When I ask Mamas what their biggest obstacle is to ditching overwhelm, the answer is always TIME!
- Lack of it.
- Not enough.
- Too little.
So it should not come as a surprise when I ask them:
If you had a magic wand, what would you wish for?
And they answer without pause: I would wish for more hours in the day. So then I ask: “To do what?”
“To spend quality time with my kids”. Of course.
Because right now it probably looks like: As soon as I get the dishes done, I’ll spend some one-on-one with the little one…Or, “let me just fold the laundry and I’ll be with you…” “I’ve got to check this email first…”
The thing is, there are only 24 hours in a day.Time is the one thing we just cannot get back. Click To Tweet
Moments, these precious moments, no matter where you find yourself in the motherhood season, each moment only comes about once.
This is it, after all.
And we all know it…we’ve heard it before. We may have heard it so much that we end up wasting precious time (and energy!) feeling guilty for not getting this whole time management thing right.
In truth, a lot of the time it is simple bad habits that get in the way of quality moments. Habits that become obstacles to a more intentional and meaningful use of our time.
Here are three of my top ‘quality time’ zappers and the habits that fuel them.
By just shifting one of these, I promise you, Mama, that you will have made a significant step to creating more quality moments with those you love.
‘Quality time’ zapper #1. Bad sleep
This is basic folks. We all know how critical sleep is to our overall health and, of course, our capacity to thrive as human beings. But because there are not enough hours in a busy mother’s day, we do the obvious…we try add more.
We might stay up late finishing that report, tidying up the kitchen, or enjoying that precious “me” time that just didn’t happen during daylight hours. I so totally get this!
The thing is that staying up late is a short-term solution because over the long term, lack of sleep impacts our clarity of mind and productivity levels.
Have you ever stayed up to finish something that required cognitive effort, only to have to redo it the next day because with morning eyes it didn’t make any sense?
Or have you ever invested in “me” time watching that great series, convinced that this “me” time was a necessary balance and would ultimately make you more fun as a Mom. Only the next day you are so tired that you lose your cool after pick-up because you just didn’t turn the tv off when your body was pleading for shut eye?
Some Rest-is-Best habit-breaking tips:
- If there is too much going on, you need to figure out what can wait and what can go undone because letting your body rest is critical to being the best mother, woman, human being that you can be. Period.
- Once you’ve done that, start to set up a bedtime routine for yourself that (obviously) helps you to wind down and leads you towards a reclined position on your mattress.
- Baby steps. If you are currently getting 6 hours of sleep, aim for 6 ½. If you are getting 7, aim for 7 ½. You get the picture.
- Nice naps. And if you can’t fit in more sleep at night, consider a relaxation meditation during the day that takes you into alpha mode. (This 20 minute deep rest meditation saved me from my Tyrannosaurus Rex self when my kids were little).
Break the habit and get the rest! I promise it will make your awake time more quality.
‘Quality time’ zapper #2: Screen seduction
This is for all those device holders who have found themselves saying out loud (or to themselves): “I’m just going to quickly check that email…” and then end up on Facebook for 45 minutes while their kid expresses his Picasso-esq talents on his bedroom wall.
Immediate child-self-entertainment consequences aside, isn’t it wonderful to hear from and reach out to old friends in far away lands, or to read inspirational words and images that keep you going.
Adult world here I am. Take me away!! Wonderful, yes.
The thing is these devices do take us away. They take us away from the here and now, from the opportunity to create and be in quality moments of connection.
What would it feel like to designate a time where you separate from your device so that you can be in the here and now with the human beings around you?
Where you are present enough to look in their eyes, see their little hands, hear their stories. Not all day. Maybe not even every day.
But in cutting your umbilical chord with technology you may find that you become more efficient (because you are actually focusing on only one thing – that thing you are doing) And that you also become more consciously responsive to your own needs and those around you.
Sassy Screen tip.
- Designate a regular screen-free time of the day – half an hour, an hour, two hours (!!)
- During this time, have all screens in a different room (muted) and hold the intention of being present, breathing the air around you, hearing the sounds around you, interacting with the people around you. (Crazy, I know.) Try it anyway.
‘Quality time’ zapper #3: I’ll take care of me after I…
This is so typical “Mom”, isn’t it?
I’ll sign up for that art class after the kids are in school.
I’ll go for the walk after I’ve tidied the kitchen.
I’ll get to the yoga class if there’s time…
But the after and the extra time often don’t happen. (And besides we don’t know what will happen in between that’ll get in the way of our soul nourishing self-care time!)
So the self-care waits. And if we’re lucky it sneaks in on a Saturday morning. Which keeps us in the groove until Sunday afternoon (because let’s face it, weekends are hard!)
But it isn’t quite enough. So here’s the deal…
In order to be a happy giver yourSELF, your bucket needs to be full and the only person you can count on to do that is YOU.Quality time will not happen if your bucket is empty. It's as simple as that.Click To Tweet