The life of a woman is often filled with the care and attention to others. Our families almost always come first; our husband and our children. We also tend to take on an abundance of responsibilities such as: personal maintenance, cleaning, cooking, family scheduling, bookkeeping, etc. To top everything off, many of us also work outside the home. Whew! That’s a lot for one person to handle. Often we become stressed and run down trying to juggle everything on a daily basis. When this happens it is hard for us to be effective, upbeat and patient.
How then can we balance our needs with our personal values (family is my number one personal value)? I read once that to help keep our energy up and our stress down, we need to take one hour a day, one day a week and one week every three months for ourselves. This is a wonderful dream, but if you drop your kids off at daycare or school, head for work, and on your way home pick up the kids, help the kids with homework, do the dishes, straighten the house, cook the dinner, etc. where do you fit in your one hour?
You might be able to catch some “me time” after everyone is in bed unless your husband is like mine and will miss his evening snuggle. If your schedule is like mine don’t even think about the weekend where both kids and husband are home and you need to catch up on personal and domestic tasks left over from the week. Even though it may seem hopeless, don’t give up. There is a way.
How to get one hour a day?
Here are a few ideas:
Split your hour into two. Take a half hour at lunch. Go sit in your car. If you’re not using this time to eat lunch be sure and eat plenty of healthy snacks throughout the day. Silence the ringer on your cell phone. Listen to some relaxing music. Set an alarm on your phone so you don’t have to worry about time. Take the other half hour before bed. In my case, my husband is still awake when I get there. 🙂
Another option is to wait until the kids are in bed. Then when your husband is ready for bed explain to your husband that you need some time to recoup from the day. Tell him that you will wake him up later for a “special treat.” This works for me every time. 🙂
Another way to grab an hour is to go to bed an hour earlier than your husband. He will still have you there to snuggle when he comes to bed and may wake you up once in a while for a little late night fun. Then get up and hour earlier than everyone else and make this time your special time. This works out well, because you don’t have to hit the floor running. 🙂
You can also steal an hour after the kids are in bed. Go into the bathroom and take a bath; one of those long relaxing baths that helps to release the tensions from the day. Make it clear to your husband that you are NOT to be disturbed. 🙂
Don’t be afraid to use one or more combinations of the above suggestions.
How to get one day a week?
One day a week is tough if you have a family. I suggest shooting for 4 hours a week.
Here are some ideas:
To carve this time into your weekend, send the kids to a babysitter. 🙂
If the cost is prohibitive, find another mom in your area and offer to take her kids once a week in exchange for taking care of yours. 🙂
If your husband is willing, have him take the kids on a 4 hour trip. This is a great time for him to spend quality time with them. 🙂
Have grandma or grandpa take care of the kids for you. All you have to do now is figure out what to do with you husband. If you are like me, when it’s just my husband at home, I am more relaxed, but this is not really “me time.” I tend to spend that time attentive to my husband. 🙂
Generally, because I work from home I like to get away, so I take our dog and head for a park. If the weather is not agreeable, I head for the mall or a spa. In Gig Harbor, WA near me, there is a coffee shop, Java & Clay Café that is a coffee and pottery studio. I love to go and drink my extra sweet hazelnut latte while painting a creative design on some pottery. Your time is YOUR time; spend it however you like. You deserve it. 🙂
NOTE: My husband and I create a romantic evening for ourselves every Saturday night. Maintaining quality time with you significant other keeps the spark alive. The kids won’t be living at home forever. Well, I don’t think they will. LOL
How to get one week every three months?
For most of us this is not an option. If we have that much leave time usually we like to spend it with our families. I would suggest two days every other month just for you, using the other months for a romantic getaway. When you are taking two days for yourself:
Take a hotel vacation (Stay in an inexpensive local hotel to help keep costs down.). Leave the kids with a babysitter, husband, or grandparents. 🙂
Send kids for a sleepover that starts Friday night and ends Sunday afternoon. 🙂
Trade weekends with another couple or mom. This will keep the cost down for everyone. 🙂
Some of us may feel guilty and think we are being selfish with our time. In reality you are not. When you have had time to unwind and enjoy yourself, you will be more patient, more attentive and more grateful for your wonderful family. They know that you love them. Remember caring for you is a big part of caring for others.
If you have any other ideas to add please comment below.
Now go have FUN and relax.