Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days to a More Organized Life : Day Twenty-Six : Taking Care of Yourself

You are probably thinking "what in the world does this post have to do with organizing your life??" Stay with me.

Sometimes we work so hard to make everyone happy and everything great in our lives. We do the grocery shopping, the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking, the driving everyone from here to there and back to here. We wipe noses, bottoms, and tears. We go to bed so tired that we can't sleep because all we can think about is all the things we have to do the next day. We plan parties, playdates, real dates and holidays. But sometimes we forget to organize time for ourselves.

Time for yourself often feels like the last item on the priority list, but it shouldn't be. Just like spending time with your spouse or significant other, having time for you is not bad or wrong or selfish. It's necessary to recharge our batteries. I love my family more than anything, but I need time on my own occasionally and that doesn't make me a bad wife or a bad mom. Here are a few ways that I make sure I have time for me.

1. Girl's Weekend
Each year my three closest girlfriends and I make it a point to have a weekend away together. The kids stay at home with their dads and we have a weekend of undistracted conversation and fun. We try to make it a pretty inexpensive trip and just enjoy a lot of girl time with lots of chick chat as the hubs would say. Having a few days off from all my responsibilities as a wife and mom helps me recharge and regroup. I come back rested, happier and more than ready to be back at home with my family.

2. Women's Bible Study
I meet with a group of women twice a month for Bible Study and it's so renewing each time. We have good conversation and learn plenty. It's a planned event so the hubs knows when to expect that he is on dinner and bedtime duty. What I like is that it has a purpose so it's different from just regular girl time. If you aren't the churchy type, this could be a book club, a cooking class or any regularly-scheduled purposeful get-together.

3. Time With Friends
Whether it's meeting for breakfast on a Saturday or dessert after work on a weeknight, I try to meet up with my girlfriends on a fairly regular basis. I need that time of laughter and conversation with the girls. It's important to have times of undistracted conversation, especially if you are at home full-time. Yes a playdate for the kids can be a fun time to chat with another mom, but you are still focused on your kids and their needs.

4. Regular babysitter
Don't hate me, but we have a sitter who comes twice a week. Our sitter comes two mornings a week for about three hours and before you start picturing me at the spa twice a week, let me assure you that's not how it goes down. I spend the time that our sitter is here doing errands, getting things done around the house and occasionally doing something for myself. Running a boatload of errands is faster and easier without two kids in tow and I'm sure it's more fun for them to be home playing with the babysitter than going to Target with me.

When it's all written out like that, it makes it seem like I'm away from home all the time, but that's really not the case. I'm lucky to have a husband who gives me the time I need to spend with my girlfriends... and he gets his own time with the guys as well as an annual boys weekend too. We spend plenty of time as a family and as a couple, but we both understand the importance of being off-duty.

How do you make time for yourself?

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