Let’s be honest, being a mom is rough. It’s requires tenacity, perseverance, and daily self-sacrifice that leaves us counting down the minutes until our child’s bedtime every night. Being a mom is the most exhausting job I’ve ever done.
With all its trials and challenges, I know it’s the most honored role I can have. I thank God daily for my two little blessings, even when I’ve locked myself in a bathroom to get 5 minutes to myself. That fact that I get to shape and mold these little hearts is an absolute privilege.
Even though I cherish my role as mom and understand its importance, I still crave something for myself. I still want to pursue hobbies and things outside of motherhood. I think many of us feel guilty for even feeling this way. But, do we really need to feel guilty? I don’t think so. God has made each of us with special talents, skills, and abilities that we can use inside and outside of our homes.
So, how in the midst of our exhaustion and role as mom do we find any time to pursue these passions? How do we find time to chase the dreams that God has put on our hearts without sacrificing our first ministry: our husband and children.
Whether it’s a hobby or a business that you want to build from home, here are some simple ways that you can find time to pursue your passion without sacrificing the precious time you have with your family:
1. Find wasted time in your day
You may have just thought, “I don’t waste any time.” But, in reality, you may be spending a copious amount of time on social media (think Pinterest!) or watching TV. Depending on what type of phone you have, if you look in your phone’s settings, it may actually tell you how much time you’re spending on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest daily.
Did you look? What did it say?
Even if you spent 30 minutes checking your Facebook newsfeed, you could be using that to read a new book, take a warm bubble bath to relax, or start planning on how you can build your dream business from home.
Commit to spending 1-3 days documenting in 15 minute increments what you’re doing during the day. If each day is different, make sure to track your activities for more than one day. Then, look at what you’re doing and see if there are any increments of time where you can replace your activity with a hobby or something more productive.
2. Wake up an hour earlier than your household
Have you heard the phrase “Be selfish at 5am?” I know it’s not easy to wake up early. I’ve tried this many times to only fail time and time again. However, once I had a goal and an action plan, I was motivated to get up earlier. It may not be 5 am for you. Maybe it’s 6am? Whatever you choose, just make sure to wake up before the kids!
Getting up earlier will allow you to spend time meditating on God’s Word and start the day with calm and quiet. It will also allow you to pursue your hobbies or business without distractions. It’s treasured “me” time! Brew a cup of coffee or a cup of tea and enjoy the morning by yourself.
3. If your kids are in school, save time for yourself daily before you start doing chores
I know this can be hard because it’s so easy to fill up that four to six hours with stuff that needs to get done like appointments, grocery shopping, and housework. I know how the laundry likes to stare at you all day long asking to be folded! But, I promise you that if you commit to setting aside 30 minutes to yourself daily, that you’ll have more energy and clarity of mind to get everything else done. And, even if you don’t get every dish cleaned, your household will still survive.
Involve the Family
All of these tips work as long as your family is on board too. What do I mean? I’m saying that you must have good communication so that your kids and husband know that the time you are putting away is time for you. Their support makes all the difference! So, if you can’t get up early in the morning (I have a child who likes to get up at 5:45am every day), then try committing 30 minutes to yourself after they go to bed.
This will only work if you’re husband knows that this time belongs to you. Communication is vital! So, if you commit 8-8:30pm to yourself, make sure that you still give 8:30-9:30pm to your husband. Whatever time you decide, just make sure that you are still making time for him and your marriage.
It can be done
I know that the thought of having time to pursue your dreams, hobbies, and passions can really seems almost impossible. If you see the value of finding time for yourself, then you’ll find time somehow. Sometimes you have to do it for your own sanity and emotional health! It may not be every day. It may be just a couple times a week or once a week when you can get away to a coffee shop and read a good book. But, don’t shove aside that sense inside of you that wants something for just you. No guilt or shame needs to be associated with it. You had passions, talents, and dreams before you became a mom. I’m here to tell you today that it’s okay to carve out time for yourself to just be you.