Subhanallah, I am having a bit of free-time!!
Hubby took the kids to town and baby sleeps… wow, that means time to fill my creative spirit, to renew my energies and to centre myself… that’s a thing that rarely happens here due to my husband’s working conditions. Normally, I am alone with three little kids the whole week long.
How to make most out of these seldom me-time-periods in my life as a full-time-mother is a big issue I am thinking about every day and I wanna share some of my personal experience here with you.
I am sure you are often feeling the same as well: overwhelmed by the many tasks that have to be done and by a lot of housework on the daily run that simply cannot wait, we often do not find time for all the many things we want to do.
Lost in between all these duties we tend to think “ok, I will finish this and that first and then, later, when I hopefully have a bit more free-time, I will finally begin with the thing I really wished to do” (May it be sewing, reading, sport, gardening, bathing… or simply daydreaming along).
No friends! Let’s forget about the yearning for more free-time and the “when only I find a bit more time…”-thinking, because, to be honest, it just will not happen!
We never will have more time. We rarely will find the perfect free moment, morning or day during these years of parenting little kids.
So let’s change our attitude! Let’s see how we can make most out of the given situation right now, inchaallah.
I really do believe that it is up to us to make time and to make things happen.
Sure, it needs discipline and some planning-ahead; it needs established routines and a logistic thinking. But I think it really is worth these efforts.
Organisation is the key – and allowing you to take breaks!
Professional time-managers recommend sitting down and thinking clearly about all the things in your life that have to be done and the things you want to do.
Then prioritise and put them into a ranking list according to importance and urgency and figure out how much time you need for the things to be done and what place every single task will have on your daily/weekly schedule. Minimize and cut out as much as possible and concentrate on the real important things. Now see, how much time is left for all the things that you want and love to do beside. Write all down, put it into a schedule that fits with prayer-times, kid’s nursing and sleeping rhythm and other circumstances.
And then stick to it!
I always try to improve my own time-management by adjusting things to keep the balance and to manage my energies wisely. Over the last year I read some good articles and established different schedules for our days, trying out what fits most. Circumstances, kids and needs change and so do duties and time occupation.
Now, with two preschoolers and a nursing baby I have to stay quiet flexible and that’s why I lately worked out a very free and open schedule which leaves enough space to move and change things around.
Most of the time, I am really happy now with our weekly rhythm.
I am actually in a schedule that helps me to accomplish every day a bit of cleaning-up, of laundry, house- and garden work, but also leaves some flexible time for special needs, projects or other unforeseen things.
Daily tasks such as making beds, cooking and else have become automatically-routine-things and are fitting in easily.
Surely most of the days are spend with the kids: nursing, nappy-changing, playing, outgoing, learning or simply being with them.
But yes, even though my days are really full, I luckily find every now and then 5 minutes to read, a moment to pray, a bit in front of the sewing machine… and eventually I finish one book after another, I accomplish my Muslim-duties (inchaallah) and have a new handmade dress…
How? you will ask. Hm, I will say… it really is all about priorities, organisation, discipline and taking breaks…
I always have some sketchbooks at hand to write down ideas, crazy notions and deep thoughts.
In my home you will find magazines and books everywhere and there are always several that I am reading the same time, picking up this one or another one whenever and wherever I have a minute of freedom.
I make myself tea about 5 times a day, taking mini-breaks to treat myself and to allow my soul to calm down – that really helps, even in the midst of busy family-life.
There is always a knitting bundle, an embroidery hood or a little crafting project on the go, and while kids play I can easily sit with them and work on my hobby.
And my computer stays off during the day until kids are in bed.
Apart from these lucky-little-moments, I find important to dedicate some special time for the things I want and love to do because it is so easy to get distracted by other things such as checking and answering an email here, cleaning up some spit-up there, reading another blog here, ranging some clothes there…
I personally dedicate my evenings for the things I love.
When kids sleep and hubby’s away, I spend every evening different: some for crafting, another one for social projects, one for spiritual and religious reading, others for mailing and blogging and one for getting inspiration (by reading other blogs) and planning ahead.
I think it is important to have goals and to stick to our plans and schedules if we want to accomplish things in our life and to manage our God-given time as wisely as possible.
But I think it is also important to stay spontaneous and flexible, to leave some time for nothing, for simply being, for slowing down and daydreaming, for relaxing, thinking and listening to our inner voice and God’s guidance – because it may bring us closer to our self and to the purpose of our lives and it may make us realize the beauty and gifts within.
May your days run smooth and well with lots of lovely breaks, friends!