing all of this will probably cost around $5 and you get half an hour to yourself. Calculate that for a moment. If you’re paying a low rate of $10 an hour for a babysitter you’re on the same road friend and your kids are safe, in your custody, having fun with random things that could essentially be used again and again.
- If you’re ok with a small mess, allow your kids to make slime (it’s VERY easy), or play with playdough.
- Or if you’re feeling lazy just purchase slime/playdough instead
Hop over to your nearest dollar store and find some new trinkets from the toy aisle. (I know, I know, I have a thing for the dollar store lol it’s a hidden treasure!) This is truly the tip of the iceberg here. The possibilities are seriously endless. Make Pinterest your best friend, frequent the dollar store, hunt for bargains and easy projects. You’ll be good to go.
Bio: Sheree is a traveling mom, wife to an amazing athlete & mama to 2 cool kids. She helps worried moms become self confident so they can rock motherhood by sharing real, honest experiences. At darling steps, she writes on parenting, travel, wellness & everything in between. Because moms do all.the.things. Find more about Sheree on her blog Darling Steps!
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