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Scheduling “unscheduled” Time

A huge part of becoming a mom, for me, is finding balance. Within relationships, eating well, staying healthy, having fun, and the biggest is spending fair time among family and friends. I always want everyone to be happy and that has shown to come at the expense of my own happiness. Finding a balance that works is key. In my work life, I am constantly working off of dates and schedules. It only made sense to me, after doing in interview with a co-worker, that scheduling “unscheduled” time, makes this all possible. We all know how busy everyone is and how fast time flies. By blocking off time for just you and your immediate family, there is no excuse to let that precious time slip away. 

Type A-momming can be a struggle. You want to be perfect and have everything planned out, but its not realistic. Another reason planning for downtime is a huge saver of your mom-mind. You must practice self care, if you’re not okay, the family is not going to be okay. It is an important part of the balance. Don’t neglect the fundamentals of self care, which includes self time. It is necessary to carve out that me time, especially during the stressful holiday season. Tell yourself to intentionally slow down and savor those precious moments. And, most importantly, give yourself permission to be less than perfect.

Another significant part of my balance is learning that its okay to say “no”. Setting boundaries can seem like a selfish thing, but in reality, its fair and its okay! There is only so much one can give. If requests for your time and energy are beyond what you are able to give without draining your own financial or emotional resources, do not be afraid to simply say “no”. This does not mean you are weak, uncaring, or a bad person. I used to find it nearly impossible to say “no” myself. You don’t have to justify yourself.  Not wanting to do something is reason enough. If you are spreading yourself so thin, you aren’t even enjoying what you are doing. Wherever you are, be all there, be present. Daily quiet time helps me to maintain my sanity over the craziness of life. For me, this unscheduled time provides a way to refresh and recharge each day. And by time, I mean 10-15 minutes of drinking my coffee and gathering my thoughts. 

My concept is simple and will be unique to everyone. Every mom has a different schedule and diverse life, so obviously everyone’s version of balance will vary and contrast. Family obligations are especially heavy during the holidays, this is a critical time to spend with just your immediate family. Do it your way! Make a new tradition, cut the cord to old, or perfectly wing it, make it memorable. Get in touch with what brings you and your family real joy. You don’t have to change everything.  A good start would be eliminating one or two activities that bring you down. Something that would make an important difference in your experience of the season. Do your best. 

For me and my family, Sundays are usually our {scheduled} day to catch up and just be.

Our season pass to all the Minnesota State Parks has been a huge hit.  Its a great way to get exercise, explore with our 2 year old, and feel grounded. The day is “scheduled” yet the plans for the day are not. Its the best of both worlds, I know and can plan for it, yet, it is spontaneous and new. Its a routine, but impromptu. Whether your scheduled downtime includes a game night or a picnic in the park, what is more important is that you and your children learn its not only okay to relax, its part of your health and happiness. I know even if my week is hectic, I can not only look forward to my upcoming unscheduled day, but can spend it however I want. 



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