Motherhood is exhausting. Whether it’s toddlers or teens, it simply doesn’t slow down. In order to have the patience I need for my family, I must make time for myself.
Making time for mom is not selfish, it’s called refreshment. And, as we progress toward meeting our goals, it is part of the way we find little ways to reward ourselves and keep ourselves energized for the journey.
Making Time for Mom
The first step in implementing your own “time for mom” plan is to recognize its necessity. It’s hard to do that if you don’t recognize that burnout is a very real obstacle to our journey.
If we neglect to care for ourselves and allow burnout to become the norm, we could actually be setting ourselves up for even deeper strain on our ability to stay motivated and keep going.
But, as with everything, recognizing the problem and reality is only the first step. Next, we have to actually find practical actions to take to correct the issue. That’s where a good “time for mom” plan comes in!
We’re all unique and so we’ll all have different components of our “time for mom” plan. But it can also be helpful to see ideas and suggestions from others. So, here are a few things that fit on my “time for mom” plan:
Learning to Run
When things get busy, keeping in shape tends to fall to the bottom of the priority list, but a little exercise always has its benefits. You feel better, you think more clearly, and experience less guilt from sweet indulgences.
It’s rather simple. Every other day, I run for one minute and then follow it up by walking for four. Repeating this four times is a great twenty-minute routine.
I’ve never been able to take a nap without becoming grumpier, but there are days that I just need to lay my head back for a moment and rest.
Fifteen minutes of laying my head back and resting, without falling asleep, does the trick. I am always surprised at how fifteen minutes can give me hours of extra energy.
A Chapter a Day
How many times have you seen the elderly couple sitting at a restaurant with nothing to talk about? This scene reminds me to take the time to continue nurturing relationships.
When my children were very young, my daily conversations included Pretty, Pretty Princess games and Star Wars light saber battles. I had very little to “discuss” with other adults, so I determined to read at least one chapter a day of a book that could enhance the conversation.
For me, this included books and articles that cause me to exercise and challenge my thoughts and ideas.
Creating Your Own “Time for Mom” Plan
These suggestions might not grab you at all, and your “time for mom” plan might need to look very different from mine. Here are four tips for creating your own “time for mom” plan:
- Include at least one activity that gets you moving. It could be yoga, time on the treadmill, a walk outside, a swim, or any number of activities. The key is to make is something that you enjoy but that also ensures movement.
- Pay attention to your social needs. The list I mentioned above came in a time when I really needed time to myself. That’s changing, and I’m learning how to find “time for mom” opportunities that fit my need for interaction with others. Be aware of what fits both who you are and the season of life you’re currently in.
- Find ways to challenge yourself and broaden your horizons. There’s a time and a place for a relaxing, brainless novel. But a good “time for mom” plan also includes personal growth opportunities through books, podcasts, classes, new hobbies, and more.
- Include real and regular times for rest and play. This may be a nap, a relaxing hobby, a just-for-fun book, or one rest day each week. But, make sure to provide enough space in the schedule that you can truly rest and play every single week.
Whatever you do, remember that “time for mom” isn’t selfish. It’s your chance to re-energize and find your source of nourishment so you can turn around and pour that same nourishment into your family.