Between the time your feet land on the floor in the morning and the moment your head hits the pillow at night, how much alone time do you think you get? For a lot of moms, especially those of us with very young children, the answer is none … or something very close to it.
Though it may seem impossible at this point, it’s time for that to change.
Four Ways to Make Time for Yourself
According to a study of mothers, the average mom gets just 17 minutes to herself every day. That’s not a typo: 17 minutes. Even if you’re above that average, you probably aren’t getting much more than half an hour of alone time per day.
That’s crazy! No wonder you frequently feel like the wheels are falling off the wagon. It’s time for you to start making time for yourself every day … time that doesn’t have anything to do with kids, work, or house chores.
Here are four suggestions that any mom should be able to fit into her busy schedule.
1. Restructure Mornings and Evenings
The middle of the day is a challenge. When you have young kids who are at home, it’s a constant battle just to keep them from playing with light sockets and rummaging through the pantry.
What you have to do is structure your alone time around their nightly sleep schedule. One option is to wake up an hour earlier in the morning — while the kids are still in bed — and to enjoy that time to yourself.
You could sip a cup of coffee, read a book, craft, bake, listen to music … whatever makes you happy (unless it involves a lot of noise, of course)! Another option is to restructure your evenings so you don’t still have housework to tackle.
That way, once the kids are down, you can pour a glass of wine and spend a little time just relaxing. There are ways to make it work; you just have to get creative about it.
2. Maximize Naptime
Naptime is a godsend. Even if your kids rest for only an hour, this little break in the middle of the day is highly welcome and beneficial. Make sure you don’t just fill the time with “stuff,” though.
Sure, there’s something to be said for knocking out chores during naptime, but it’s also a good idea to take a break. An hour of time to yourself can give you the energy you need to push through the rest of the day.
3. Make the Most of Waiting in Lines
Are you at the stage of motherhood when you spend nearly as much time in carpool lines than you do at home? If so, then you need to be maximizing that time.
Instead of thinking about how much you wish you were at home, be thankful you have a few minutes to yourself. And instead of reaching for your phone to scroll through Facebook, grab a real book. There are plenty of good books that can be read fairly quickly.
4. Connect With Other Moms
The fourth thing is to connect with other moms and work together to help one another out. Consider setting up a rotating schedule where each mother keeps the other’s kids a couple of hours for one day per week. This will give you a little bit of time each week to recover your sanity.
Start Making Time for Yourself
There’s a difference between trying to find time for yourself and making that time. You need to be doing more of the latter.
Oher moms may guilt you into believing there’s a negative correlation between having alone time and being a good parent, it’s simply not true. There are ways to continue being a terrific mom while still making time for yourself.
Are you willing to give it a try?
Written by Jenna Cyprus, a freelance writer and business consultant who covers business, technology, and entrepreneurship.
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