Do you ever feel like there is not enough time in the day to get things done? Do you feel like all you do is run around? Do you ever feel guilty and selfish for taking time away from your kids to do something for yourself? If you answered yes, welcome to the club!
Running on Empty
As a mother of three, a wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, physician and on occasion a philanthropist, I have often found myself juggling time trying to get things accomplished and often feeling like I never get things right. Having children made that feeling grow exponentially as I view motherhood as my most important job. As my children grew up, my husband and I felt the social pressure of “doing things for their development.” It started with signing up for mommy-and-me classes then joining sports teams, music lessons, art lessons, dance lessons, tumbling, gymnastics, etc. One day before we knew it, our schedules grew so much that we hardly had time to be together as a family, as a couple, and even less to do things for ourselves.
I felt guilty about taking time away to do something I liked. I felt I was losing myself. So, my husband and I sat down and decided to take back the control of our family’s schedule. We chose to limit how many activities each child would do, to carve out a weekly family night that would be considered sacred, to schedule date nights and to allow each other time-off to do things on our own. We also included the children in this process so they would understand the importance of what we are trying to do.
The Slow Down
Taking time for myself and striving to be better in all aspects of my life has not gone unnoticed by my children. They love my non-scale victories at the gym and often join me in “workout challenges.” They comment on our date nights and often help us plan. I have involved them in community activities I like to do and secret kindness adventures. Don’t get me wrong, this process is still ongoing with a lot of adjustments and recalibrations along the way, but it has allowed us to slow down and to grow.
So, if you are running on empty and feel overwhelmed with schedules, take a step back. Talk with your partner and/or your children, evaluate what things are more important and what you can let go of. Take time for yourself. In the end, your children will learn a big lesson on self-value, self-care, and family values.