Why "I don't have time" is no longer an excuse.
What have you been wishing you could do for yourself but put off because of lack of time due to all your mom duties?
NOW is the time to make time for what brings you joy!
I recently read a fascinating concept about “Newtonian” vs. “Einstein” time in the book The Big Leap. Author Gay Hendricks writes,
“The Newtonian view says there’s only a finite amount of time, and it must be carefully portioned out so there will be enough of it to do the things we need to do. The Newtonian paradigm assumes that there’s a scarcity of time, which leads to an uncomfortable feeling of time urgency inside us.”
Ummmm, yes…Do the dishes, fold the laundry, feed the baby, make dinner, bathe the children, respond to emails, try to relax, get to bed, wake-up. Rinse and repeat the next day…There never seems to be enough time to do it all!
Alternatively, “When we’re running on Einstein Time, our experience of time changes because we make a fundamental change in how much space we are willing to occupy. By learning to occupy space in a new way, we actually gain the ability to generate more time…When you’re willing to occupy all space, time simply disappears. You’re everywhere all at once, there’s no place to get to, and everywhere you are is exactly the right time…
When we switch to Einstein time, we take charge of the amount of time we have. We realize that we’re where time comes from. We embrace this liberating insight: Since I’m the producer of time, I can make as much of it as I need!”
Huh? Truthfully, this all feels way beyond my scope of scientific comprehension. I really have no idea what all this means, BUT I love the idea of “taking ownership of time” and "making" time.
How often do we say to our kids, “We don’t have time.” “Let’s go. We’re running out of time.” “There’s no more time.” (At least 100 times a day, right?) The idea of “making time” vs. “not having enough time” intrigues me. If we can own our time and choose what we make time for, we can feel empowered rather than always overwhelmed and drained, racing against a clock that's counting down.
Example: My child asks me to read a book before bed and I respond, "We don't have time." The reality is there's always time, but I may choose to not spend time doing a certain thing for one reason or another. (I'm exhausted; I want to get the dishes done; I want my child to get to bed ASAP because he has school tomorrow.) Rather than perpetuate the stressful concept of time being limited I can say, "We need to get to bed tonight but I promise to spend time reading you a book tomorrow."
Another example: I tell my child we can't stay at the park because there's no more time. Untrue if time is infinite. We are leaving the park because I am choosing to go home and start dinner before it gets any later or before it gets dark.
When we become more mindful of what space various things are taking up in our lives, we can move toward living life more in line with our values or in accordance with what we need in order to stay balanced.
We can recognize that we are choosing to do the dishes, fold the laundry, feed and bathe our children, respond to emails, and get to bed at a decent hour because we value being responsible, having a clean home, keeping our kids healthy, and staying balanced.
Are you making space for the things that truly nourish you?
When we think about time as something we have control over and recognize that we ultimately get to choose how we spend our time, we can no longer make excuses that we don’t have time for self-care. If you’re not making time for self-care, it's because you are choosing not to make it a priority and are prioritizing other things. Yikes!
I know, I know - There really are only 24-hours in a day and there’s a LOT to be done when you’re a busy mom.
That’s why I like to categorize self-care activities by the amount of time & effort they take.
Think about self-care in the following categories:
- What can I do quickly, in 5 minutes or less? (Deep breathing)
- What do I love to do, but know it takes more time and effort to plan around? (Grabbing coffee with a friend)
- What are things that would be great to do but really take a lot of time and may cost money? (A beach vacation)
- And, to always add to our self-care toolbox, what are things that fall into any of these categories that I’d like to try? (That meditation app my friend told me about, the yoga class at my gym, the new spa that opened up downtown)
If the need to make more time for self-care resonates with you, check out my Toolkit for Stress Management freebie here to find more ideas to help you start creating your own list of manageable activities.