Back to school is an interesting time for parents, and depending on your situation, that can either mean life got hectic and crazy or a reprieve from the madness. Or in our case, and I'm sure we're not alone, summer is nutty but when school kicks in, a whole new kind of crazy ensues. If you happen to be a stay at home mom or work from from home, you may finally find some peace and quiet when that bus arrives and maybe even accomplish some housework for the first time in a couple of months (like my friend P.J. says, "cleaning the house with kids around is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreo's"). But if you're one of the working mom's and your kids are old enough to play sports, maybe even multiple sports and or dance and are involved in this activity or that, you're probably now going bonkers trying to figure out who goes where at what time. What's for dinner? Do we even have time for dinner? Do we even have food? How much homework do you have and DOH! We forgot about soccer pictures last night. Oops.
So with all the juggling of schedules, shuffling of children, meals, chores, social obligations (yours and theirs), activities, projects, family (outside of the house), friends, pets, work, etc., the question becomes~ When do you find time for YOU? How can you be the best, most efficient, most nurturing, most effective version of YOU when you're going full blast at all times to meet everyone else's needs?
I can never stress enough to the mom's who try to do it all~ If you don't take care of your self everyone will will suffer! Nobody can replace you so it's your job to make sure that you don't need replacing! If you end up sick, run down or plain old unhealthy, you won't be able to do all of the things your big heart wants to do for everyone.
#1 Put time for YOU on the calendar!
I only have two kids and they (usually) play one sport at a time, but there is no way I could keep track of practices, games, school activities, dances, birthday parties, pictures, blah, blah blah without a planner or calendar. No way Jose. So while you're looking over what's on deck for the week, put yourself on a few of those lines! Try for at least every week day (and be more flexible on the weekend), even if it's just a 20 minute slot.
#2 Be Creative!
Squeeze in a nice relaxing yoga stretching session when you first get up. Go for a walk on lunch. Take a class in the evening. Do squats and kettle bells while you watch Zombie shows, WHATEVER you have to do! Fit it in while your kid is at practice, swap babysitting with a neighbor if you have little ones, rig up a carpool schedule. Don't just say "I can't find any time". You will never find the time, you MUST make the time. And I'm not talking crazy workouts everyday. Do what you can. But do it.
#3 Treat your YOU time like an Obligation!
You wouldn't tell your kid to blow off a game or a rehearsal or a lesson so why should you? It's OK to tell the rest of the family "no, I can't take you all over town to buy (whatever) right now because I have to work out". It's OK to tell your partner you need help getting dinner started because it's your only time to go for a walk. It's OK to say "you can't watch that show right now because I have to do my video".... You get the picture.
As you can see I feel very strongly about this! It's important to take care of you so that you can be that fabulous woman to everyone else. Show yourself a little love too.