It's okay to use your time on YOU!

A quick Google search for using time on you and you're given hundreds of results on how to schedule time for yourself after work. It seems like using your time on you is focussed on those that work, or organising your time so you have some "me time". But for those of us that stay-at-home while the kids are at school, like you and me, it's not about organising our time or doing something after work, it's about being able to use our time on us without feeling guilty about it. You need to know it's okay to use your time on you.

Feeling guilty for using time on me

The week before last I was very ill, I had flu. I spent the entire week sitting on my recliner, coughing, sneezing, and feeling generally rubbish. Monday to Friday I didn't step into the utility room to fill my washing machine, I didn't touch the dishwasher, and I barely cooked any food. I just couldn't do it, my aches and pains meant I could barely get up in a morning, never mind anything else. Yet I still dragged myself out of bed to get the eldest up at 6:30am so he'd have time to shower before school. I still made breakfast for everyone. I still took LP to school. But once the morning rush was over and LP was at school I sat down and didn't move until pick up time. And I felt guilty the entire time.

It's Okay To Use Your Time On You | You get ill because you're run down, take time to rest and you'll feel better.
Lemsips, tissues, and lots of rest is what I needed.

I was sick, it's not like I was just lounging around because I felt like it, I couldn't do the things I would usually do. It was just too much effort. But I still felt bad for not doing the things. I felt guilty because the boys were eating oven meals all week. I felt bad for not being able to help with stuff. And when I walked into the kitchen and saw the chaos I felt guilty for letting it get like that.

Motherhood has been an exercise in guilt. 

Felicity Huffman

Do you see a common theme here?

I am blaming myself for it all.

Do you do that?

You're struck down with an illness and you blame yourself for not being able to keep up with the chores. You're feeling terrible, have a headache, aching bones, sneezing every few minutes, yet you still blame yourself when things don't get done. Why on earth do we do that?!?

It's Okay To Use Your Time On You | Stop blaming yourself when things don't get done - give yourself a break!
Look after yourself!

If our children were ill we would take care of them wouldn't we? We'd make sure they were looked after and had plenty of liquids. We wouldn't make them do their chores, we would let them sleep when they needed. So why don't we let ourselves do that?

As stay-at-home mums we take on a huge responsibility, we are there for our children and keep the house clean and tidy. We make sure everything runs as it should. We cook meals, we organise everyone. And we take EVERYTHING on our own shoulders.

So when our bodies decide it's time for a rest, when we've pushed ourselves too hard and too far and we're struck with flu or something similar, we still feel like we have to carry on pushing. We don't take it as a hint to slow down, we don't even try to rest. So our bodies make us do it. That's what happened with me - my body said "okay lady, it's time to rest!" and I really did have to rest.

But how do we convince ourselves it's okay to use our time to rest?

First of all it's a mindset thing - it is NOT your responsibility to keep everything going. Yes, you're a stay-at-home mum but it is not your job to run yourself into the ground making sure everyone else is okay. You need to look after yourself too.

Don't forget to tell yourself positive things daily! You must love yourself internally to glow externally.

Hannah Bronfman

Having kids at school all day doesn't mean you should spend the day cleaning. It doesn't mean you need to give yourself jobs to do just so you can tell your Hubby what you did all day. You need to start thinking about all the time you spend doing things for others, and allow yourself some time for you.

For example, here's my morning routine:

6:30am Get up, wake up BP and tell him to have a shower.
7:00am Make breakfast for me and Hubby
7:30am Get LP out of bed and tell him to get ready for school.
7:50am Supervise LP doing his own breakfast.
8:00am Clean up last night's dishes. Put the dishwasher on. Wipe down kitchen sides. Put the washing machine on. Do LP's packed lunch for school.
8:30am Take LP to school.

So, before 9am I have done loads of jobs and mostly for other people. The only time I spend on myself in a morning is the time I spend in the bathroom, and eating my breakfast.

It's Okay To Use Your Time On You | Set time aside for yourself after doing chores and use it on something you enjoy rather than something you have to do.
Get chores done, yes, but allow yourself to have time too!

Which is why I'm trying to feel less guilty about using time on me during the day while the boys are at school. 

Throughout the day I'll sort out the washing machine, put the dishes away, etc, but the majority of the day is spent on things I like to do - like blogging. And to be honest I don't want it any other way - I just have to work on feeling less guilty about it.

How much time do you use on you?

I want you to take a moment, either right now or a little later, and really think about how much time you spend on yourself. And I don't mean eating breakfast! I mean having a shower uninterrupted, I mean enjoying a hot coffee in peace, or even getting a shopping trip and buying a fancy coffee from an actual coffee shop! During your day how much time do you actually spend on yourself?

It's Okay To Use Your Time On You | Enjoy a coffee, indulge in some chocolate, and enjoy a peaceful moment.
Enjoy some quiet time!

When you've worked it out I'm pretty sure you'll find out that the majority of your day is spent looking after other people. And that's okay, as long as you're getting some time for you too. The time you do get for yourself is a GOOD THING. You shouldn't feel guilty for using it. You should relish the opportunity, you should plan something new, maybe even go to a spa for the day!

It's Okay To Use Your Time On You | Look after yourself, give yourself a break, use that time to have a coffee!

With all the things you do for others it's about time you told yourself it's okay to use some time on you!

How do you use your time on you?

Take a moment today to put the kettle on and make yourself a coffee, and to keep the kids busy while you enjoy that coffee HOT grab this Captured! colouring page.

Musings Of A Tired Mummy