Learn to say no – to extra work, staying late, or taking on one more project that will mean late nights at the computer. It would be nice to have extra money sometimes, but there is no way to ever get back the missed time with kids. Sometimes I’m afraid to blink because I know when I open my eyes my six-year-old son will be graduating high school and going off to college. I would rather miss the extra money than miss watching him practice Tee-ball, accompany him to a play date with friends, or skip his spring concert at school.
Find happiness with togetherness – It sounds as sappy as an episode of “The Brady Bunch,” but it works. One activity I enjoy immensely but feel like I rarely have time for is painting. Because I also want to spend time with my young son, painting becomes a shared activity. I give him the same type of paper or canvas I’m using, he shares my paints and we each have our own set of brushes. I work on one painting and show him different ways to mix color, blow paint across the canvas, or how to add salt to watercolors to make cool designs.
Mommy’s reboot time – Busy moms schedule medical appointments, sports and swim lessons, birthday parties and play dates, so why not schedule some time for ourselves? There’s two types of time busy moms need: “do nothing time” and “reboot time.” Rather than wait around for an hour or more of down time, I schedule down time, or let’s be honest, “do nothing time.” After we eat dinner, do homework, and play a game, play outside, and have 30 minutes of book time, my son goes to bed. We keep his bedtime consistent and after he’s in bed it’s “my do nothing time.” Sometimes it consists of watching a sitcom with my husband, reading a magazine or a book, or yoga.
Just as important as my daily “do nothing time” is my reboot time. I look for an art show or a one-time art class, to reboot my energy. Sometimes it’s yoga or hiking. For me, these activities take me out of the daily grind and refresh my spirit.