You’ve got a busy day.
With a baby (or babies) underfoot you have to re-alphabetize the DVD’s three times (thanks to said baby), wash the diapers (also thanks to said baby), make another batch of wipe solution, clean up the third puddle of spit up that you’ve found on the floor, sweep up all of the cat hair (remember, that baby is crawling), clean the bathroom before your husband makes another comment about it, cook a healthy dinner (not just from a box), and…well, we’ll stop there so that we can all breathe for a moment.
Have you caught your breath yet? Alright, let’s move on.
Being a mom takes up every spare moment of your day. And while it is without a doubt the most rewarding and fulfilling thing that you’ll ever do with your life, c’mon, you need a little moment for “you” stuff. You know what I mean. Those hobbies and passions that you had before you ever had children. When you could write without a little one banging on the keyboard, crochet without sticky hands taking off with your yarn, or paint without discovering fingerprint flowers all over your refrigerator. Even if he was just going for the juice.
Even if you can barely see those long lost days in the rearview mirror you can still get back in the groove of things! Yes, it might seem overwhelming when half of the time you’ve got someone crawling on you while you sit on the toilet, but I promise you, it can be done. How?
Step 1: Schedule!
You probably already schedule things now. What day do you do plan on doing laundry? Oh, on Saturday? What’s for dinner next Tuesday? Lasagna with garlic bread and a salad? See, you’re already a pro! This won’t be much more difficult, I promise. Here’s an example of what my writing schedule looks like.
Monday: Write from 3:30 pm till 4:30 / 5:30 pm
Tuesday: Write from 8:30 pm till whenever
Wednesday: Write from 3:30 pm till 4:30 / 5:30 pm
Thursday: Write from 8:30 pm till whenever
Friday: Free day! Write whenever I can
Saturday: Free day! Write whenever I can
Sunday: Write from 3:30 pm till 4:30 / 5:30 pm
This schedule is completely based around my husband’s work schedule. He works Sunday – Thursday, which leaves Friday and Saturday open for me to snag the time when I can. Or if I don’t feel like it, hey, there’s my weekend from writing. As he is active duty Air Force, he has PT (physical training) Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I push back my writing time until after my daughter is tucked into bed and the kitchen is cleaned up.
Find the time that works for you. Whether it’s getting up early to sneak in a few minutes or trailing the laptop chord underneath the bathroom door, pen that time in. That’s right. Pen, don’t pencil.
Step 2: Back up
You’ll also need to have a little help on this. Everyone has to be on board. Get your husband or significant other in on the schedule. Have them help you set it up, and then let them know that daddy duty will be their responsibility on such and such days for so many hours.
Step 3: Leave the room
Seriously, get out of the room. If you can, try to not write / crochet / paint / scrapbook / whatever with everyone around. Why? If you stay it won’t be long before you’ll be on the floor playing patty cake and your husband will be playing the PS3. Lucky for me we have a spare bedroom which I commandeered.
But you don’t have to have anything special. Go to your bedroom, your kid’s room, heck, even go to your bathroom if you have to!
Step 4: Don’t stress
This is the most important part. Don’t freak out. If you miss a day, you miss a day. Kids get sick, husband’s work late, and the chicken gets burned. It’s OK if everything doesn’t go as planned just roll with the punches and pick back up the next day.
Just because we’re moms (and awesome moms at that) doesn’t mean that we have to lose our love, our passion for things. So make that time for yourself! Do what you love, and if you love it enough, I promise you that you can find the time.
And yes, those towels can sit unfolded for an extra hour or so. Now go get hobbying!
This guest post is brought to us by Caitlin. Caitlin is a mom, a wife, and a lover of words. After growing up in the Air Force she thought that she had finally settled down in Memphis, TN…and then she married someone joining the Air Force. At their first duty station, she attempts to jot down a few words in her notebook in between chasing her daughter, folding laundry, and spending half of her day in the kitchen.