It’s a struggle to find time in the day to do anything. I seriously didn’t quite get it when girlfriends of mine who were home with babies talked about not being able to make a cup of tea and enjoy it while it’s hot! Every day I have the ah-ha moments where I feel part of this very special club called: moms. We are all together and yet don’t often have time be together. It is something that you really only fully understand once you’ve had a baby and are taking care of this tiny human day in and day out.
Even in the early days (daze!) of having an infant, I was still a bit delusional about the time to yourself and time to do things. We had a beautifully good newborn. And only one. He cried when he was hungry (and he did like to eat!) but overall he wasn’t a screamer so I could place him in his little baby-bjorn chair next to the tub and have a bath on my own. He would fall asleep strapped to me in the carrier and I could get out and go shopping and go to galleries when we travelled with him. No problemo. What is this no-time-to-do-anything you speak of I thought!?
Until it was over. Just like that. Poof! Your free-space and free-time gone. Your days marked by a nap time that is predictably unpredictable and the hours in between being full-on. You are both a jungle gym and a self-serve milk-bar.
And it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever witnessed. This little creature beginning to exert independence and move around on their own. But all of a sudden I’m like, ohhh I get it. [Insert another ah-ha-mama-moment] That’s what they mean!
So trying to find time to write is by far the biggest luxury. How do you prioritize what to do in the tiny amount of time you have to yourself as a mother. I’ve been struggling with this for a few months and here’s what I’ve come up with; a plan to try and put into practice. Interestingly I think it’s the same formula anyone can use — executives, entrepreneurs and mothers alike. Anyone who has flexible time where you chose how you spend it but it usually gets filled in an instant and weeks can pass and you wonder what you did for yourself and why you’re feeling so tired and sluggish.
Here’s the ticket: move first.
That’s it. That’s the motto. Time may be limited and you may get less done than you want on a given day but you will feel more accomplished and clear headed if you move first and do everything else after.
I’ve been trying write the recipe for peanut butter chickpea cookies for days, and then when I had time it occurred to me: I will feel more clear headed and able to focus and do this efficiently if I do my yoga practice first, jump on the bicycle-trainer for 10 minutes and then grab my laptop. And truth is if I can’t grab my laptop during this moment of pause then at least I’ll feel good to have serotonin levels restored through movement and I can write at this baby’s next nap-time. Plus you feel less guilty about the things you don’t quite get to when you have a clear head from a bit of activity and exercise. It’s the great equalizer of our brain, I swear and puts everything else into perspective. So I say: move first. Do other stuff after.
Sometimes we just need sleep (or you know, food!) and in that case by all means, sleep or eat. But after rest and nourishment if we go about our day looking at productivity and what we hope to do and say these two little words: move. first. the likelihood is that everything else will feel more manageable. Or at least you will feel like a more manageable human and forgive yourself if you don’t get to everything you had hoped to accomplish.
Which bring me to another mantra: It’s okay. There is always tomorrow.