How about writing the final post in my Mother Culture Monday Series a week late at 7:40 pm? Sounds like someone has her act together, huh?
Honestly, that is exactly the point. It’s EASY to let little demands and big demands, (even joyful demands on time are demands) get in the way of taking time to grow our own bodies, minds, and souls. As I’m writing this, I’ve already stopped twice to read to my two year old. If we are deliberate about taking time when we can, all the little times we can’t take a break won’t stack up and weigh us down.
I know there are a LOT of those little things waiting in line, and it can be hard to put them on the back burner, indeed some things simply CAN’T be set aside for later. (insert 20 minute break to put the kiddos to bed)
Here are a few suggestions for finding time to read, think, pray, exercise or whatever it is you need to be your healthiest, and incidentally most effective, self:
CAUTION: You will be tempted to use the time you carve out to catch up on chores. Unless the chores being undone causes you physical distress, DO NOT use this time for laundry, dishes, or cleaning out the closets, or at least do so extremely sparingly, and only in preparation for actually being able to relax next time.
- Set a bedtime for your kiddos. Make it one to two hours before you are ready to drop dead, and guard it fiercely.
- Enforce a daily quiet hour/nap. (My big kids read, sleep, daydream, or pray, the baby naps)
- Instead of raptly watching your little athlete at practice, either take a walk, a class of your own, or just read in the waiting room. (Honestly I’d feel bad about this one except that the waiting area in my kid’s gym has a terrible view of the gym floor, so even if I watched I’d only be catching glimpses of my budding gymnast.)
- Swap half an hour a day (or two hours a week—whatever you can manage) with a neighbor mom.
- Send big kids out to play. My Bigs were shocked last summer when I told them to explore the neighborhood for half an hour while the baby napped.
- Send the kiddos out for a walk with Dad.
- Take Grandma up on the offer of an afternoon off.
- Set up a safe play area where you can let the kids play while you are nearby, but not necessarily “watching”.
- Hire a teenage Mother’s Helper to entertain the kids for an hour while you read or soak in a bubble bath (or both!)
- Get your family on a routine, so that they aren’t shocked by your daily “Mother Culture Minute”, but stay flexible and willing to snatch a minute when the opportunity arises.
Thanks for taking time to read and ponder Mother Culture with me. I hope this series has got you on the path to taking better care of yourself, as a soul, as a human, as a woman, and as a mother.
What would you add? Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments, or catch up with me on Facebook.