As a stay at home, homeschooling mom, I think a lot of people don’t think I have a lot going on. A friend pointed out to me that when someone asks me to do something I still have to take “time off.” It’s not like just because I’m home all day means I sit and do nothing. I cook, clean, do laundry, teach my kids, and more recently run a business. There is a lot on my plate and I’m pretty busy all day. I’m a people pleaser as I have said before and if I have a free minute I feel like I can schedule something if someone needs me, but I realized the other day that no one else is concerned about my time and schedule. Now this is for a few reasons. One, who has time to think about my schedule when they barely have a handle on their own schedule. Two, no one else really knows how much each of us have on our plate and it’s not realistic for them to. I will say my husband tries very hard to be an advocate for me and my time but I don’t always let him.
I’m not sure if you are crazy type A, workaholic, perfectionist like me but we all need to guard our own time. It is perfectly ok to schedule time to sit and read a book or to play with your kids because if you don’t no one else will. It is ok to tell people no you can’t do something because you just want to have a day at home to do nothing. If we don’t take that time for ourselves then our other relationships suffer, starting with our husband, kids, and then friends. We are no good if we are over worked and stressed out. It is so hard for me to look at someone and to tell them no but I’m realizing I have to get better at it. So here are some tips.
- When someone asks you to do something, you don’t have to give an answer immediately or get it on the calendar right away. Ask to get back to them and genuinely pray about it and take time to look at your schedule and see if it will work without stressing you out! But do be courteous and respond in a timely manner. Be honest even if it is no. I find it much better when someone says no than when they don’t respond at all.
- Make sure you sit down and eat. Standing by the counter doesn’t count and neither does drinking a protein shake in the car. Actually sit down and eat three meals a day and see if you can sit for 15 minutes each time without the distraction of electronics!
- Schedule time to actually play with your kids. Now I hang out with my kids all day but we don’t always play. Last night Hannah and I played Battleship together. 15-30 minutes of focused time means way more then 24 hours of me being distracted by everything else but still “being” around.
- Plan time for YOU each week! That’s right you! Read a book, get a massage, go for a walk… ALONE! Don’t just count on a 2 second alone bathroom break… it doesn’t count! You may have to step out on a limb here and ask for help. I know it’s hard but ask your husband to watch the kids or ask a friend. If you can’t then give the kids quiet time and sit on the couch and stare into space. You deserve it and need it!
- Think about God and your family first. What best fits your schedule and needs. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about how you schedule your time. They are not living it and don’t truly know. I spoke to a mom today who puts her kids to bed very late like 9 or 10. Is she a “bad or good” mom? NO! She just has a different schedule. They also sleep in. I put my kids to bed at 7:30pm. Does that make me a “bad or good” mom? NO! My kids were up at 6AM!!! It’s just what fits our lives and styles.
Please be an advocate for yourself and for your time. If you don’t…. no one else will.