What if someone said that there was a seminar or book that was going to help you be a better mom and it required 15 minutes to an hour a day? Would you go? Would you take an afternoon or an evening to learn what you needed to be a better mom? Most of us would because we want the best for our children.
This next question is a little harder. Do you take some time every day to exercise, read, or do something else that will refresh you and help you be a better mom? I know I don't and if I do take time away to do those things I feel a little guilty about not getting to the laundry right away or some other household chore.
Now that the school year is starting again we are going back to routine. I don't know about you but my family thrives on routine and structure. Sometimes I wonder why I throw it out in the summer because it inevitably leads to chaos.
As you look at the fall it is good to think about your upcoming schedule and routine and be sure to include yourself in it. Your schedule this year may be different because you have a child starting school, preschool, sports, music lessons, or your work situation may be changing. This will mean you need to restructure your days. If you have a good routine and you get the "chores" done more efficiently you will be able to set aside some time for yourself and not feel guilty about it.
First, think about all the things you will need to do in a week. Start with the things already scheduled like school, lessons, sports, work, and other commitments. After that framework is set up start filling in the other things you need to do like grocery shopping, cleaning, and running errands; things with a more flexible time frame. Try to put them on a set schedule like a load of laundry every morning, groceries on Monday, bathrooms and cleaning on Fridays, dusting and vacumming on Wednesday, etc.
Lastly, don't forget to consider yourself. It is very important to schedule some time for yourself everyday. Whether you want to exercise, read, pray, check email or enjoy a cup of coffee it is important to take time for yourself. Your family needs so much from you round the clock. If you schedule some time for yourself then you are more likely to take the necessary time to refresh and not feel guilty.
See where you can fit in a few minutes. Maybe you get up a half hour earlier to exercise or enjoy a cup of coffee. Maybe you take the first hour after you put the kids on the bus for yourself. Maybe you work hard all day but stop 45 minutes before the bus comes to refresh yourself and prepare for your kids coming home. If you have little ones at home still you might be able to find some time during one of their nap times or exchange baby sitting with a friend to give each other a little break. When all my kids were little I would take off every day from 4 until when I needed to start dinner around 5. It was a no guilt hour that I could hang out on the floor, read, or rest my eyes and not feel bad about it.
Taking some time for yourself to refresh every day will help you be a better mom and therefore worth your effort to schedule it in. This should be a "no guilt" component of your day. Put it in your schedule this fall.