This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.
To celebrate the launch of Dettol Touch Of Foam Hand Wash I joined another four fabulous women in Sydney for a special day, where the focus was on us not as bloggers, not on us as mums, but on us as women.
Then we had time to chat together on some key issues around what we do, motherhood, hygiene and we spent considerable time talking about how do we find time to do things we want to do. This is a subject I am quite passionate about. Earlier on in my mothering journey, I used to feel quite guilty about taking time away from the family, just for me and my interests.
Now almost 14 years into motherhood I know how important it is that I have time for me, not just for myself but for my family too. I am in a much better position to look after and take care of my family if I am feeling physically well and emotionally nourished.
After the “Are they all yours?” question I receive from people when I meet them for the first time, one of the next most popular questions I am asked is “Do you get any time for yourself?”. And I was asked that very question by another woman at the lunch, who has three kids and finds it difficult to find time for herself. My answer tends to surprise most people when I give them a categorical YES!
This is how I manage to find time for me:
1. Schedule it in
Scheduling time for my activities across the week into the family calendar is critical to making sure it happens. I do this in conjunction with my husband, so he can make sure he will be around to be present with the kids. He respects my time and does everything he can to make sure his work doesn’t impinge upon it.
There are of course times when I need to be flexible and accommodate other family members’ needs, but it is not automatically assumed that my activities can be bumped to fit in theirs.
2. Embrace the small moments
While I do head to the gym every day, (which is the key way I find time for myself), there are those unexpected moments across the week, when I find I am by myself. It may only be 15 minutes while the kids have all taken themselves outside to play, but I use some of these moments to stop doing the day to day activities of the house and do something I love to do. It can be as simple as just sitting in the sunshine reading the paper or a quick play on my iPhone on the pinterest app.
If you are not used to spending time on yourself, you may not know what to do with these short bursts of time. Make a list or mentally note of things you can do when you have a spare 15 minutes like:
- Paint your nails (yes I am getting quite into nail painting now!)
- Sit outside and read
- Listen to music or a podcast
- Call a friend
- Do some stretches
- Breathe…..if it has been one of those days, just find a quite spot in the house and take a few deep breaths and enjoy the peace and quiet.
3. Say no
To find time for yourself, it does often mean saying no to others. I have a finite number of hours across the week and I need to determine my priorities. It is not possible to do all things at once.
This year for example, I declined to take an active role on the school committee as I am on the kinder committee and maintain the website for the occasional care centre the youngest one attends. If I took on another role like school committee then it would erode into time I can spend on my interests.
4. Organise and streamline
Working out the best way to approach reoccurring activities I have at home has freed up time to let me do things I like. Once upon a time I would spend multiple hours across a week working out what to cook for dinner each night and shopping for the ingredients. Now I can plan a month’s worth of meals in just over half an hour!
These are other areas of family life that I have streamlined to make the most of my time:
Just as my husband is great at making sure he supports me getting time on my own, I do the same for him. He still plays local footy in winter, bike rides in summer etc. Supporting each other prevents resentment building up and the associated animosity that can occur if one person in the relationship feels their needs are not being met.
About Dettol Touch of Foam Wash
Since I have had little ones, I have used Dettol’s anti-bacterial hand wash on a daily basis. I always intend to use the hand creams I have strategically placed around the house, like in my bedroom, the kitchen and my home office to nourish my hands through out the day.
While the anti bacterial handwash is fab and keeps your hands clean, it doesn’t make your feel hands soft like the new Dettol touch of foam does. With the new Dettol Touch Of Foam Hand Wash your hands have the same clean feeling (it still kills 99.9% of germs) but without the dryness and they smell good too.
Even though the Dettol Touch Of Foam Hand Wash is aimed for me, I think Dettol have also worked out a way to make kids want to wash their hands! The younger three love bubbles and they don’t have to work hard to get the bubbles from the Touch of Foam pack. As the wash is in bubble form on their hands, it washes off very easily and the kids aren’t left with heavy soap residue on their hands.
What are your best tips on how to find time for yourself?