Being a mum is both one of the most beautiful and one of the most exhausting experiences of my life.
Sometimes the utter love and joy I feel for my children is overwhelmed by frustration and exasperation.
A voice in my head screams “please can I just have 5 minutes to myself!”
As the mother of three young children I know how hard it is to get time for yourself once you become a Mum. The needs of others always come before your own and before you know it there is nothing left for you.
How I feel about myself as a woman, an entrepreneur and as a mother is directly related to how much mental, emotional and physical space I have for myself.
However as a busy Mum, running two businesses “knowing” time for myself is good for me and actually having time for myself are very different things.
I know that when I don’t get enough ME time I:
- Snap at the kids more
- Snap at my husband more
- Feel less optimistic about life
- Don’t sleep well
- Feel life is just harder
When I do get ME time:
- I have more energy
- I get more done
- I am a much nicer, happier Mum and Wife
- I look forward to being with my children more
- I sparkle
I want you to think about your own experiences for a moment.
- Are you struggling to get enough time and space for yourself?
- Do you feel a lot better about yourself when you get ME time?
- So why is there this disconnect?
The most common answers I get when I speak to Mums about this is:
There is time, you just have to decide that time for yourself is worth giving time to.
In our house we work best with a schedule. Otherwise we fill our time with other things… work, kids activities, chores.
2) I feel guilty or selfish
I would love to wave my magic wand and remove mother guilt for everyone forever.
It is OK to want time for yourself.
You are not a bad mother or wife because you want to do something for yourself.
You are not selfish for wanting time for yourself. You are not selfish for wanting to meet some of your own needs. You are not selfish for wanting to find some sparkle again. You are not selfish.
You are a human being that needs and deserves time to nurture your own needs independent of everyone else.
3) There is just so much else to do
There will always be so much else to do.
I often wonder what I really did with my time before I became a parent.
I thought I was busy then. I wish I had savoured my “down time” a bit more then… Sunday papers, waking up when your body was ready not when your child is ready.
If your house is anything like mine there is always another pile of washing to fold, floors to be swept, meals to be cooked etc. It NEVER ends.
So I can either choose to never get to the bottom of the washing pile and have no time for myself, or I can choose to have some time for myself and still not get to the bottom of the washing pile.
Why not create some ME TIME today!
Perhaps ask a friend to come over and play with kids for a while so you can pop out. Ask hubby to do kids bedtime routine so you can go for a walk; or sneak out into the garden while kids are playing happily and just read a book for 10 minutes… or however long it takes for someone to yell for you!
It is much better to find small, 5 minute blocks of ‘Me Time’ frequently than holding out for a large chunk of time occasionally.
What would 5 minutes do for you today?