This guest post was written by parenting expert, mother of 5 and former teacher, Carol Tuttle. Carol Tuttle is the CEO of Live Your Truth, LLC and author of the best-selling parenting book, The Child Whisperer: the Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children, which has sold over 75,000 copies worldwide. Learn more at www.thechildwhisperer.com.
Admit it. You’ve fallen into bed at night with that feeling…
You hurried all day, shuttled the kids, ran the errands, worked hard. You got things DONE. But in the rush of the day, YOU got a little lost in there somewhere. If only you could have a few uninterrupted minutes to take care of yourself without everything falling apart. Lying there at night, you think about the next day and realize you don’t have time for yourself tomorrow either. You’re exhausted just thinking about it.
So, how do you carve out a little “me time” when there’s so much to do?
Hint: “Me Time” is Not Actually About Time
Truth is, every mom would love a whole day to herself—but we can get reenergized on a lot less. Feeling taken care of is less about the time you spend doing it and more about what you do. Have a plan. Identify exactly which kind of activity will recharge you. And when those extra 10 minutes show up, do it!
How to Customize Your “Me Time” For Maximum Benefit
In my 20 years of work in the field of self-help, I’ve found 4 different Type of moms. They’re energized by 4 different types of activities. When you identify which Type of mom you are, you get the key to reenergizing yourself in half the time.
Light, Upward Type 1 Mom: These women express a random, effervescent energy that moves randomly through life. They prioritize their children having fun and are drawn to activities that allow them to connect socially.
Type 1’s best “me” time: Give yourself something to look forward to. It can be a fun event at the end of the week, or even just a phone call to a friend later in the day. Of all the moms, you love surprises the most, so be open to them.
Fluid, Flowing Type 2 Mom: These mothers express a gentle, subdued energy that moves steadily through life. They prioritize their children feeling comfortable and are drawn to activities that allow them to quietly unwind.
Type 2’s best “me” time: Connect with your emotions. Take a few quiet minutes alone to think, write, read or talk about your feelings. The three minutes you take to be quiet will make you infinitely more effective the rest of the day.
Swift, Determined Type 3 Mom: These mothers express a dynamic energy that moves forward swiftly. They prioritize engaging their children in activity and are drawn to physical outlets for their energy.
Type 3’s best “me” time: Go outside! Even if it’s just a quick lap around the house or the office, you connect to the world physically and you need to recharge by moving your body. You and your children will be happier if you do.
Still, Constant Type 4 Mom: These mothers express a bold energy that has a reflective quality to it. They prioritize their children’s progress in terms of routines and structures and are drawn to activities that allow them to focus.
Type 4’s best “me” time: Do something with laser-like focus. You feel centered when you can zero in on what you want and complete it to perfection. Choose something small you want to do with zero interruptions and plan it into your day.
The Most Important Step to “Me” Time
As mothers, we often buy into limiting beliefs that “me time” is tough to come by, or that we need to sacrifice in order to be good mothers. It’s just not true. The most important step you can take to having time for yourself is believing that you can. Next time you’re lying in bed, wondering how you’ll squeeze yourself into the upcoming day, make a choice. Choose to make yourself a priority. Choose to reenergize. Don’t get lost in all you have to do. Find the woman you are and take care of her. Everything else you do will be better because you did.
The Child Whisperer Front Cover