Making "Me Time" for a Busy Mom
Seventeen-year-old Chrissy writes:
I'm writing about my mom Chandra, who is not only an amazing mother, but a full-time taxi driver, coach, counselor, chef and nurse. She never takes a day off, and in the past 21 years, I estimate that she's done over 30,000 loads of laundry, made 22,995 meals and has been to 970 of our soccer games. Can you help us convince her that she needs to make time for herself and get back what she's giving?
(Watch the video to see how a day in Chandra's life unfolds.)
After spending the day with Chandra, Stacey DeBroff, time management expert and CEO of Mom Central, sees that a time-management intervention is in order.
"Chandra is an amazing mom. She's very dedicated, but she's equated being a great mom with being a 24/7 mom," Stacey says. "So it was a question of how to shift things around, but also really how to give her the freedom to reclaim part of that time for herself without the feeling that she's being selfish."
Most importantly, she tries to explain to Chandra that time for herself is not selfish; in fact, carving out about five hours each week could make her a better mom, so it's nothing to feel guilty about.
To help Chandra find time to dedicate to no one but herself, Stacey makes these suggestions:
• Prep the night before and enlist help from the kids - Have the kids help set up a breakfast bar so you're all set for breakfast. Have them help you pack sandwiches the night before and line up their backpacks right by the door. It's just one less thing to do in the morning when chaos reigns supreme.
• Keep an ongoing grocery list - By having a grocery list right on the fridge, for example, everyone can check stuff off if they use it up.
• Use a large calendar and color-code it - Assign every member of the family a color so you can quickly see what's happening and the kids can look up what they're doing that day.
• Cluster appointments to save time - Make all the dentist and hair appointments together. This is a great tip for large families because you can take care of everyone at once and avoid making multiple trips.
• Leave reminder notes for your kids - Kids are always forgetting stuff, especially during the "morning kick-off." Post-its around the house or wrist reminders from Mead on the backpacks can help.
• Put in your time on the calendar - Assign yourself a color for the calendar and mark down time for yourself like lunches with friends, dates with your husband or anything you decide to do with your me-time.
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