Whether you’re a new mother, a mother-to-be or have been a mother for a long time, sometimes it is hard to find the time to do the things that bring you joy.
Through my personal development over the years, and especially around the time when I was an anxious and stressed-out new mother, I was always told to do just ONE THING for myself every day. Of course, our minds run over all the things in our head that we need to get done and it’s taken with a grain of salt, however, this advice truly does have legs.
The first thing to do is NOT to run over all those darn things you need to get done. Lately I have been feeling terrible as I haven’t been walking my dog very often (sometimes even choosing the gym instead – oh my gosh you should see his ears droop when the runners on the feet don’t coincide with a walk), and it was due to telling myself I just didn’t have the time. But honestly, 20 minutes out of a whole day is completely manageable and I’ve been sternly telling myself off when I try to repeat the same time-poor story.
Now I know you’ve heard it before, but guess where those spare 20mins will probably come from? The phone scrolling. Oh I hear you sister, it is a hard habit to break, but it’s because we do it so unconsciously, so out of habit, soooo mindlessly, that before we know it that 20mins has gone by in an instant and you’re left feeling bewildered and probably in need of buying something.
We need to train our brains to ‘clock on’ when we pick up our phones – say to yourself ‘Scrolling again!’ so you are completely conscious of what you’re doing and the time spent doing it. The more you are aware, the more you will be able to change these patterns and you can make that conscious decision to take the dog/baby/yourself for a walk instead.
Another story we like to tell ourselves is that we aren’t worth it or that your family is more important than yourself, and we put ourselves last. Again on a personal note, I remember when Winnie was 1 and my friend who had older children was telling me how she did her yoga stretches and a face mask after her kids went down at 6pm. To be honest I was in awe and said to her “How on earth do you have the time?!” She replied “My kids are older, you’re right in the thick of the baby days at the moment. You’ll see 😊”
I had a story in my mind that by the end of the long exhaustive day I didn’t have anything left to do anything for myself. That all I could manage was zoning out in front of the television hopefully with a glass of wine in hand. But it’s a choice, right? We can either follow the story that we always do and tell ourselves that by the end of the day we have nothing left. And like all habits, if we repeat it so often it will become ingrained thus becoming extremely hard to break.
Yes most DEFINITELY there are days when you have nothing left and all you want to do is watch TV, and there is NOTHING wrong with that.
However, if we are trying to do just one little thing per day that is for us and just for us, run that bath. Take your wine there if needs be! Do a meditation. Read a book. Call a friend. Light a candle to signify it’s your time, recognize that you are making the choice to put yourself first for a while and do something that makes you happy.
It is a simple choice, and you are ticking 'Yes'.
If you make mental notes of clocking on and off when you do these things, you will see that you are creating new beautiful habits for yourself, and your self-worth will increase. You will feel less time poor and realise that 20 minutes is all you need to turn your day around.