This is a guest post by Elizabeth McCormick.
While motherhood can be one of life’s greatest joys, it also requires a lot of time and energy, and, unless you have help full time, caring for your family can be a bit overwhelming.
Many moms, particularly those who are new mothers or have multiple children, find it difficult to balance quality time with their families and making time for themselves. Toss in holding down a full-time job or focusing on academics and the odds of having time to yourself is even less feasible.
Even simple activities like enjoying a cup of coffee while reading the newspaper no longer fit into your routine. Forget about shopping as browsing shops with little ones in tow can be much more trying than it was before you had children, and shopping for yourself is almost impossible and not as pleasurable as it was prior to you having a family.
And forget about intimate dinners with your partner or a spur of the moment night out with your mates—if you’re a mommy with young children there’s so much preparation you must do before you go out that it’s often more of a hassle than it’s worth.
Many moms find daily beauty rituals that single women take for granted not easily attainable. Everything from applying makeup and doing your hair to keeping up with the latest trends in fashion and accessories can be tough when you’re a busy mom.
Here are a few tips that active moms can use to optimize any free moment they have and make time for themselves.
Get an Early Start
Rise an hour or so ahead of your family for some quiet, contemplation time. Spend this time engaging in a relaxing, soothing activity such as yoga or jogging. Exercising or partaking in yoga or any type of meditation allows you to workout both your mind and body. It also offers the opportunity for some time for reflection and mentally preparation for the busy day that awaits you.
Give Yourself a Time Allowance
Whether you record your day-to-day tasks in a diary or journal, keeping record of how you spend your time and what your most time-consuming activities are is a great time management tool and a great way to figure out when you can make time for yourself.
Start by figuring out what tasks can be done as quickly as possible and how you can maximize your time doing these activities in order to allow a few spare moments for yourself.
Use the extra time you accumulate to participate in a favorite hobby, such as reading or taking in a film at the cinema; a chore you’ve put off, like cleaning your jewelry; or just indulge in some (much needed) relaxing time alone—an activity you couldn’t do otherwise.
Create a Calming Bedtime Routine
Your children have a nighttime routine and so should you. After getting the wee ones settled in for the evening, take the opportunity to wind down with a nice, tranquil bath, a movie or television show, a good book, or lengthy chat with a friend.
Whatever activity you choose, make sure it’s something that is yours and makes you feel relaxed and ready for the busy day ahead of you.
Elizabeth McCormick is a full time mom who enjoys writing in her spare time.