If your life is anything like mine, your day is likely jam-packed. School drop-off, work, errands, meal-making... and on and on the list of tasks goes.
The one thing that might not be on that list: you. Women today too often push aside their own passions and self-care, unable to see how time for themselves is possible. They struggle with guilt when they choose themselves over their children, staying late at the office, or even doing housework.
After surveying more than 2,000 women about their time, speaking one-on-one with dozens more, and looking at my own life, I can see clearly that women are doing themselves and their loved ones a disservice when they do not practice self-care.
Taking care of yourself is not selfish, and it is not something to feel guilty about. As a busy working mom, I often leverage my fringe hours -- those pockets of time in the day that tend to go underused or wasted altogether -- for experiencing and/or pursuing my own passions. And I have learned that when I practice consistent self-care, the ripple effects on my life and my home are far-reaching.
Here are five ways I believe making time for you will positively impact your children and your home:
1. It makes you happier.
This is the biggest one. When you make time for your passions, it makes you happier. I can have an incredibly overwhelming day with work and kids, but when I take 30 minutes to craft, I am rejuvenated and inspired. That time for me can literally change me from the inside out. Crafting might not be your thing, but the result will still be the same -- a happier disposition.
2. It makes your home happier.
The ol' saying, if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, is (sadly) true. When I neglect my own self-care, I become overwhelmed, exhausted, and snappy. My mood then negatively impacts my entire family. On the flip-side, when I make time for myself, I'm happier (see above), thereby positively impacting my home.
3. It teaches self-worth.
By taking time for me, I am making a powerful statement to my children that says: I matter. My passions matter. I don't want them to just see me as the one who does the laundry, picks them up from school, and makes dinner. I want them to see a woman who is creative, loves her friends, and takes times for her own needs. I want my children to see a mother who values herself.
4. It demonstrates the value of slowness.
Taking time for myself forces me to slow down. I say "no" to things and create margin in my days. This demonstrates to my kids that busyness does not have to be the norm, and that unscheduled time is a good thing.
5. It offers time for independent play.
Oftentimes, I make time for myself in my fringe hours, when the kids are not around -- such as early mornings or when they are in bed. But not always. When the kids are around and I am doing something for me, such as scrapbooking or baking, this gives me the opportunity to encourage them to do their own thing. This time of independent play is an awesome way for them to discover their own passions.
So today, I want to encourage you. Seize your fringe hours and make time for you. Then do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. The result will be life-changing -- for both you and your children.