Thanks to Savvy Sassy Moms for sponsoring this post
Being a stay at home mom means that family time, work time, and personal time are continually blurred. How can we find margin in our days to do something truly meaningful for ourselves?
As you know, I’m a stay at home mom to two young girls. We aren’t to the point of soccer games or dance rehearsals, and we don’t have school or summer camp to dictate our time. That means our days can be as structured (or unstructured) as I choose. Lately, that’s become more of a hindrance than a help.
Without structure, I’m “mom” 24/7. Yes, it’s true that I’m ALWAYS their mom (a title I truly love), but a lack of structure means that I have little margin for my other roles: wife, friend, blogger and me – just “Joanna.”
I recently read the book Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner, and it really helped me think about my daily needs in a different way. My personal “cup” needs to be filled up before I can truly be the best mom, wife, friend, etc.
After a little reflection I realized that filling my cup isn’t that complicated.
- A shower and 5 minute face
- Dressed in clothes that make me feel “nice”
- Daily exercise
- A hearty breakfast
- Time to pursue my creative endeavors
Sounds pretty basic, right? Well with a baby and a 2 year old, you’d be surprised how often not even a shower gets accomplished from that list. Luckily Jessica offered advice in finding bits of time (those “fringe hours”) we all have in our days to help me fill my cup.
Here’s how I plan to find more margin:
- Start my day after Everly’s last feeding for the night
- She usually eats around 4:30 am, and I usually **plan** to be up around 5:15. By staying awake, I lose the temptation to snooze through my alarm and miss my opportunity to start my day off right – with that elusive shower ;)
- Multitask intentionally
- I should time how much of my day is spent nursing the baby. Sometimes Eleanor comes and sits with me, and we’ll talk, sing, or read a story, but many times it’s just me, the baby, and my phone…. where I get sucked into mindless scrolling. This is a perfect example of time I could be reading a book of my own, listening to a podcast, or brainstorming blog posts.
- Schedule my priorities
- I have personal priorities (exercise, time with friends, etc.) and mom priorities (getting the girls out for play dates, to the zoo, library, etc.). I’ve started making “appointments” for things that are important to me. Even though our days don’t HAVE to be structured, I treat these important items as non-negotiable commitments. It helps me visually see the balance between my different roles.
- Accept help
- There are so many people who have generously offered to help our family in different ways. I doubt I’m alone in acting as though I never need help and turning down such offers. I’ve decided to not only accept help, but ASK for it when it’s truly needed.
Hopefully these small changes will help me find a bit more time in my day to be something more than “mom.” I’ll let you know how getting up at 4:30 goes ;)
What fills your cup?
Where do you think you could find more margin in your day?
*I was provided the book Fringe Hours through my partnership with Savvy Sassy Moms