Making Time for Yourself Outside of Motherhood
Simply put, LIFE WITH KIDS IS FREAKING CRAZY.
Much like a video game, you’re trying to make it through each level of your day without running out of time. Our days are packed with cleaning, cooking, errands, administrative tasks, chauffeuring kids around, doing homework, and trying to keep all the kids alive (and healthy). There just doesn’t ever seem to be time left for anything self-serving and it’s killing us as Moms. You have to start making time for yourself outside of motherhood- not just for you, but for your family, too.
You Became a Mom. Game Over.
In case you’ve forgotten, your life didn’t end when you became a Mom. Yes, you need to be there for your family and yes, you love them, but being there for them means taking care of and loving yourself, too.
You need to devote some time to the preservation and cultivation of yourself as an individual before you BURN OUT. Yes, you are an individual, too- believe it or not. So how do you go about doing that? Read on…
Get an Extra Life.
Connect with your “Pre-Mom” you. Your individualistic self is in there, trapped in Mom-wrapping, just waiting to be released. Dig deep and pull that chick out! This is not a “go out and find yourself” initiative. It is a “re-connect with who you were and what you liked” before you became a Mom, so you can continue to grow.
Let’s get this straight. Reconnecting with your “Pre-Mom” self doesn’t mean stuffing yourself into your old jeans, connecting with an old friend from college to talk about the good old days or hitting up the nightclub you frequented in your early twenties. It means doing MEANINGFUL things that make you, YOU.
Did you like to paint in your “Pre-Mom” world? Maybe you played a sport or liked the write. Maybe you wanted to take your love of photography to the next level. What’s keeping you from buying that canvas, joining that league, starting that blog or building that business?
Don’t run out of time.
Yes, even having adequate time to shower daily is an accomplishment when you have kids. I get that. Making time for yourself doesn’t mean neglecting your family. It turns out, you can make time for BOTH. You just need to be crafty. Here’s how:
Make yourself a priority for once. (Even if only in bite-sized chunks.) Create a schedule and stick to it. Put it in your calendar and mark it off as “busy”. This makes it real. Start off with an hour or two a week and work your way up. Cleaning the baseboards can wait. Note: this is in addition to working out or self-care. This is connecting with your soul.
Don’t get lazy. You cannot cancel your “you” time. We’re all tired, that’s what coffee or a run is for. The more you get into the swing of scheduling time for yourself, the more you’ll look forward to it and beautiful things will start to happen. You’ll realize you’re important, too and who knows, this may become a lucrative venture for you/your family in the end.
Multitask the crap out of stuff. Who says you can’t write while the laundry is going? Or use a voice recorder to put together the words for that eBook while folding laundry. Take all your notes and put them together when you finally get your scheduled “Me” time.
Set limits and boundaries. When it’s Mom’s alone time, lock the door- or better yet, leave the house. (You can be one of those people sitting at Starbucks with their laptop!)
Ask for help. No one who loves you and wants to see you happy is going to judge you… and those are the only people that count. Ask friends and/or family members to watch the kids for an hour or two. Find a Mother’s Day Out program to free up a few hours a week.
Screw the Mom-Guilt. You’re making your family better by doing more for yourself. You’re setting a great example for your kids and you’re feeding your soul.
Get to the Next Level.
If you’re still not sure that you need to make this a priority, here are a few things to remember:
A “mom” is not all you are. Sure, you love you family, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo taking care of yourself to prove it. You were someone before you had kids. You are a magnificent woman with an amazing personality who can do more than cut the crust off sandwiches, sweep and clean poop. YOU have goals, dreams, and a future to cultivate for yourself.
You’re setting an example. Just as you would like your children to develop into well-rounded individuals, you need to give them an example to follow. You’re not well- rounded if you are constantly putting yourself on the back-burner. Show them that there is a world of possibilities out there- to love and live. Life doesn’t end when you become a Mom.
Give them good memories. We’ve all heard and/or read the memes that suggest that your kids won’t remember how clean the house was. It’s so true. Your kids WON’T remember how clean the house was or how efficient you were at getting laundry done. They WILL remember their Mother’s entrepreneurial spirit and how she built a business from the ground up, though.
Your nest will empty eventually. Don’t wait until retirement to start your life again. One day, when everyone is out of the house and onto their own lives, what will you have to show for the non-Mom side of your life? Yes- I’m sure you’ll be proud that you’ve raised them into self-sufficient, contributing members of society. Good job. But what did you accomplish as an individual and/or for yourself? Did you write that book, start that business or live that dream that you had before the kids came along? Life is too short to risk leaving that for later.
You need Adults. While most of us are tempted to forgo a night with the girls for a night with the pillow, you’re only hurting yourself. Imagine being able to have an uninterrupted, uncensored, and stimulating conversation- with another adult! Doesn’t that sound nice? A conversation that doesn’t require mediation or include the word, “poop”? Maybe add some wine and food- and eat it ALL BY YOURSELF.
Sounds wonderful, huh?
Something to consider: Having a good support system comes from forming good relationships. You don’t really form a good relationship between interrupted conversations with other moms on a soccer field. Go out for dinner or coffee with friends- SANS KIDS. It does so much for your mind and soul.
I’ve struggled so much with trying to find time for myself over the last few years. I’m now at the point where I think I’ve got a good balance going and am LOVING it. I want you to do the same, too!
Making time for yourself doesn’t mean neglecting your family. Here's why: #Momlife Click To Tweet
Have you made time for yourself? How do you do it? If you haven’t yet, what do you plan to do when you make the time?