I wear a lot of different hats. I'm Summer, but I'm also a mama, a wife, a businesswoman, a marketing junkie, a fitness lover, a chef ... I'm a daughter, I'm a runner, I'm a reader, I'm a student and a spirit junkie. I'm the cook at home, I'm the cleaner, and I’m the gardener. I do a lot.
Recently I've received some feedback on my writing and life from people who are under the impression that I'm just a stay-at-home mom who has a nanny and can do what she pleases. Sometimes I wish this were true, but most days I'm thrilled by my many different jobs, tasks and interest.
The truth is that there are a lot of days when I only get 20 minutes to myself, if that. I multitask like a crazy person, and I'm tapped out by 8:30 pm. Now, I know I'm not the only mama/business woman who feels this way.
It's important to stay balanced when you're a stay-at-home mom who happens to run her own company, but it’s equally important if you don’t run a company. It's necessary to find time for what makes you sparkle, for what makes you glow, for what sets you heart and soul on fire.
Here are some tips for staying balanced with a busy life.
1. Work out.
Yes, you can make time for this. Lots of women email me and say, "I just don't have time, I'm a mom and I work full time, there's no time for me."
YES THERE IS! If you can make time to read this article, then you have time to do 10 jumping jacks, 10 pushups and 20 situps. I'm not trying to be a hard-ass here; I'm trying to help. So here's what I suggest.
- Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and do a 10-minute workout. Yes, it counts!
- Buy a jogger and run with the kids; they'll love it. I got my jogger used for less than $100, and it's amazing. I use it almost every day.
- Talk to your partner and let him or her know that you need at least one hour, three days a week for your fitness. I guarantee your partner won't complain when he or she sees your body start to shape up. It's good for you and your sex life!
- Use your lunch break to do some quick exercises.
- Live an active lifestyle with your children: go on walks, play ball, hike!
2. Nourish your soul.
When your children nap, are with a friend, at school or have gone to bed, use at least 10 minutes to feed your soul. Do your meditation, your breath work, paint, do yoga. Whatever it is that makes you tick, just do it. No excuses.
3. Adopt audio.
I used to be an avid reader. Nowadays there's rarely a moment for me to pick up a book. I've started buying audio books instead of paperback. I've listened to more books in the past three months then I read in three years. I listen to them while working, driving, cooking and cleaning.
4. Make time for your sweetie.
This, I admit, is not something I'm good at. I'm a bit of a worker bee, and I'll go till the wee hours if no one stops me. But since we've had a child, I've realized how important adult time is. Here's what we do.
- When my husband gets home from work we're device free. No computers, no cellphones; just us. We go on a walk and catch up.
- We put the baby to bed and then have some tea or wine together to unwind.
- We do a date night every other week, because every week just doesn’t work for us. Know what works for you and what's realistic.
- We manage our time, we don't go to events or social gatherings that will stress us, and instead we stay home and relax together.
5. Maximize your output.
I work only when it's quiet and I can concentrate. There's no point in my trying to work while the baby is crawling around, needing my attention. I can get so much done in a focused hour. Try setting times during the day when your baby or children are sleeping or out of the house. Use this time to be distraction free, and make the time count.
I know it's hard to put yourself first. I know there are so many things that would be easier to do or things that would be easier not to do. For the sake of your children and the sake of your soul, live your life to the fullest and don't waste a minute with negative thought patterns that are holding you back. This is your only life in this body; use it wisely on what matters and counts to you.