An open letter to every mom who doesn’t think she has time to work on herself

Dear friend,          

We are writing to tell you you’re wrong. 

We know you don’t think you have time to work on your own goals. We know you are busy trying to do everything for everyone else. We know you think one day you’ll finally have time to focus on you and that’s when you’ll get it all together. 

Again, you’re wrong. 

That time will never come. Not unless you reach out and snatch it. Right here, right now. When was the last time your schedule got less busy? When was the last time you thought, “Gee, I’m bored. What will I do with all of this free time?”

Exactly.

You must take time for yourself, it won’t happen automatically. More pressing, though, is the fact you must take it because you won’t happen if you don’t. What do we mean by that?

Right now you’re operating at a low capacity. Yes, you’re getting stuff done. Yes, you’re keeping people alive. You’re getting them from here to there. You’re feeding them. You’re tucking them in at night. You tell them you love them. Your house is “good from afar but far from good.” You’ve been on at least one date night this year. You’re sleeping some. You’re eating healthy sometimes. You exercise here and there. This is your low capacity.

However, if you were to snatch some of that time and work on you, you’d find that your capacity increases. Yep, when you are healthy, fulfilled, dreaming, improving and growing you become a better mom, a better wife and a better human. That’s when your patience increases, your joy overflows, you find it easier to be present and you truly start to enjoy life instead of going through the motions. This is when you find peace, less friction and more abundance.

But the shell of the mom that many of us become is indeed just going through the motions. And you know that you were made for more than that. You know, deep down, that you’re capable of more than that. You know, deep down, you desire more than that. But, you probably feel like you’re stuck in a vicious cycle. You’re too busy and too tired to escape the cycle of do > sleep > do > sleep. Hang on to the end of the letter for a way out.

Another point, dear friend who doesn’t think you have time to work on your own goals, is that you don’t not have time. Yeah, we used a double negative. That’s how serious this is. You get one chance at life. You get one chance at a great marriage. You get 18 years with the kiddos at home. You don’t have time to waste. You’re also battling against the timeline of disease, anxiety and other curveballs life can throw your way. You don’t have time to waste. 

Finally, friend, we must tell you that you do have time. You do. Your life is busy, sure. But how much of it is busy with truly important things? That’s in contrast to things that you’re doing because you’ve always done them or because someone asked you to do it? How many things are in your schedule that you secretly would be happy if they disappeared? There’s a quote we think you’ll love. It’s from Jim Rohn:

“We can no more afford to spend major time on minor things than we can to spend minor time on major things.”

What are the minor things that are sucking up a major amount of your time? What are the major things that you know are getting shorted time? Maybe you spend hours in carline every week but have zero family dinners at the kitchen table together. Maybe Netflix, Facebook and Amazon claim multiple days a week but exercise can’t even get on the calendar once a week. 

> > > A time audit is a useful tool here. Where are you truly spending your time? You can check your phone for some of that information. Is your phone getting hours a day (be honest, because the facts show it does and you’re probably not a unicorn-at least not in that way ;)) and your relationships getting minutes? Where is all of your time going? Get out a piece of paper, label it with every hour of the day and then go through the last 24 hours and assign each hour exactly what you were doing. Then see what you think < < <

So, to review, we know that: 

  1. The time for you won’t come automatically, you have to snatch it. 
  2. You don’t have time to waste. 
  3. Your life is probably busy, but there are some edits you can make.

So what do you do about it? Here’s our idea: wake up 30 minutes earlier. Yes, we know. Seriously, eye roll. We get it. But hear us out.

If you wake up 30 minutes earlier with only the expectation that you’re going to work on something that you’re excited about, there is motivation built in. And the reason it’s got to be 30 minutes early is because that means you’re taking yourself seriously. It also is time that no one else reasonably expects to invade. It’s kind of a given that no one is texting you or needing you at 6:30am. Nope, they’re used to having you, on demand, at 7am. So, that 30 minutes is yours. 

Another reason for it is that the morning is the most productive goal-getting time. This is true even if you’re not a morning person. If you’re not sleeping or if you’re not going to bed at a decent time, your sleep is already kaput. We might as well get something out of it. If you’re already getting up really early, what difference is another 30 minutes? It’s annoying, but not as annoying as never achieving any of your goals for the rest of your life. (#dramatic)

Finally, think about what 30 minutes, five days a week equals. That’s 130 hours in a year. What could you accomplish if you dedicated 130 hours to it? That’s a lot of hours! That’s a lot of time! 

So, dear friend who doesn’t have time, we get it. We understand. There are a million reasons you could make that be true for you. But how does that help you? It doesn’t. So, let’s change the story and tell ourselves that we have time and we’re going to make time. Pick one of your goals and dedicate 30 minutes to it each morning. That’s it. No more, no less. You’re worth it. 

We believe in you & we’re rooting for you,

Ideal Balance

PS: We also have a free resource to help you with this. It’s a free worksheet that will help you figure all of this out. Find it at this website: https://myidealbalance.com/2021/04/10/morning-ritual/

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