Making Time for You
Are you tired of feeling dissatisfied at the end of the day? Sometimes it can seem like all we do as moms is cook and clean and take care of kids and yell at kids and grump about the messy house and wish we could get all our nutrients from frozen pizzas. Where is the fun? There is no fun in that. And yet, the days keep going by, this one like the last one. One thing after another.
Of course, we don’t mean for things to go this way. We often think that if everyone would just clean up after themselves and quit eating, we would be fine. We think that as soon as all the kids are in school, we will have time to do the things we dream about.
But, what happens when we put our happiness on that far future shelf? We are basically saying, “I’d rather feel like crap.” Why? Out of all the feelings, out of all the emotions that are available to us in the world, why do we not choose happiness? Why not feel joy? Why not feel love?
We forget that we are in control. We forget that we get to choose. I was recently reminded of this when one of my boys was feeling sick. I said to him, “Well, I need to know if you are sick or not because I need to know if I should be worried about the other kids getting sick.” And then I thought wait, what? Why do I need to know if I should worry? Why not skip the worry part and just feel good? It was weird. By the way, he wasn’t sick.
My point is that it is so important to pay attention to our thoughts. When we have this problem of feeling dissatisfied or angry (me) because we haven’t had enough time to do anything fun uninterrupted, we know we need to change our thinking. Because remember? Like Brooke Castillo says, our thoughts create our feelings, which cause our actions, which determine our results, which prove our circumstances.
I know you can’t just change you thought process to “I have enough time!” “Time is so abundant for me!” “My kids never interrupt me!” We have to believe in our thoughts. We have to believe enough to be inspired to take action. If we want different results, we need to do something differently. We need to think different thoughts.
And what if you already have an abundance of time, but you don't know what to do with it? Maybe the kids are all at school and your days feel empty and apathetic and all you do is sit around and read. Maybe you want to do something, but you don't know what to do.
You can change this. You can feel good about how you spent your day when the kids get home. I promise you. It still starts with your thoughts.
To help you change your thinking to knowing that there is enough time for you to do something fun, or to help you to know what to do with your time, I have three tips. I hope these inspire you to take different action, creating a new circumstance of more time for you.
No. 1 Monitor Your Time
- track your time
- create a schedule
- stick to it
I know. I’ve talked about this before. Time Management. You can read it here. But the thing is, it’s so important! You have to know where your time is being spent so you know what to change. There’s only 24 hours in a day. How are you going to spend them?
Create a schedule if you have a lot going on. I like having a morning, afternoon, evening, night, and sleep schedules. It’s like flexible time blocking. After you track your time, write down what you would like to do in the morning. What would you like to do in the afternoon? Fill in all the areas, and if they work for you, stick to them.
What I mean is that if you say you’re going to do something in the morning, then do it in the morning. Like laundry. If you really want to start your first load in the morning, then make sure you get up and start it. Otherwise you will keep thinking about how you wanted to start that washer for hours, and then by the time you get around to doing it, you’re sick of doing laundry, and you haven’t even started yet.
Make a schedule and stick to it. Even if you have an abundance of time. As a mom, there are still a million things that need to be done. Set your apathy aside, and create a schedule for yourself.
No. 2 Know Yourself
- understand your nature
- what’s fun to you
- how can you make it happen
I talk a lot about knowing yourself. How well do you know your nature? Sometimes it’s easiest to start with the things that you don’t like. Explore those. Why don’t you like them? Do you like the opposite of them? What’s a favorite memory from elementary school? What’s a favorite vacation? Where was your favorite restaurant experience and what made it so special?
Natures are very complex things. Look for similarities in the things that you like. Keep exploring. Be curious. Pay attention. And then you can start knowing what sounds fun to you. What do you love spending your time doing? What are your gifts? What skills come naturally to you? Do you like to be social for fun? Do you like to do something creative? Do you like to be alone?
Give yourself time to discover new things. And remember that when you try something new, it sometimes takes a while to really like it. You have to give yourself time to do it your way, which is why you need to know your nature tendencies. When you've tried something new in your own way, it's easier to know if it's something you can keep doing or not. And if you like it, you can make sure that it actually happens. When you have an idea of what’s fun for you, you need to do everything you can to make sure that you get to have fun.
This means getting that laundry done before dinner so that when dinner is cleaned up and the kids are in bed you can go do your fun thing. Or, if you’re like me, you can go to bed too so you can get up early and do your fun thing.
The important thing is to add your creative time into your schedule. That thing that makes you tick, that makes getting out of bed worth it. Find it, and add it to your schedule.
No. 3 Add Value
- be present
- do it with love
I think adding value is a huge piece to the puzzle of time. If you want your time to be your own time, you need to make sure everyone else is taken care of. Those hours you spend with your kids, really try to be present with them.
I struggle with this, but I know that when I am really present with my kids during the day, they feel better. They sleep better. They leave me alone with my coffee in the morning. Be present with your sweet angles. They just want us to love them.
A good way to be present is to serve them. You can do this in a simple way. If you do the Child Whisperer stuff, it can be overwhelming thinking that you have all these different natures that have different needs. Slow yourself down for a minute.
The only thing you need to do is to be a mother, and you can only mother your way. You have to ask yourself, “If I was the best mom ever, what would I be like?” And then do that.
One quality I would love to have as a mom is that I would take my kids on adventures. I doubt my kids know that. I’m working on it. Think about what you loved about your childhood or what you always wished was a part of your childhood. Find ways to add those into your parenting.
When you start showing up in a way that is really authentic to you, you naturally do it with love. Show up for them because you want to. Do it for you because when you give unconditional love you feel so good inside. Do it for the love.
This is especially true if you have an abundance of time and you feel apathetic about life. I think apathy is a form of self pity and the way I get myself out of it is by serving others. As soon as you stop worrying about how 'rotten' your own life is and you start showing up and helping other people, you are filled with a sense of purpose.
Keep doing this and you will discover your WHY, the real reason that makes everything else easier.
I want to promise you, if you add value, know yourself, and use your time wisely, you will find that when it’s your turn to do something fun, your time will be yours. You will be able to spend it doing things that you love. And that action, that creativity, will fuel your new happy thoughts.
Soon you will be running on a new thought process and you will be believing that time is so abundant and that you know exactly what to do with your time. And then when you lay your head on the pillow at night, you will sleep so good, knowing that you did the best you could today.
I really hope you take this to heart and take action. Don't just read this and say, “That is so true.” and go back to living the grumpy life. Start monitoring your time. Do it on your phone, even. If you want something different, you gotta do something different.
I put all of this together in a workbook for you. It's in the Resource Library. If you haven't signed up for it yet, what are you waiting for?! Get access with the password in your email.