Creating time for yourself may seem something of a pipe dream.
Many mums feel like they spend their lives running around after everyone else and that there is never quite enough time to spend an hour doing absolutely what they want.
With Christmas approaching there is even more to do than ever which means even a little time just for yourself can just vanish. This makes it even more important to get into the habit of creating time just for you. By investing in yourself you are also investing in your family.
I ‘m OK my work-life balance is fine – most of the time
Now most of the time you may not mind this lack of time for yourself, after all you enjoy helping and looking after those who you love.
But just sometimes you may feel that you are not getting the recognition you deserve. Or perhaps you are exhausted as a result of over scheduling and trying to cram too many things into too little time.
And what makes matters even worse is that when you become irritable and point this out to your beloved family, they look at you despairingly and assume you are suffering from PMT.
Are you taken for granted
The problem is they may well just be taking you for granted. There is a fine line between being reliable, which of course is good and being taken for granted which is bad.
Faced with an unhelpful response there are a number of choices.
Take on the role of victim. Although this is possibly alright in the very short-term, long term this is not a good route to take as it doesn’t really help you to feel better. It does not get to the root of the problem. More worryingly it does not set a good example to your family. Short term I guess it can be a sort of curious indulgence.
Lose your temper
Alternatively you can make a stand and flounce out in a huff and eventually crawl back to the mayhem when you have calmed down, although the likelihood is that you will have to put up with the odd joke about your outburst.
Create time for yourself
The third option is to start being just a little bit selfish and ring fence or create time for yourself. This time may consist of an evening out, a bath, a shopping trip or just not being disturbed for half an hour. You may need to delegate tasks to others to achieve this, but that is OK.
Make creating time for yourself a priority
Creating time for yourself has got to be a priority. At the end of the day if you do not feel that you are worthy of some time to yourself – then you are setting a pattern not just for yourself but for others in the family. There are also strong links between exhaustion, stress and depression. Too much busyness can be a really bad thing.
Delegate to others and create time for yourself
Decide how much time you would like to yourself and ask what this will mean to the family. Now if you are talking about a fortnight’s holiday in the sun – that is going to take quite a bit of organising.
But for most mums it may mean a night off from cooking dinner, or putting the kids to bed. If you have young children it maybe a request for your partner to deal with night-time interruptions.
Most people want to help – so make a request for help. Don’t wait for it to be offered. And don’t wait until you are feeling overwhelmed. Accept all the help offered with thanks and appreciation – even if you find this slightly irritating. And also importantly with and no interference as to how they are going to manage the jobs you have delegated to them. This is often a challenge in itself, as the jobs may not be done to their normal standard. But that is OK – this is about you creating time for yourself.
Taking time out can create more productive time
The interesting thing is when you do really make a point investing in some “down time”, your energy levels rise and you are likely to have a more positive, creative focus. You will probably find that you actually are able to achieve more on a daily basis. This will also help you if you are looking to achieve personal goals like losing weight or doing more exercise.
Lets face it stress makes us tired, can affect things like blood pressure and often makes us reach for comfort food.
So make creating time for yourself a priority you are likely to feel better and achieve much more. And most of all your family will benefit not just by you being more relaxed, but by them understanding how important it is to create time out for themselves in their own lives.