I’ve been going to bed lately wishing there were more hours in a day. I also read, recently, that you need to stop making excuses for not having enough time. The time is there…it’s how you’re using it that counts….and ain’t that the truth?!
At first I was all like, wait a second, I use my time really wisely, and then as the day went on I started to notice all of the minutes that were wasted (though some, I will argue, are needed). Some things don’t even seem like a waste of time in the moment, but they are…silly things like spending an hour thinking about what we were going to do with our day, what we would wear, etc. Or the amount of time I stand staring at my pantry or refrigerator deciding on what to make for dinner with a reel of takeout places rolling through my mind. I’ve always been a biiiiiiiit indecisive, just ask my husband, and even the simplest decisions (what to wear, what to eat) can take me hours to move forward with. But I don’t have time for that shit anymore!
There was time. There is time. We just need to make better use of it. It sucks, but when you sit back at the end of the day and think of everything you’ve accomplished, it’s amazing. And you will probably find that you will get more sleep that is waaaaay more restful because you don’t go to bed with a list on your mind and wake up nagging yourself about what’s on it.
So, I’ve made some changes this past week to help me find the time I need:
- Wake up earlier than the kids. Let’s be clear about something here – I am about as far from a morning person as you can be and I’m making this work. You know why? Because waking up a full hour before the kids in the morning actually feeds my soul in a way I didn’t even know I needed. When I wake up I need time and I need my space; two things that are impossible to get with my two in the morning. But when the alarm goes off, I talk to no one, I take my time and I sit, I plan, I do things. And yes, I actually get things done. Why? Because I sit there reminding myself I could be, and would rather be, in bed… so I am far less likely to waste my time.
- Always have a back up meal plan. I hate meal planning. HATE. IT. I feel like I am being held down and forced to eat food against my will even though I chose it…a week before. It just doesn’t work for me. So, we have a freezer full of meals, meats, soups and veggies. Those are our back ups. We still have options for the week that are in the fridge fresh but I at least have an idea of what we are making. For lunches, I have pretty much moved to a rotating schedule with different things for the kids and, many times, that means leftovers or a sandwich for me…and I am one hundred percent fine with that. If meal planning is your thing – by all means, have at it!
- Create a cleaning schedule. I post it and I try to stick to it as much as I can. Monday I do sheets, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday are laundry days, etc. Now does this mean I never have to change the sheets on a Thursday? Well, if you have kids then you know the answer to that. It doesn’t mean there isn’t flexibility, it just means there is routine. My routine tackles the majority of our household to-do list and it keeps things pretty manageable. Even when the house is a pig sty, I can usually clean it from top to bottom in an hour because all the basics are already done.
- Schedule your kids in. What kind of heartless bitch am I? Schedule your kids? Now, I stay at home with my kids and I am present to them all day, but I am also doing other things when they are around – cleaning, cooking, working. They are always a priority for me but I make them my sole focus every morning. I give them my morning to play, do crafts and let them run the show. It means putting my phone down and my lap top away. If we are cleaning its because we made a mess together and we pick it up together. If we are baking, it’s because we are doing it together and an activity we are all involved in. It may seem silly to schedule your kids in when you are present to them all day like I am, but it’s shocking how often they get put on the back burner if you don’t. We aren’t talking back burner as in neglect, we are talking about not being your focus. Giving them undivided attention fills them, and us, up in a way that makes us better to one another for the rest of the day.
- Always make time to relax. It doesn’t have to be long – for me it is typically an hour at the end of the day on the couch with my husband watching a show and chatting. Always, always, always remember to take time for YOU – however that may look!
Anything I missed? Tell me what works for you!