Moms, It's Time To Make Time For Yourself
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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Special K. All opinions are 100% mine.
I love summer.  Most of our obligations and commitments follow the school year, so we have a lot more time in the summer.  We had two glorious weeks with nothing but martial arts.  I was honestly amazed at how much I could get done in a day.  During the school year, my son has autism therapy 3-4 days a week, I homeschool three kids, and have my work at home job.  In the evenings, we have martial arts, theater, and three different scout troops.  In a typical week, I have appointments four days of the week during the day and usually five meetings in the evenings.  Fitting something in my planner is like putting a puzzle together.
I am not exaggerating when I say that until about 6 months ago, I was always with at least one child all day, every day.  As much as I love my kids, I need some time for myself.  I was stressed out, and I wasn't being a good mom.  I was spread so thin between volunteering, homeschooling, working, and trying to keep up with the house.

I read a quote on the Internet one day that resonated with me.  You can't pour from an empty cup.  My cup had long been empty, but I was still trying to pour from it.  That's when I decided to make some changes.

Wake Up Early

I am a night owl.  I am a lot happier when I can stay up half the night and wake up after 10 a.m.  In fact, sleeping in is one of the major benefits of homeschooling for my family.  Even though we don't have to hurry to catch a bus, mornings are still hectic.  I started waking up two hours early so I could drink my coffee in peace before starting my day with the family. I also use this time to get some work done so I can homeschool until the afternoon.  Mornings are now my favorite part of the day, even if I am groggy for more of my alone time.

Just Say No

I used to have several volunteer positions that took a lot of time.  Eventually, I couldn't give them the time they deserved, let alone have time leftover for my family or myself.  So now if it's not a "Heck, yes!", then it's a "Heck, no!"  

Track Your Time

I felt like I woke up at 7 a.m., blinked, and it was 11 p.m.  Every single day went just that fast.  I started keeping track of how I was spending my time.  A lot of it was spent driving the kids somewhere, shopping, and cleaning.

I started delegating.  I gave each child a larger chore to do each day that will take about half an hour, freeing almost 90 minutes from my day.  I send my husband to the store and to run errands, saving even more time.  And some thing just got cut.  Do I really need to attend those meetings?  Do we need to stay busy every weekend?  I think not.  

Take Care of Yourself

When I'm always on the go, I don't take care of myself.  I don't eat as healthy as I should, nor do I exercise.  Now I'm taking a tai chi class twice a week and working out at home.  Yes, the kids are around while I'm working out, but I think it's important for them to see that I need to take time to take care of myself because I'm important too.  
In addition to exercising, I'm taking care of myself by giving my body the fuel in needs to be healthy. I start each day with a breakfast with whole grains like Special K Nourish Cereal.  It tastes great, and it has real ingredients that I can see and taste in each bite.  With 24 grams of whole grains, it's a great way to start my day.

Since I am working out, I need to boost my protein.  I snack on Special K Protein Bites because they have 9 grams of protein per serving.  They have a resealable bag, so I can throw them in my gym bag or take them with me when I'm taking the kids to an appointment.  

Make Time For Yourself

Notice that I didn't say to take time for yourself.  No, I mean make time.  In addition to my two hours in the morning, I get an afternoon a week.  If your kids are in school, take a few hours once a week to get out alone.  Trade a few hours with a friend if your kids are little.  Put it on our calendar in pen so you won't schedule something else for that time.
It's so important for moms to take time for themselves without feeling guilty.  Yes, I did feel guilty the first few times that I went out alone, but I know that I need that time to be a better mom.  I'm not as stressed, which makes me a better mom and wife.

How do you make time for yourself?

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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, and a goat. She loves coffee, Gilmore Girls, her chihuahua, and her kids, but not in that order.