Sure. You want time to yourself. We all want that. You keep hearing how you need time to yourself so that you are refreshed and ready to be the best mom ever! But…seriously? All those tips? Those involve actual time. Or older children. It can be next to impossible to make time for yourself as a busy mom, especially with children under the age of 5. And you probably don’t believe all those moms who claim that they get to read or get a pedicure or shower without an audience. Heck, you’d give your right arm just to pee without an audience.
Trust me. I’m right there in the trenches with you. Not only do I need time to myself because I get worn out, I’m an introvert in that I recharge with quiet and alone time. I honestly cannot function without time to myself. I get seriously cranky (which is putting it nicely…) and blow small things out of proportion when I don’t get to recharge. So because I know that about myself, I find ways to get that time. If you are a busy mom as well, here are real life ways to get time for yourself.
Send the kids outside
Yup. I went there. In 2016 when so many people consider it inappropriate or unsafe to allow kids to play outside by themselves, I am encouraging it. Obviously, if you don’t live in the best neighborhood or don’t have windows to your yard or your children are too young, this one won’t work. For me, it’s amazing. We live rather rurally so neighbors aren’t really an issue. Our play area is right at the end of the deck so I can see it perfectly from my kitchen. I either work in the kitchen when my daughter is outside or I sit on the deck.
Wait for nap time
Nap time is my almost guaranteed alone time. Obviously, there are days it doesn’t happen when one or both children are not cooperating. But generally speaking, that is when I can watch a non-animated TV show, read, work on crocheting, blog, etc. Some days I get two hours, some days I get 20 minutes. Either way, I look forward to this time.
Use the TV
Yup. I went there…again. Sometimes the TV is an excellent tool. Especially on rainy days when you can’t send the kids outside. Frozen is still popular in my house. That is my go to. My daughter also really likes the Veggie Tales movie, Beauty and the Beet. Now that my daughter is four, she’s pretty good at navigating the Roku remote herself and knows what she is allowed to watch. We typically eat lunch at noon so at 11:30 I let my daughter watch a show and I head off to another part of the house for some quiet.
Find 5 minutes however you can
Sometimes you just have to find 5 minutes here and there using whatever means possible. If your kids are trustworthy with crayons, give them some coloring. If they are too young for that or like to draw on the walls, put them in a play pen with some toys or in one of those enclosed play space things. Containment is key. 5-10 minutes of them in a safe place or playing by themselves isn’t going to be the end of the world. It’s also okay to do this a couple times a day! Even babies and toddlers need to learn independent play. So see? Time for you and development for them. Totally a win-win. 😉Find some real ways to get alone time as a busy mom in the real world Click To Tweet
Give them a project
If your kids are 2-6, they most likely want to be helpful. Find something they can do for you. Fold towels, wash windows, scrub the bottom of pots with baking soda paste (it helps get build up off your pans and gets rid of hot spots), whatever you can find for them to do safely alone. Then leave them alone. Don’t interject. If you have to refold towels later, so be it. Sit down where you can see them but do something for yourself, even if it is reading just one chapter of a book.
Get up earlier
Urgh. I know. This one. No one likes this one. But do you have any idea how much better I feel when I wake up before my kids? Even if it is just 20 minutes, I feel so much more ready to “mom” when I don’t wake up to a hungry baby and a melting down preschooler because she can’t get the TV remote to work (true story). When I first started trying to get up before my older daughter, I really found the Make Over Your Mornings course helpful. It helped me see the purpose for why I was getting up before her. With a purpose known, it made it so much easier. It is definitely harder with a baby that wakes up to eat at 4am and sometimes still stirs in the night but I try to get up around 6:45am so that I get some quiet before the chaos (the older child gets up at 7:30 and the baby between 7 and 8). Huge, huge difference in my day and in my attitude.
There you have it. Six real life ways to make time for yourself as a busy mom. Not all of them will work for all people. Find the ones that work for you and run with it! If you have a way that works for you that I haven’t listed, I’d love to hear about it!