It was the end of a busy Monday and I was finally just sitting down to read for a few minutes. Sitting in my cozy bed, I found myself thinking about my day. As a full-time working mom, I’m constantly struggling with how to manage everything. From caring for and spending QUALITY time with my daughter, to FOCUSING on what needs to be done at work, to making dinner and picking up the house…it always seems to be a battle against time and energy. How do you find time for yourself, your partner, your health?!
It seems to be the question on everyone’s mind. I’ve talked to other moms, read articles online, and tried a few things out and came up with a few ideas on how to Fit It All In!
- SLEEP! The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours for an adult. I know that sounds impossible some days but it’s so important to give your body time to rest and recharge so you CAN make it through your day.
- Make a schedule and stick with it! I use my Google calendar to do this. It’s what works for me but do whatever works best for you. I just enter my schedule into my calendar and boom…reminders 15 minutes before my task to keep me moving on to the next thing.
- Take your breaks at work. This one is really hard for me. I usually just end up eating lunch at my desk and leave work with tired eyes from staring at my computer all day. Take the recommended 15 minute breaks if your job allows it. Go walk around your building or block. If it’s cold out, like it is here in January, walk around INSIDE the building. I’m lucky to work in a large complex so there are lots of halls and floors to get a decent little walk in 15 minutes. Which leads me to my next point…
- Exercise!! Now how do you fit that in? That one is tough. I recently started training for a 1/2 marathon so I’m running twice a week on my lunch break and twice on the weekends while my daughter naps. Another one of my favorite things to do lately is a morning bathroom workout! It only takes 10-15 minutes and it gets my blood pumping right away in the morning. What does a typical bathroom routine look like you ask? A little something like this…
- 1 minute jumping jacks
- 15 squats (Be sure your knees don’t go over your toes!)
- 15 tricep dips (I use the side of my tub for these)
- 10 pushups – use your knees if you need to – I do 🙂
- 10 lunges (each leg)
- 20 knee highs
- 30 second plank
- 20 leg raises (check out this video to see how to do this one)
- 5 jumping squats (another good video)
- Finish it up with 10 good old-fashioned sit ups (So much harder than they were in grade school!)
- Wake up 30 minutes earlier. This somewhat contradicts my point of getting your 8 hours but if you’ve gotten at least 7 hours of sleep and need to get a few more things done in your day, get up 30 minutes earlier. Hopefully, no one else is awake yet and you can do your morning bathroom workout, shower, get ready, get the coffee going, get your lunch together and start breakfast before anyone else gets up!
- The dishes can wait. One of the hardest things for me is NOT cleaning when I get home from work. Many days, the dishwasher needs to be emptied, a load of laundry needs to be thrown in, maybe the garbage could be taken out and goodness knows the rest of the house could use a deep clean! My daughter is 14 months old now and it feels like just yesterday I could hold her sleeping in one of my arms while I did those dishes. Now, she’s trying to take my hand to help her toddle around the house, pointing at everything, and stealing the dogs toys. IT GOES SO FAST! Don’t spend those precious few hours you get to be with your children doing the dishes! Hold their hands. Kiss their cheeks. LAUGH with them and sing songs and dance with them. That’s what I try to do every day with Emily and they are the best hours of my day. You can do the dishes when the kids are sleeping 🙂
- Kiss your partner and say I Love You EVERYDAY! This one isn’t hard and only takes a minute but makes up for a lot of the lost time you used to spend together. At the end of the day, after the kids are in bed, the dishes are done, the toys put away, grab a glass of wine or water and sit down with your partner. Even if you don’t talk but just sit next to each other, those moments matter.
- LAUGH! This isn’t something that helps you Fit It All In but it really makes the day so much better!
I hope this list help you try to make it through your busy day! I’m sure some of you have more to deal with but remember to just take a deep breath, stretch & smile before you rush on to the next thing.