Time To Make Some Time For Yourself

Mothers, this article is dedicated to you.

In our hectic world of constant interruptions, information overload, trying to balance school, work and family life, it’s time to make some time for yourself!

While this might sound impossible, it’s necessary for your health, happiness and well-being. Remember, you have to be whole and well to give your kids you’re best.

Before we dive into the ‘how-to’ let me first acknowledge that nobody is busier than mom… A fact I learned by recently taking on the distinction of “Mr. Mom” in my household. To make a long story short, when my son turned one year old, I decided to finagle my schedule a bit so we could save a few bucks in child care and I could be home with him more.

Of course, at first I naively thought, “How hard can this possibly be??” Banking on my son simply playing with trucks, eating snacks, napping and playing the day away on his swing set.

On day one of the “stay at home” project my son spilled his Cheerios all over the house, tried riding the cat, sticking his finger in the fan, and jumping off the couch… And that was just the first 20 minutes!!

Fast forward about a week and I finally had a few minutes to sit down and gather myself (for the first time in days I had a few minutes to myself.) At this point, I learned about a whole other type of tired!

Now, I’ve pulled all nighters studying for tests in college, went to work with only a couple hours of sleep but nothing — and I mean nothing — compares to how tired I felt after week one.

As I had a few minutes to myself, I looked back on the week and quickly realized I was dead wrong about this being easy. Not only was this going to be hard work, but I didn’t workout at all. We had built up a mountain of my laundry feet high. Hell, I only ate dinner once! With multiple trips to the grocery store — trying to keep my son stocked up on all his snacks and food — doing my son’s laundry, cleaning up after he decides to take all 500 of his toys out, and trying to stop him from making prank calls from the house phone (yes, I still have a house phone)… and that’s not even mentioning trying to balance my own schedule of the most basic things like taking a shower or eating.

I realized there was no time for me, I had not done any of the usual things I had time to do, honestly, with trying to keep up with my son it was easy to forget.

I knew I needed some help, so I reached out to a couple clients/friends who are busy moms and asked them how they handle it?

Their answers “I workout. I make time for myself. ” Being a personal trainer this was music to my ears as I enjoy working out but honestly in the first week of the stay at home project it was difficult for me to find the time and/or energy to do so… (Yes, even I am human!!)

To quote a client of mine, “I love my family, but it’s nice to do something for me and after lifting and running I feel unstoppable!” Another client of mine said, “Taking time for me is important and doing something that benefits my body and energy. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.” Again this was music to my ears, as I said taking the time to do something for me was not easy in week one.

I graciously took their advice and carved out some time each day for myself sure some days its only 20 minutes, other days its 45, it just depends on what’s going on that day. Point is I made sure I carved out the time to get my workouts in and WOW what a huge difference it makes it keeping up with my son after throwing heavy weights around, I feel I can tackle the world and have all the energy I need to keep up with my son.

So busy mothers it’s TIME TO MAKE SOME TIME for you, so you can reap the benefits and so can your family!

Here are ten proven tips and suggestions for how-to create that mommy time for yourself. Go ahead, give them a shot and let me know which ones work best for you.

  1. Do Your Morning Prep the Evening Before: By knocking out school lunches, outfits to wear, even getting cereal bowls, etc. out for breakfast, it allows you to be more productive from the moment the alarm clock goes off. If you choose to exercise early, it frees you up to focus on your workout and limits distractions.
  2. Rise Early: This one is primarily for the stay-at-home crowd, since most working moms are already doing this — simply get up an hour earlier than usual to knock out some serious ME time. Working moms, if you don’t have a long commute or super early start time, this will work for you, as well. But remember, morning workouts set the pace for your entire day. Everything from your productivity and energy levels, to your mood and clarity of mind.
  3. Enforce Bedtime: This one sounds a lot easier than it is, but it’s a must. If your kid is anything like mine, they’ve mastered sales and mind manipulation when bedtime rolls around, trying every trick in the book to weasel out of it. However, it’s very important to create powerful routines, not just for yourself, but for your children. A strict bedtime not only gives them some of that discipline they need, but also allows you some of the much needed ME time. Make the most of it and end the day with a refreshing workout.
  4. Lunch Hour Workouts: Lunchtime can be a great opportunity to give yourself an energy boost and get some endorphins going so you can feel good about the afternoon and prepare you to take on the rest of the day. If lunch workouts (even quick 15-20 minutes can be game changers) will fit into your day, give them a shot a few times a week and see how you feel, you’ll want to stick with it.
  5. Walking/Jogging: When your kid is a baby or a toddler, don’t let that hold you back. They can use some fresh air as much as you, so put that stroller (or jogger) to use. The benefits of walking have been documented time and time again. It’s just not as glamourous, since there isn’t the sweat beads dripping off of your glistening body and it won’t make you a fitness model, but it will yield some serious results for both health and aesthetics if you are consistent with it.
  6. Cut Down on TV: How much time do you spend watching TV or surfing the Internet? If you’re anywhere close to the average American, you can certainly find 20-30 minutes a day to cut out and do something more productive that will have you feeling and looking better, in the end. And once you start cutting back on TV, trust me, you won’t miss it.
  7. Or Get Active During TV: Now, if you’re fanatical about the Bachelor, Jersey Housewives (or whatever television program floats your boat) and are completely unwilling to consider point six, then get active during the show. Use that time to get in some stretching, push ups, crunches and a little cardio through skipping rope or another favorite of your choosing. Just because it’s TV doesn’t mean you have to be a couch potato.
  8. Dance Party: Stuck with entertaining your little one and can’t get relief or shake them (sometimes literally, from your leg)? No problem! Make a dance party out of it and get them into it. This allows you and your child to get active and enjoy the benefits of physical activity, but at the same time can be made into fun, quality time that’s cherished by all involved.
  9. Girls Night Out: Take GNO to new places, like yoga! Rather than the usual wino wives club outing, make it a different kind of fun, bonding time (and find a wine bar close by for after hours.)
  10. Make It a Priority: Remember, the best you is one that is whole — mentally, physically and spiritually. If you don’t take the time for yourself, you can’t give your child your all, so make it a priority and don’t make excuses. Use friends, family, your partner or whoever you have to rely on to lend relief from time to time, to give yourself the time you need.