7 Ways To Make Being A Busy Mom Easier (And Make A Little Time For You!)
Being a parent is a full time job. Indeed, for many of us, it’s a full time job that we manage on top of another full time job. There are even some crazy fools who have a full time job and are developing their own business as a side hustle on top of their parental responsibilities. And people who have full time jobs but don’t have kids complain about how little free time they have! There’s no denying that parenthood is a wonderful, exciting and sometimes even terrifying experience. It’s a crucible from which we emerge stronger, wiser, more loving and more (dare we say it) grown up… in a good way. When we become parents, plagued by insecurities though we may be, we actually have the potential to be the best possible version of ourselves. The trouble is that it can often feel that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Even if we have the support of a partner to fall back on, parenthood can be a time consuming and physically, emotionally and psychologically exhausting endeavor. For lone parents, however, the problem is magnified. Waking up in the morning to the prospect of a full day of work on top of the myriad duties that come with parenthood such as school runs, taking our kids to their extra curricular activities after school, making sure that our kids are stimulated and intellectually engaged outside of school and of course ensuring that they get a wholesome and nutritious meal that will give them the energy and specific nutrients that they need to excel inside and outside of school.
All of this is extremely admirable, but in our fervor to be the best possible parent that we can be and give our kids the best start in life, that takes the best elements of our own childhood and improves on it where possible, we ourselves can get lost in the shuffle… And that’s simply not okay.
The importance of guilt free you time
It’s a common anxiety among parents that, tireless and selfless as we are, that we’re being selfish whenever we consider our own needs. Parenthood is an inherently selfless calling, sure, and we all know that we must put our kids first. But this doesn’t mean that we should abandon ourselves. If we don’t take the time to ensure that our own basic needs are accounted for, we run the risk of parental burnout. When we’re running on empty, tired, cranky, underfed, undernourished and exhausted we’re very unlikely to be of any real benefit to our kids. It’s not at all unreasonable to expect a little guilt free time to yourself. Even if you have a partner, as important as it is to dedicate some time to each other and the maintenance of your relationship, it’s also vital that you take some time for yourself. It may be simply an extra long soak in the tub. It might be snuggling up with a good book. It might be a modest night out with your girlfriends or simply catching a movie by yourself. However you relax, unwind and center yourself, it’s vital that you create opportunities for yourself to do so. But how can you possibly do so on a regular basis, when there are so many myriad duties and responsibilities impinging on your free time and so many costs whittling down your disposable income? Here we’ll look at some ways in which even the busiest and most cash strapped of parents can claw back a little time for themselves while also ridding themselves of the financial anxieties that plague many working parents…
Pick your fights
Being a parent and maintaining a household involves a whole lot of duties and responsibilities from cooking and cleaning to routine maintenance. Many Moms are resilient and self reliant creatures and have a very can-do attitude, especially when they’re self-confessed DIY Janes. However, just because you can do something by yourself doesn’t mean that you should. In some cases it may be better to call in a professional simply because of the net gain in time that you will enjoy that will enable you to achieve that difficult work / life balance. If you have a large garden that requires a lot of maintenance or a pest problem that simply refuses to go away, you may have more luck visiting AtkinsInc.com than trying to tackle the problem alone. Sure, there may be an expense incurred, but you can’t put a price on those precious moments to yourself which will help to restore your energy (and your sanity).
Take a few moments to make a little extra money
You don’t need to have a fully fledged side hustle to make a little extra money on the side of your day job. Sometimes, you can make a little extra money on the side without dedicating much time and effort at all to it. There are a wide range of money making apps that will enable you to make small sums of quick and easy money every day that will add up over the year. With the right apps you can make money from scanning old receipts, filling out questionnaires when you go shopping or even working out. This will give you just a little extra disposable income which could make your life easier and relieve the stress of managing your household finances just a little.
Take the magnitude out of mornings
There’s nothing worse than the feeling of waking up in the morning and feeling like you want to hide under the covers in the face of everything you need to do before you even set off for work. It can get your day off to a bad start and make you stressed, irritable and upset throughout the day. Wouldn’t it be much nicer to enjoy a leisurely get up, a cup of coffee while you watch some TV and get the day off to a relaxed and serene start before you wake the kids up? Try and take the magnitude out of your mornings by putting in a little prep time in the evenings. Get everything ready for breakfast and make bag lunches at night so that you can enjoy a leisurely and stress free morning which gets your day off to the best possible start.
Organize your stuff
Be honest with yourself. How often do you spend your mornings dashing around the house trying to find your purse, your keys, your phone and your sunglasses? Most of us have a habit of doing this day after day without ever learning our lesson. Invest in a doorganizer within which you can put everything you’ll need for your day the night before, so that your mornings are easy and stress free. Now you’ll really be able to savor your morning coffee!
Limit time wasting activities
The ubiquity of smartphone technology and social media means that when we do have a little free time we’re less likely than ever to spend it doing something meaningful. It takes a little discipline, but try to avoid scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed. Eliminating distractions at work or in your free time will ensure that you’re more productive and that your sparse free time is spent more meaningfully. Likewise, when you and your partner get a little alone time together, avoid the temptation to simply collapse onto the TV. Take the time to converse and enjoy one another’s company. Sure, you might want to switch your brain off and binge Game of Thrones but your relationship will be stronger if you make a little more time for one another. Sure, there are some who believe that watching TV together can bring you closer together, it shouldn’t come at the expense of openness and communication with one another.
Buy your groceries online
Grocery shopping is an unwelcome drain on your time, and if you;re taking the kids with you it can be a stressful and draining experience. Going to the supermarket, loading up on groceries and driving back can be an extremely time consuming affair. Buying your groceries online can be done in minutes. Moreover, if you tend to buy the same items week after week, you can simply reload your previous shopping cart, meaning that an activity that would have taken over an hour can be done in seconds. What will you do with that extra time?
But remember, you need to sleep!
While it’s important to get some time to yourself wherever you can find it, avoid deferring it until late at night after your kids and your partner have fallen asleep. As comforting as it is to bury yourself in a page turner or watch a movie on your iPad, you will likely end up eating into your valuable sleep time. Sleep is extremely important, especially for parents. Without it you will struggle with concentration, you’ll be cranky and irritable and you’ll burst into tears at the slightest provocation. You could even gain weight and develop skin problems. You should be getting 8-10 hours sleep a day (gold standard) or a bare minimum of 6.