Do you remember the moment when you realised that you couldn’t have it all?
Yes you are a superstar Mum; yes you have a wonderful partner; yes you have beautiful kids and yes you have an amazing job. On paper it looks good, BUT scratch the surface and you are probably feeling stressed, guilty and frustrated. You worry about not being a mum who is more available; about not always leaving work at work; about yelling more than you would like; about having no time for your partner – and time for yourself? Forget it.
Having been through this myself (I am the Queen of trying to do everything) and now working to help other women achieve better time management and balance in their lives, there are some simple steps I want to share. These steps will help you wrestle back hours each week to do the things you love instead of the things you feel you should be doing.
- Quick Wins
Implement these today:
- Make in bulk – make a double batch for dinner and freeze half for another night or for a healthy lunch.
- Buy in bulk – use a wholesale chain to buy non-perishables in bulk. This means fewer trips to the supermarket and more time for you.
- Multi task – if you don’t have time for yourself and your partner and your kids and exercise – combine the lot.
- Limit the wash cycle –if it’s not dirty or smelly then don’t wash it!
- Training – train your kids on the basics from a young age. As they grow they should be capable of hanging up their own towels, putting their dishes in the sink and picking up after themselves. You are their mum, not their slave.
- A Typical Day
Next, let’s focus on the long term game. Write down what your typical day looks like – from when you wake until you go to bed. Include everything you do for your kids, your partner, your boss, your clients, around your home and finally, for yourself.
When you see your day in black and white, can you NOW accept that you can’t always do everything and be everything for everyone else? How much of your day do you spend doing what you love? How much time do you spend doing stuff that you don’t need to do? Lose your guilt and accept you don’t have to do it all.
Write out your perfect day and compare it to your typical day. With a red pen cross out the stuff in your typical day that you just don’t need to do (I am talking the multiple trips to the shops when one trip will do, the constant cleaning when one good clean works best). For every ‘gap’ created work out how much time you just saved. With a green pen circle the stuff that is necessary but which someone else can do. If large parts of your week (or weekend) are spent by tidying up, cooking, ironing, cleaning, shopping – have a good think about outsourcing them. On average employing someone to help you with these tasks will cost you around $20 an hour.
With the time you have saved by a swift flick of a red and a green pen, you will now have the time and energy to spend on the things you love!