As the mother of three young children every minute of my days feels like somebody wants me for something:
“Mum, I am hungry”
“Mum, I can’t find my book”
“Mum, Hannah won’t let me use her pens”
“Mum, I need you to wipe my bum”
“Mum … Mum … Mum … Mum”
It can be so easy to be swept along in the river of constant requests, the loads of washing, the meals to be cooked, school drop-offs and so forth, without so much as a moment in time simply for you.
Me-time is essential to the emotional and physical well-being of mothers and yet it is often totally absent in day to day life. When I don’t have enough time for my own needs I have less patience with my children, I am a grumpy wife and the little things in life start to feel overwhelming. Time for myself has become a priority in recent years but it wasn’t always that way.
HOW TO MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF IN 3 STEPS
If the idea of time just for yourself feels unattainable, hard or overwhelming I have a few simple ideas to help get you make time for yourself.
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1. Start Small
Often when we can’t see how to create a large amount of time for ourselves we get stuck and create nothing at all. Instead, try focusing on how could you create 30 minutes, 15 minutes or even just 5 minutes for yourself and begin there.
5 minutes every day will support you better than waiting for that magic hour to be available.
2. Accept Imperfection
Our self-care, our ‘me-time’, it does not have to be perfect. A little is better than none. An interrupted meditation is better than no meditation at all. A 15-minute Yoga workout using Youtube is better than nothing if you can’t attend a class.
Sit with this idea and see where it leads you on your journey.
3. Put Yourself on the List… Every Day
I have so many lists in my life. The grocery list, the daily to-do list, the bigger projects list, the family holiday planning list, my work action list … you get the picture!
Every day on my daily to-do list I write down one thing that is just about me and I make it a priority. It might be to go to a Yoga class, read a chapter of my book, call a friend or do a 5-minute workout.
Making time for yourself as a mother is a constantly evolving journey not a goal you achieve, tick off, and never need to pay attention to again. Every time a child changes routine or reaches a milestone, when a major life event occurs, when someone gets sick, you get a new job … it means you need to re-focus or perhaps find new ways to create the space for your own needs. That is the journey of a mother, your journey. No matter where you are at in your journey trust me I tell you – you are a wonderful mother and you will feel even more wonderful when you start finding more time for yourself.
This post was written by Linda Anderson. She is a life coach, blogger and Mum of 3. She recently moved from Sydney (Australia) to Waiheke Island (New Zealand) to fulfill a family dream. You can visit her website, or follow her on Facebook or Instagram. Linda runs an online program, 5 Minutes 4 Mum, designed to help Mums reclaim time for themselves … 5 minutes at time. If you would like some more ideas on how to create more me-time in your life you can register to receive Linda’s free video coaching session “3 simple ways to create more -me-time”.
P.S. If you enjoyed this piece, you may also like Postpartum Care: 6 Simple Steps for a Healthy Self-Care Mentality. Moms should be supported throughout their whole pregnancy, postpartum and beyond. The postpartum period is an important transition for both you and your baby. Honor it. Recognize that by “doing it all” does not make you a better or happier mom.