I am many people. Not in a should-see-a-professional-for-a-medical-diagnosis-multiple-personality way but in a wife/mother/friend/sister/taxi/student/blogger/snot wiper/cook/daughter/accountant/cleaner kind of way. I find the only way to do these jobs properly is to schedule time for myself.
When you become a mother you often forget about looking after yourself. You become so focused on looking after your new little people that often your own needs fall to the side. Being a new parent is hard and I remember early on, the days when I found time for a shower (alone) was a highlight. Once I even managed to apply a facial scrub before hearing a little person knock on the door.
I recall waking up one day and realised I might as well run for congress because there is as much chance of that happening as there is finding time to shave my legs.
Then, on a hectic Tuesday afternoon I was balancing our seven month old on my hip while cooking beef stroganoff and negotiating with the two year old as to why we shouldn’t paint the cat’s toenails and I had an epiphany. That small moment in time changed my life.
I asked myself how I can find time for doctor’s appointments, gymnastics performances and to do the husband’s business banking when I can’t even find time to take myself for a haircut. The answer was simple. I set aside and scheduled specific time for these ‘important’ jobs and continued to let my own needs simply slide by.
So, I started scheduling mumma-only-time (known affectionately as MO-Time in our family).
Mo-Time is precious and often only short but it’s the one time every day where my husband, my daughters, my dog, the phone and the neighbour are not allowed to talk, whinge or cry at me. Put simply they are not allowed to interfere with my MO-Time. You must be seriously injured, like holding your eyeball in your hand kind of injured to even enter the room.
Quite often my Mo-Time is as simple as making a pot of tea and reading the first 10 pages of a Marie Claire magazine. Often it is a 15-minute walk around the block. It is scheduled, specific mumma-only time.
Every Monday I play netball. The rest of the week revolves around this. It is Mo-Time.
Every Thursday a bunch of my friends meet for a ‘fake mum’s group’. It is an excuse for us to get together, let the kids run amuck and to catch up on life, love and friendship.
Mo-time comes in all forms - sometimes I lie and say I am going to the bank and ‘accidently’ end up sitting in a café sipping a latte and reading today’s paper.
Sometimes on really tough long days I say mummy is drinking red cordial when in fact it’s a red wine at 4.47pm in the afternoon. It is Mo-Time and I can do what I like.
Sometimes, I hide a ridiculous gossip magazine inside my law textbook and say mummy is having some quiet Mo-Time and needs some quiet time to ‘study’.
IT IS MY TIME and so what if occasionally, my husband and I tell our babysitter we are going to the movies and instead shut the curtains and stay home. Mo-Time comes in all types.
I am a better parent, wife and friend when I remember to take care of myself. If I schedule Mo-Time to play basketball or to get a massage I become a better version of myself.
I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to create your own little Mo-Time. I want YOU to schedule a 20-minute window where you do nothing else except look after yourself. There are 168 hours in a week. Why can’t you find some Mo-Time?
You manage to make appointments so why not make time for the relationships in your life. Make specific, scheduled time for your partner, sister, father or friend and most importantly for yourself. I guarantee if you look hard you will find an even better version of yourself.
Excuse me now, it is MO-Time and I am going to lock myself in the bathroom and not run for congress...
***Bonds would like to say a huge thank you to Kayana aka The Central Nest
for sharing her awesome mama stories with us over the last few months. If you like what you've read, you can view more from Kayana on the Bonds Blog here
; or at her blog centralwestnest.com