Do you feel like you are on a nonstop merry-go-round of motherhood? Where your days pass in a haze of doing until you fall into bed exhausted, mentally and physically. Where you would love to have some time for yourself, but there already isn’t enough time to simply do the laundry.
Instead of wishing for more time, commit to taking more control over it. Certainly you can’t control all 24 hours, but realize you have more control than you may think. When you choose to use your time for the things that are truly important to you in your season of life right now, that’s when you start to feel good.
Create a little breathing room and start being intentional with your time with these five tips:
Get clear on what IS truly important in this season of your life.
Consider what things will create domino impacts. For example, if getting your health in order is going to have positive impacts on your energy and ability to be there for your family, that’s probably pretty important. If building a supportive and fun family unit or keeping the connection with your partner will create your happiness, that’s important. If getting that promotion (or not) is important, get clear on that. Understanding this for yourself will help you to make those hard tradeoff decisions a little easier.
If it’s important to you that you leave work at a certain time in order to have time with your family, decline that meeting someone puts on your calendar past your working hours. “Sorry, I’m not available at this time, but I am the following day at 3 p.m.” If going to a social or family event is going to shift your family’s relaxing weekend into hyperdrive, decline by saying, “Thanks for thinking of us, but unfortunately we won’t be able to make it.” You don’t owe anyone an explanation. Don’t think of it as making excuses, you are simply making a choice about how you are spending your time.
Delegate and ask for help.
You don’t get 97% of what you don’t ask for. Ask your partner to do the grocery shopping, laundry or take the kids to soccer practice. Ask your mother-in-law if she’d be willing to come over once a month so you can have a little time for yourself. Ask your supervisor to help you decide which one of your projects or tasks are more important because you can’t get both done by the deadline. It’s not asking too much and you are not failing because you are asking for help. You are simply asking for what you want and need.
Do B- work.
What?! Yes, many times your B- work is A-OK. The extra hour you spend choosing to perfect that presentation, just remember it’s not being spent on something else. And those store-bought brownies are just fine for the family gathering instead of a home-baked pie.
Let it go.
That mess in the kids room, the annual picture book you never seem to get done (year after year)…, just let it go. Maybe this isn’t the time that it’s important to have an immaculate house. Let go of the task and the guilt of not doing it. You are choosing to use your time on more important things.
Tara Moler is a certified life coach who helps moms maintain their family at the heart of their lives while also thriving at work by creating a balanced schedule and routines that give them time and energy for the things that matter most. Follow her on Instagram.
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