As moms we often lose track of time and find ourselves so engaged in our children’s lives that we forget about our own needs. In talking to other moms at work this week I’ve heard over and over how stressed everyone feels and how little time they think they have to accomplish anything. When I suggest they really need some time for themselves they look at me as if I’m crazy. How could they possibly find time for themselves?
Here are a couple of suggestions:
Start small. If the idea of 15 minutes is just too much for you, how about 3 minutes? Can you take 3 minutes to close the bathroom door and sit down? (Sit on the toilet if needed, feel free to close the lid). Now take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes. Be with yourself.
Schedule it. If you’re ready to expand to 15 minutes of “me time”, schedule it into your day. If you keep an agenda or planner, write it down. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. Honor yourself and your need for time. I take some time while my son is completing his homework or working on the computer, before my husband comes home from work and before I start cooking dinner. Sometimes it’s even longer and no one has expired yet while I was sitting and writing or drawing.
Wake up earlier. Kids too young to be unsupervised? I know this sounds counter intuitive because other than time starvation most new moms are also sleep starved, but try waking up 15 minutes earlier and take some time for yourself then. Maybe you could write in a journal, meditate a little, or just sit. What do you miss most that you used to do before you were a mom? A hot bath with no rubber ducks or Lego boats in the tub? Take them out! And be very, very quiet.
Once you realize how wonderful it feels to have a little time to yourself you’ll be ready to look for more. I’ll share some other strategies for finding time on my next post.
Until then, enjoy your 3-15 minutes of solitude!