The Trick to Achieving Your Dreams While Raising a Family
The war cry of mothers everywhere has to be, “there’s not enough hours in a day!”; no matter how on point you are there’s always something more to do, something that hasn’t been taken care of, or some last-minute emergency…
So, that being the case…
How can we ever hope to achieve our dreams?
When there’s barely enough time to get the kids homework done, how does a busy mum justify, or even manage, the process of taking time to follow her own dreams and ambitions?
When I last left you, that was the question; I’ve figured it out, now, though it’ll take a little work.
Choosing the dream
First and foremost, you need to know what you want to achieve; the reality of being a mum means that we don’t have the luxury of splitting our attention too much.
You need to prioritise your goals and ambitions and focus on the one you hold most dear at first, that way you can have time to be you as well as having time to be mum.
If you have a few short-term goals, you could even stack them – imagine getting to the end of the year with three or four of your goals having been achieved; that’s something a mum can really boast about!
So, mums of the internet…
What are your dreams and ambitions; which keep you up at night?
Which one do you want to start with?
I’d recommend you start with something that has its own schedule. While a weekly Pilates class or two might seem less reasonable than something you can do at home, we all know it’s more likely to get us moving.
I know that if I’ve paid for a class and I must plan for it I’ll do my best to be there… if it’s something I can do at home with a cup of coffee…
Well, I may just do a load of washing, empty the dishwasher, and watch cartoons with the kids instead.
Which is great, of course!
But this is about getting time for us, right?
So, it’s out of the house to talk with other adults!
Achieving the dream…
We mums know that time is the only truly scarce commodity in the world today; this is why we learn to manage it so well. Which makes us uniquely equipped to reach our dreams and ambitions while still being the best mums we can be!
Time management tips
If, by some chance, you happen to be new at this and you’re still need help in arranging your day around work, kids, and the chance of some downtime I’ve got a few tried and tested tips to help you free up some time.
A word of warning, however; this isn’t the easy way, you need to work at this!
- Write Down Your Day; everyone has an ideal day… what’s yours? Do you like to have the kids ready and out the door early? Would you prefer to wake up early to go to the gym? Write down what your ideal day looks like, and then write down what your average day looks like. What can you do to match the two up
- Enlist Your Helper; sit down with your bestie or another mother and work out a plan that is good for both of you. Remember that you deserve this time! If you have a significant other remember compromise is key. Trade off duties and days to make sure that you both get free time, time together, and time with the kids.
- Eliminate ‘Dead’ Time; that moment while the washing machine is still going, the dishwasher is mid-cycle, and the rest of the housework is done? Fill it; these minutes are the perfect time to do a myriad of small things. Sewing on that button, writing that to-do list, prepping tomorrows packed lunches – anything that takes less than 20 minutes to do can be eliminated while you wait. This clears the decks a little.
- Meal Prep; if you sacrifice a little of your weekend time to the less than fun vortex of meal prep, your evenings throughout the week will be easier. With one less stress in the evening, you can free up time to get fit, write your novel, or learn a new language.
- Simplify Your Responsibilities; we all take on more than we need to as mum, but in order to meet our goals we need to cut away the dead weight (so to speak). Say no to running all the play dates, say no to chaperoning school trips, and ask your partner, co-parent, bestie or another mother to do the school runs now and then. Cut yourself a little slack so you can focus on your goals.
- Plan It Out; avoid losing time to stress, confusion, and frustration. Plan out the key elements of your day and week so that you can keep all the plates spinning… don’t worry, mum, you’ve got this!
…And keeping everyone happy
The trick, more than anything else, is not putting all of that into practice but keeping your family time intact while you do so.
When it comes to balancing the new you with your desire to keep your family happy there are a few things you can do to keep everyone sweet.
- Set Boundaries; be firm about your ‘me-time’ and learn the phrases ‘no, I’m busy at X time’, ‘we agreed that I would be able to do this’, and ‘how about another day?’.
- Spend Your Time Wisely; when you do have time to yourself, or with the family, make sure that you make the most of it. Plan outings now and ten to ensure that you make memories with the ones you love!
- Have Patience; it’s not easy to adjust to change, especially for little children. Accept that now and then you’ll hear “Mummy!!” when you’re on down time. Pick and choose which battles to fight; sometimes it really will be quicker/better to just acquiesce to small demands
What do you think, mums? Do you have any advice?
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