Earlier this week, I got up super early and went to spin class. This has become a relatively normal part of my routine—I’ve always gotten up with the sun so I could squeeze in a workout before the day gets too hectic, and spin class is my current favorite thing.
After class, I was chatting with a fellow-mom-friend about what the rest of our days looked like. “Honestly,” she said. “Our schedules are crazy. I have to get so-and-so to this activity, and then I have to get my other kid to this other activity . . .”
I could see the look of overwhelm on her face, and honestly, I just wanted to hug her. Why? Because I related to that sentiment soooo much.
If you’re a mom, I’d say there’s a pretty good chance you didn’t come into this parenthood thing thinking it was going to be a piece of cake. But were any of us actually, completely prepared for just how much of our time and efforts were going to go into keeping up with our kiddos’ basic, daily activities?
Don’t get me wrong: There’s nothing I would rather do with my time than spend it with my son. But trying to stay on top of your self-care routine—or even feel like an autonomous, individual person, for that matter—can be super difficult when you’re juggling your kids’ schedules.
So today, I wanted to touch on one of my very favorite topics: recharging. More specifically, I wanted to talk about how YOU can find time to recharge your batteries, even when you’re in the midst of juggling your family’s insane schedule.
For a lot of us, we think of self-care as something super indulgent: a manicure, a no-kids shopping day, a two-hour bubble bath . . . All those things are AWESOME. But sometimes, we have to be a little more creative about finding me-time where we can.
In my life, I’ve come to rely on my workout time as my me-time. Getting up early isn’t always easy, but I feel SO much better when I get up, get moving, and spend the first couple hours of the day alone, focusing on my health.
Can you do something similar in your life? You don’t have to wake at 5 a.m. for spin class, but maybe you could roll out of bed 45 minutes for a quick walk around your block. Maybe you could pay for one extra hour of childcare and squeeze in an aerobics class after work. Or maybe it has nothing to do with working out—maybe your recharge-activity is watching the sunrise with a cup of tea from your back deck, journaling for 15 minutes on your lunch break, or spending 20 minutes knitting while you listen to your favorite podcast before breakfast.
My point is, self-care doesn’t have to be expensive, super time consuming, or impractical. Consider what you love, consider what makes sense for your life, and find an activity that makes sense in regards to both.
So you can’t get around the fact that soccer practice takes up a couple full hours every single Tuesday evening. I get that. But do you really have to sit there through the entire practice every single week? I’d say no.
Just because a certain time block is technically predesignated for something your kids are doing, that doesn’t mean you can’t do something for yourself in that time as well. For instance, maybe soccer practice happens to be a five minute drive from a small-but-cute salon—great! Drop your kid off, get a 30-minute massage, then head back to pick him up. I’m not suggesting you do this every single week; I personally love watching my son at his karate classes. But sometimes, it’s okay to cut yourself some slack and gift yourself that time back.
Want to take this one step further? Trade taxi-duties with other trustworthy parents in your network. Maybe you team up with three other moms, and each of you commits to taking all the kids one Saturday per month. This means one of your Saturdays is dedicated fully to being present with your kids and their friends . . . And it also means that you potentially get three full Saturday afternoons to do anything you want or need to do.
Be creative here. Maybe these exact suggestions don’t fit your life, but I feel confident that you can come up with a solution if you do some brainstorming. :)
This is one of my favorite phrases in regards to a lot of life-stuff: Ditch the guilt if you eat dessert, ditch the guilt if you accidentally miss a workout, and for pete’s sake, ditch the guilt around taking time for yourself. You CANNOT be nearly as present, positive, and supportive for your family if you’re running on fumes. It’s just not possible. So if that means that you need to take a day every month to leave the kids with your partner, a grandparent, or a babysitter and do something that recharges your batteries, then you should ABSOLUTELY prioritize that.
Showing your kids how to be a good parent while also taking good care of yourself and keeping your sense of personal identity is setting an awesome example that they’ll look to if they should become parents someday down the road. They may not get it now, but they’ll thank you later.
Those are my three biggest tips on recharging even when you’re faced with a busy schedule! Do you have some tips of your own? Or maybe you have a few questions about your particular circumstances? Either way, I’d love to hear from you! Click “POST COMMENT” below and leave me a little note. :)
Could you use a support network of other busy, professional mamas? Community is SO important when it comes to health, which is exactly why I created my FREE Facebook Group, Never Diet Again. If you aren’t already a member, we’d love to have you! And while you’re there, you can pick up my FREE Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy Guide—your map to living a full, satisfying, and healthy life every single day.
Until next week, I hope you live a life you love without feeling hungry (or stressed out), depriving yourself (of good food OR me-time), or giving up your glass of wine with dinner. Cheers!