As parents, we make compromises, concessions, and appointments…so we should be able to make time too, right?
It wasn’t until my second child was born that I truly understood the importance of making time. I let myself become completely preoccupied with all things parenting when my daughter was born. I had my subscription to Mothering magazine and forgot there were other magazines on the rack.
But when #2 comes along, the complete absence of “free time” made the concept of making time click for me. I could do this. I signed up for a class at the local community college. It was a small step in the right direction. For one hour each week, I would have space, silence, and a chance to meet other adults. I chose a Qi Gong class to keep my me time tranquil. That was two years ago. I have kept up the classes, moving into Tai Chi studies. I never thought I would be doing tai chi until I had grandkids, but here I am. Need I even mention the benefits of tai chi and qi gong – I get to take that calm back to my family and breathe a little more and stress a little less.
It used to feel like I was escaping my family….and honestly, some days I am. But most days I am finding myself. The me outside of the house and outside of parenting.
I no longer believe in the concept of multi-tasking. It seems I can make more time by committing to a project and seeing it through. This has helped me to stick to things and be more disciplined. I can enjoy so much more if I come back to activities where I have already done the groundwork.
Having a basic routine with children also helps me to find more time. On Mondays, I usually do laundry. Wednesdays are a playtime at a local community center. Thursdays is story time at the library. Within each day is a somewhat predictable, somewhat flexible schedule.
Lastly, I think being mindful and aware is one of the best ways to make more time. When I am slowing down to notice my environment I am also embracing the present moment with my kids. So often I am mentally leaping into the next activity. It is a challenge but altogether worth it to find the delight and experience in each moment.