In my last blog, I wrote about how to “feel through” being the Mum you want to be.
Now, it’s time to take the next step in the Mummy process: making the most of the precious time you have for you!
Here are 6 ways you, as a Mum, can make the most of ‘Me’ Time:
1. Bedtime for the kiddos should be sacred:
Knowing how much time you have in the evenings for yourself (or to be with others) is sacred. Choose a bedtime that works for you, and stick to it - even if the kids are fighting you on it. In the long run, they will appreciate (and benefit from) the routine - and you’ll appreciate being able to plan your evenings around something besides work and kids. Or, you’ll appreciate not having to plan for anything at all!
2. Focus your attention on what’s in front of you:
Once you’ve carved out some ‘me’ time, use it for its intended purpose! If your Saturday afternoon was meant to be spent with a girlfriend, then give yourself the headspace to really be PRESENT with her. If your head is elsewhere, you’ll both leave disappointed. If you leave knowing you spent quality time with her, it will help you realize you CAN wear more than just your ‘mummy’ or ‘work’ hat!
3. Put your phone away and disconnect:
Unless you absolutely need to have contact with a family member or friend, put your phone away during your ‘me’ time. It’s hard to connect with what you’re doing when you are distracted. Our phones offer a constant reminder of what we ‘should be doing’ now; what we ‘will be doing’ tomorrow; or what we ‘haven’t done yet’. And that stress conflicts with taking some down time for you! Disconnect as much as possible, and stay out of your diary, reminders and emails.
4. Take time to reconnect with the ‘old you’:
Even if daily life feels unrecognisable now that you’re a Mum, it doesn’t mean YOU are. Most of us haven’t taken a moment to remember what a typical day looked like before we had kids! What did you do for fun? What hobbies did you enjoy? What do you miss about those days? How can you add some of that back into this new life… even in the smallest of ways? (If you love sewing, for instance, you can still find ways to do it – even if your time is confined to an hour or two). A couple of hours doing something you love can add a lot of positive impact to your life.
5. Say NO to things when it feels right:
Only YOU know what it takes to recharge your batteries. If attending additional commitments feels at conflict with that, just say NO. We all have limits and breaking points, whether we are striving to be Super Mum or not. Over-committing during ‘me’ time can lead to under-committing during the time that matters to your kids… so find the balance that’s right for you. If you are content with your decisions, you’ll be content as a Mum when you put your head on your pillow at night.
6. Also Say YES to things – with enthusiasm!
Say YES to offers of help. Say YES to invitations that excite you. And do it without feeling guilty! You deserve ‘me’ time for the things in life outside of Mummy-hood – especially when you’ve put your role as a Mum at the top of the priority list. So go ahead - give YES a big “thumbs up” when you have the chance to do things that touch your heart and bring you joy.
In two weeks, we’ll begin the conversation about how Winning Mums manage working life.
Until next time,
Sarah Gonzalez, ACC, CPCC