Often when I speak to Mums about making time for themselves they see it is something that is 100% up to them to make happen. There is an element of truth in this thought but it is not actually the truth.
The Element of Truth
It IS true that you need to be responsible for making self-care and me-time a priority. You need to be the one who decides to make this a priority – nobody else can do that for you. You need to be willing to implement some changes in your family to allow this to happen. You need to decide your needs are just as important as everyone else in your family.
Why me-time and self-care are NOT 100% your responsibility
You are part of a team, I call it “Team Family”. Everyone on this team has a role to play to ensure the team is happy, healthy, and thriving. Some roles on the team are shared, not necessarily equally and some roles sit 100% with a member of the team. Every ‘Team family” divides these things up their own way.
In “Team Family” Mum & Dad have a lot of roles and these roles can be very demanding. It is really important that Mum & Dad both have an opportunity to recharge, practice self-care, and have some time out just for themselves. Everyone on the team actually needs to support this happening.
What does this look like in my “Team family”?
- My husband and I have become very good at articulating our needs to that we can find ways to make it happen. It is is not always perfect but imperfect is better than not meeting our needs at all. For example, last week I mentioned to my husband that I really needed a swim to burn off some stress. We didn’t manage to make it happen the day I mentioned it but he offered to do school drop-off the next morning so I could get a quick morning swim in before work. If I hadn’t articulated my need he would never have offered to do school drop-off.
- We have a family schedule that helps us to carve out some time automatically each week. Again, we don’t stick to this perfectly. Life doesn’t work like that. But it is a fantastic support resource for us
- My children know that Mum & Dad sometimes need to put themselves first. Sometimes this will feel like an inconvenience to the kids, or they are sad that Mum isn’t home for bedtime if I go to Yoga. However, they all know that having time for our grown-up needs is really important.
What do you need to differently in your family to ensure finding time for your self-care isn’t 100% your responsibility?