How do I find ‘me’ time as a mum?
As rich as our lives may be in so many other ways, there’s one thing that pretty much all mums are poor in – and that’s ‘me time’. Read on to learn how you can find more of it.
According to research, the average mum gets just 17 minutes of ‘me time’ every day – that’s less than a miserly hour and a half a week. No wonder we often feel grumpy and exhausted!
Coach (and mum herself) Suparna Dhar works with stressed-out mums who have been through domestic abuse and helps them find the confidence to create happy, healthy and fun families – and part of that is from creating more sanity-saving ‘me time’. Now she’s sharing her experience and advice with us.
I felt stressed, angry and frustrated by 7pm
As a woman, mum, wife, business woman and daughter, adapting yourself to meet these various roles can leave you feeling tired, stressed and exhausted!
As a passionate and energetic business mum I truly believed I was superwoman who really didn’t need a break – I would just go from a work meeting, to do the school run then straight on to an extra curricular activity and then wonder why I felt stressed, angry and frustrated by 7 pm!
My wakeup call came in the form of my cousin dying aged 49. It made me re-evaluate my life and so as part of this journey I started creating ‘me time’.
The results have been amazing. My stress levels have significantly reduced, my confidence has grown, I communicate more effectively and feel a deep sense of happiness and well being. In terms of my business I am much more focused, productive, work shorter hours and have attracted new business.
Seven ways to make ‘me time’
To he you enjoy the same benefits, here are seven ways you can create some ‘me time’, especially when you feel you don’t have any time at all!
1) Ask yourself if you deserve ‘me time’
If the answer is yes (which I imagine it will be) ask yourself what are the benefits? Are you at your best when you are tired, stressed and run down or when you are refreshed, relaxed and energised? As a business woman and a role model for your children what message do you want to convey?
2) Book a meeting with yourself
Yes, I know that sounds crazy but sometimes that is the only way to start giving yourself permission to spend time on yourself. As a business mum you represent your business so using the time to pamper yourself, exercise or pursue an interest makes good sense as it affects your energy, wellbeing and productivity.
3) Take my three-day challenge
Keep a diary for three days recording what you do from when you wake up to when you go to bed every hour and see where you can save time.
Ask yourself where do you waste time, what time of day do your get bored, stressed and then most importantly how could you use this time more effectively? Where could you build some me time? It doesn’t matter what the activity is, the key is to acknowledge this is your time.
4) Evaluate your childcare
Depending on the age of your children, your working style and the industry you are in you may find doing a few long working days suits you or five short working days suits you best.
The question you have to ask yourself is that within this time are you running straight from your business to pickup or does your working day allow you to have a lunch break and other well needed breaks? Now, more than ever there is a lot of flexibility in terms of childcare such as shared nannies, childminders, part-time hours in nurseries as well as after school clubs.
5) Control technology
Where would you be without it? Use technology to your advantage, record programmes so that you can watch them at a time convenient to you and go through your inbox and unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer read.
Take control of your technology and have set times in a day to check emails, interact on social media and browse the internet. Observe how this affects your time, focus and enjoyment.
6) Ask for support
It is really important as a business mum to have a robust support system comprised of people you can trust. This can be in the form of a cleaner or virtual assistant to informal support such as sharing the school run with a friend.
Ask yourself is there a particular task you could get support with which would release a couple of hours a week which you could then spend on yourself?
7) Learn to accept
As a business mum life happens and it doesn’t always go to plan from children getting sick to calling a plumber! Accept situations for what they are and see the positive and then move on. You still need and deserve me time even when life doesn’t go to plan.
As you can see there are lots of ways you can create some ‘me’ time and be a happier, relaxed and focused business mum.
Suparna Dhar is ‘The Freedom Coach’. She supports support stressed-out mums who have been through domestic abuse and helps them find the confidence to create happy, healthy and fun families. You can find out more on her website.