If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last 18 years of marriage, parenting, working, etc., it’s how much I value my personal time. When you don’t make time for yourself, you quickly lose yourself. I know from experience. Is carving out an hour or two a week easy? Not always. But is it necessary? Yes! There’s a reason so many SAHMs get jealous of their husband’s lunches out, meetings, and even time alone in the car. Sometimes a mom’s (or SAHD’s) time spent in the car is listening to the Disney Junior Soundtrack.
The reason I decided to go back to work 5 years ago, was because I needed some alone time. I know that seems like a strange reason to work outside of the home, but with 4 kids, a desire to find out who I am, and desperate love of adventure, this seemed like the most logical decision for me and my family. I needed to be away from my family, just for a few hours a week. Without the distractions of a sink full of dishes or kids tugging on my clothes, I could figure out what I really wanted and who I was created to be. So many people lose sight of this went they get caught up in their work or families or even in themselves. In the last 5 years, I’ve come up with 3 ways to help you reclaim your ME time.
- Schedule your ME time. I talked a couple of weeks ago about how important keeping to a schedule is. Put some ME time into that schedule. Seriously. Even if you have to schedule in a mall sesh and hire a babysitter. Do it and stick to it. This should be as important as your work schedule, grocery shopping, or doctor appointments. Make your schedule and stick to it.
- Find something you love and do it often. I have several loves. I love to work out. I don’t compromise my workouts. I love to spend time outside. If I have a free hour during the day and it’s nice out, I spend it outside on my patio. I love pedicures. I try to save $20 out of my budget each month (only $5/week, so it’s a no-brainer) for pedicures. But you better believe that it gets scheduled! What do you love? Even if you have to start small, figure it out, do it, and do it often.
- Give back to someone else. Ok, you’ve found yourself, you take care of yourself, now it’s your turn to help someone else. If you have friends or family members that are struggling to figure out what they need, offer to help. If you can watch your sister’s kids so she can take herself out to to a movie, do it. If you see that your best friend is too busy at work, invite her over for dinner. Once you figure out what you love and you make it a priority, help someone else find their time and passion, too.