Part two in my “Finding Time for Mom” series and I LOVE this post!
As a first time mom of a 15 month old, one of the hardest changes for me has been the loss of my own time. Even before we found out I was pregnant, I struggled to find time for my passions. As an introvert, I covet my time to do those things that I love. It’s how I refuel. It’s how I recharge. And it’s how I get through every day.
Fitting Your Passion(s) Into Your Schedule
Because my passions help me get through the tough days, I knew I had to figure out how to fit my passions – my workouts, reading, blogging – into my daily schedule. Now, don’t read that and think I’m not passionate about raising my daughter and spending time with my husband, because I do make those two my priorities every day. And I also think it’s important to acknowledge that motherhood is not every woman’s calling, or even our only calling. God created all of us with different skills and passions, and motherhood in some aspects, or in it’s entirety may not be the thing that brings the most fulfillment in life.
I also think that as moms, when we let go of those passions – those things that excite us and bring us a sense of fulfillment, then we lose a part of ourselves. It’s so important that we make sure we are our best selves so that we can take care of our families. Being our best selves means making time for our passions. Finding time to do things that fulfill us.
We All Have to Start Somewhere
I have spent a lot of time so far this year working to try and figure out exactly how to manage my time. And as I thought about my schedule, there were several things that I knew I wanted:
To be present and engaged with my family when they are around
To be able to fully engage in my blog when it’s time to work
To be able to be able to unplug and read a book just for fun
To be able to spend time with friends and enjoy some time out
How I Found Time for My Passions
First, I identified my priorities, those things that I knew I didn’t want to sacrifice outside of being a mom.
Along with those priorities are the things that I value, the things that I hold dear. And I decided to consider those things as priorities. I know that when I decide to schedule something, that makes it a priority, and I make sure it gets done. When I have a checklist (like the one of cleaning tasks to do everyday that’s currently hanging on my kitchen calendar), things do not get done because I fail to see it as a priority.
Second, I accounted for how I was actually utilizing my time.
Let’s face it, most of us don’t like to clean and do chores. I most certainly don’t and as a result, my house can sometimes suffer for it. I know that I do not give them enough of a priority, but my excuse was always that I didn’t have “enough time.” Which, I knew actually wasn’t the truth at all, but I couldn’t actually account for how I was utilizing any of my time.
So, I took a week to map out exactly what I was doing with my time. This meant my calendar was my absolute best friend for about a week and I was taking the time every 3-4 hours daily to write down what I had done with my time. And it wasn’t very pretty. My schedule had things written all over it, and most of those things weren’t even the major priorities for me. It was eye opening to see exactly how I was utilizing my time and where I was failing myself in accomplishing my priorities.
Third, I created a new game plan.
After accounting for how poorly I was actually using my time, I realized that I had time I could utilize, if I planned better. Having a little toddler running around the house means I don’t always get a lot of chances to do household chores or other tasks while she’s awake. Currently, she has been teething for over two weeks (those darn molars!) and as a result, has been needing lots of snuggles (not that I’m complaining, I never get them otherwise!). So I have to be creative about how I use my time.
Through trial and error, I know that working out while she’s awake is not an option. So that is always my first priority during nap time. My second priority is working on my blog. But I am very committed to my desire to not do any of that work during time when my daughter is awake. So my evenings are slated for blog time. For our family, evenings typically time I spend alone because my husband is either working or doing school work. That made them the perfect time for me. I decided how many hours I was willing to dedicate to that work and then can fit them in during those evenings when I am left to my own devices.
It’s not a perfect system, but it’s a start.
Here’s what I know, if we don’t make the time to do something, it doesn’t happen. For me, housework is always that thing that I don’t have time for. But I’m finding that as my daughter gains her independence, she doesn’t need me sitting and hovering over her every moment of the day. She can play independently while I do some chores. This allows me to keep a close eye on her, but also let her test her wings. And getting those chores done while she’s awake allows me to bring her in to “help” when the situation allows, or to teach or her something new.
It also means there is time in my day to follow my passions.
A huge thank you to Amy for writing this! I love her blog about creating a Godly legacy and I was honored when she showed an interest in writing for us!
Amy Langmaack is a wife and mom to one little princess. She loves to read and learn, particularly when it comes to her faith. Since her daughter was born, that love of learning has been focused on how to live a life that leaves a Godly legacy. She want stop be able to pass on her faith with healthy spiritual disciplines and habits to her daughter as she grows. Amy shares this passion with her husband and they share what they are learning on their blog, Be The Proof. You will often find Amy in her happy place, curled in a comfy chair with a cup of coffee, a good book and her journal