I don’t have time is a common phrase used by busy moms. But is it really that you don’t have time?
Many times we are overwhelmed and feel like we can’t even take care of our selves let alone do anything fun.
This does not have to be your reality. I have a special guest who is an expert in psychology that will help you eliminate I don’t have time from your vocabulary.
And start doing the things that you enjoy more often.
Check out the post below or listen to this episode above.
How to better control your time when you feel like you don’t have time
I don’t have time is a common phrase that many moms use.
But is it really that you don’t have time?
Jessica starts by breaking down that we need to look at how we are spending our time. And how we talk about time.
Instead of saying I don’t have time, say I’m not prioritizing this.
For instance, you feel like you don’t have time to exercise. Instead of saying I don’t have time to exercise. Say I am not making exercise a priority right now.
By reframing the way that you talk about time brings power back to you.
Don’t get me wrong you are probably really busy.
And I am not denying that. Moms have a lot going on.
Between work, kids, keeping up the house and then the kid’s activities there’s little time left.
But constantly using the excuse, I don’t have time isn’t going to help you.
You continue to perpetuate that reality and you never make time for the things that are good for you.
Next time, take a step back and really look at things. Instead of saying I don’t have time try saying it’s not a priority.
That is one simple shift that can help you then start saying, okay, how am I prioritizing my time? What am I doing instead of exercising? Or instead of seeing friends or instead of going taking walks at night or whatever.
Dr. Larson’s 4 steps to taking back your time
If you’re ready to start taking control of your time, Jessica has a 4 part program to help you get there.
Shift your mindset
So the first thing that I always start with women on is mindset. And mindset is so broad, but it’s really the way, like I was just saying the way that we talk to ourselves, the way that we think about our time, the way that we think about taking care of ourselves, there’s a lot of things that we need to either overcome or learn strategies when those issues pop up.
The biggest thing that we need to tackle is mom guilt.
This is one of the most common complaints from moms.
It’s so hard to get out and do the things you enjoy when you feel guilty all of the time.
You know the feeling when you want to go out with your girlfriends or go to the gym and your kids start crying for you.
You feel guilty for leaving them because your little one is crying and pleading for you not to leave.
You are not alone. Mom guilt happens to us all.
On simple strategy that Jessica uses is to ask yourself is this justified or unjustified guilt.
If I’m feeling guilty about something and I really hurt somebody and I really did something wrong, I should feel guilty. That’s a natural emotion. That’s a national response to that. With mom guilt, a majority of the time when we feel guilty or when we talk about mom guilt it’s unjustified. Like, I didn’t do anything to hurt my child. Me going and taking care of myself or me setting boundaries and not signing up for everything under the sun. That may be more involved with my kids or whatever that is. That is not a reason to be guilty.
Uncover your values
The second step of the program is identifying your values.
In particular, really thinking about what are the things that you really want to spend your time doing.
Jessica likes to do this by taking an assessment. You can do this by first listing out the things that are most important to you.
Once you have your list, go through and mark how much time you allot to each thing per week.
Take note of the areas that you are not giving any time to.
You may notice that you are not doing a lot of the things that you want to do because of time constraints.
Jessica suggests taking a values assessment to understand what you truly value.
Your values could be health, family, friends, social, faith, etc.
So really taking an honest look at your life and saying, what are my values and how much am I engaging with those every day, every week, every month? … Then thinking to yourself, what is one activity that I could add to my life that would help me get more in touch with those values?
Make a plan
The next step is to start coming up with a plan.
One of my biggest suggestions for people is get a shared Google calendar. Or get some kind of a shared calendar with your spouse, with family members, Nannies, whoever it is, who are the people who are helping you, um your kids. And if you don’t have that, that’s another piece of like how working towards building some more social support.
Put on your calendar when you have non-negotiable, uninterrupted time for yourself.
Then guard this time on your calendar.
This is your self-care time to do the things that align with your values.
Make sure that everyone knows that this is your time.
Resist taking that time to run errands and get things for the kids. Really make this time something that you truly enjoy.
Lastly, you want to take action.
There’s so many barriers that get in our way of taking action. And there’s a lot of evidence, a lot of research that can really show us how to really take action that’s actually going to be sustainable … Cause a lot of times we might do something for like a week or two, but how do we actually make change that’s going to last for a really long time and have a larger impact on our life?
Having the greatest intention without action results in nothing. Intention must be reinforced by action.
So get started.
Remember to give yourself some grace. Sometimes it will take time before you see significant progress.
Be careful how you talk to yourself
The words that we say are powerful.
The things that we tell ourselves are even more powerful.
Many times we connect the things that we do as if it’s our identity. For instance. If you struggle with organization, you may constantly tell yourself “I’m just no organized.”
These thoughts and type of thinking will hinder you from really taking action. You will start to find evidence to support the thought and believe it even more. But in actuality, you are pretty organized.
So instead of saying “I’m just not organized”, say, I am organized an on top of things. Instead of saying I never have time to do the things I want, say I am making time to do more of the things that I enjoy.
One way to tackle mom guilt
Another way to tackle mom guilt is to bring awareness.
Really think about how you feel in your body when you feel mom guilt. Where do you feel it? What are you saying in your mind?
Once you are aware of what mom guilt feels like, have something that you can say to yourself or a way to reframe the guilt so that you don’t sabotage yourself.
This could be as simple as saying “that’s mom guilt and this is good for me.” Or finding healthy ways to soothe yourself.
Also having that second line of defense to help you when you feel like giving in.
It’s so important to have people that are close to you to help you navigate through this.
This could be your spouse, partner or family member. When you feel like caving into mom guilt and start to change your mind about going to the gym, your second line will tell you no and keep you on track.
But at the end of the day, it really doesn’t benefit anybody because if you’re not spending that time taking care of yourself. You don’t have as much to give to them and you’re just going to be more burnt out, less happy, less quality of life. That doesn’t benefit you, them, it doesn’t benefit the world. We want you to be engaging in yourself with yourself and with life at the highest level.
How can I take care of myself so that I can be a better mom?
Self-care is the answer. But understand that self-care is more than massages and bubble baths.
When you are reaching the point of burn out self-care is much deeper.
It is an intentional practice. So it’s a daily thing. It’s a weekly thing. It’s a monthly thing. And some of it is activities as I mentioned. And a lot of it is really managing the way that we interact with ourselves and the way that we interact with the world. So beyond like, you know, really helping you navigate mom guilt, setting boundaries with people. I’m not saying yes to everything. Letting go of maybe expectations that are put on you. So it’s not just like, okay, just do it. It is a process that takes time.
Really take time to think about what would it take for you to feel more connected with yourself and what you want to do.
These are the things that you should incorporate in your self-care routine.
So if you are like how Jessica used to be, super career-focused, saying yes to everything and everyone and eventually getting sick often, you need to take a step back and see what is actually fulfilling you so that you don’t burn yourself out.
Not sure where to get started? Think about the things you used to do before having kids that made you feel fulfilled.
One way to get started with better managing your time
Are you ready to start managing your time better so that you can do more of the things that you enjoy?
Write down everything you’re doing okay. I mean, you could do literally everything in your world, but if that seems too overwhelming, then just started one place in your life. So maybe it’s like home life or family life or career. Just write down every single task, everything you’re doing.
Once you have a list of everything that you are doing, examine the list.
Look for the tasks that are energizing and highlight them.
Then identify the tasks that are draining and circle them.
Lastly, look at the tasks that you can completely let go of or hire out. For me, that would be cleaning my house.
Now you will be able to see what you can delegate or get help with.
Once you are able to clear up your plate you won’t feel so overwhelmed and possibly find little pockets of time to do the things you enjoy.
Jessica is a psychologist, mom, and wife. She recently began building her business online, Mama Be: Self-Care for Moms, to help moms with self-care.
After working with kids and families for many years, she found that parents needed to do better with self-care and making themselves a priority.
This was the beginning of Mama Be
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- Rephrase the way you talk about time.
- When mom guilt creeps in, identify if its justified or unjustified guilt
- Be careful how you talk to yourself. Especially when it comes to time.
- Instead of saying I don’t have time try saying it’s not a priority.