“Me Time” is a really important part of keeping me happy and sane in the madness of motherhood.
Being Mum to three very dynamic young girls is wonderful but exhausting – physically and emotionally. When I don’t get time for myself I become more short tempered at home, I feel emotionally flat and just generally unhappy about life. In the last couple of years a I have made a big commitment to make ‘me time’ a priority and it has made a big difference – not just to me but to our entire family.
In the weeks following our recent move to Waiheke Island one of the things I noticed was that “me time” was much harder to find. Our focus became about settling in, unpacking etc.
I also realised that we had no routine in life which was making it harder for me to claim my time. Kids were on school holidays, my husband was on leave and without friends or local activities. I found myself swept along being the supporter while my husband worked for hours on end in the garden or fixing up things on our new home. After a month or so of this I could feel the tension and frustrations in my body as I craved just a little time out away from the kids.
We had always had a schedule when we lived in Sydney that mapped out how my husband and I could both find time out for ourselves around work, school and kids activities. It looked a bit like this:
My husband and I realised we needed to create a new schedule to get us started on Waiheke, knowing that it will need to change again in April when his work changes and kids are likely to pick up more formal activities.
My husband decided that a pretty spreadsheet (the way I like to manage the schedule) wouldn’t work for him so he decided to write our new schedule on our kitchen blackboard.
I find this hard to follow/read personally but I figure that if this makes it easier for him then it really doesn’t matter … although it makes it hard to share here as it is so hard to read.
Basically it has mapped out:
- 2 nights and one morning for me to run or swim.
- 2 fishing sessions on for my husband
- and 1 night a week that neither of us are allowed to work. It is our home date night to talk, plan, play scrabble … whatever.
I also find that a schedule helps me be more committed to my wellbeing. I recorded this video the other week before heading out in a storm to run.
Why was I running in a storm? Because it was my turn in the schedule and I didn’t want to miss out!
It is unlikely that our schedule is “perfect” but that doesn’t matter. It is a start and we can fine tune it as we put it into practice.
The way I plan things doesn’t work for everyone – it works for me.
I encourage you to think about what structures you might be able to create within your family to make it easier to find time and space for your own needs.
You might like to DOWNLOAD a FREE Self Care Weekly Planner I created to get you started.