What would you do with more time?
A mother's most precious resource
We all complain that we don't have enough of it, and at the end of the day we wonder where it all went. Time is that elusive prize that moms seem to be constantly chasing because we can't ever seem to get everything done. Have you ever felt like you just need a few hours to get caught up -- on sleep, on work, on cleaning, on scheduling, on errands, on snuggling?
Years ago I was permanently in a state of feeling like I was racing against the clock and couldn't do all the things I needed to do, let alone the things I wanted to do. One day a single woman at work asked what I would do if I had an entire weekend without kids, wondering if I would relax at a spa or go out dancing with girlfriends or enjoy a getaway with my husband. She was shocked to learn my dream would be to use a large block of uninterrupted time like that to organize my closet, something I hadn't done for years because I didn't feel I had the luxury of devoting that much time to myself.
All the things we don't do
Like my disheveled closet, moms have many projects, plans and passions that we don't pursue because we don't have the time and energy for them after we've given our hours and focus to our families. I often deprived myself of reaching for a goal that might improve my life because I was devoted to spending as much time as possible with my kids. And I did truly relish that family time. I loved attending their games and recitals. I enjoyed helping them with their homework. I reveled in the spontaneous trips to the park. I craved the weekly snuggling sessions while watching a movie. And I felt compelled to make dinners instead of ordering food, keep up with their laundry no matter how tired I was, and take on the burdens of scheduling and organizing all of our family's activities, from doctors appointments to vacations to parent teacher conferences.
By leaving no time or energy for projects that I wanted to do, I grew more and more frustrated with my own day-to-day life -- exasperated every day at the site of a disorganized mess, irritated at how long it took me to find a permission slip in the clutter, and resentful that I couldn't carve out time for things I wanted. Have you ever felt like you were living a mom martyr life, feeling it's your duty to cast aside your dreams because your roles as mother, wife, and friend should provide all the happiness you need?
“I actually believe I was a better mom after I attained my objective.”
Why your needs are about more than yourself
When my mess spread well beyond my closet to the rest of my house as I continued to place my own desire to organize at the bottom of every day's to-do list, the stress began to mount taller than the boxes that cluttered my rooms. When that stress started affecting my health, I knew it was time to make a change. I realized I needed more space, so I created a very big goal to move to a bigger house. I knew I would have to spend many hours every day devoted to my new mission, and the only way to accomplish this was to reach out for help. Despite my guilt, I had to ask others to drive my kids to their activities, feed them dinner, and supervise their homework.
I was fortunate to have family nearby who happily stepped in to lend a hand, so I could devise and implement a plan to achieve my aspiration. It took many long months to turn my dream into reality, and during that time I realized I was not harming my kids by spending less time with them. I actually believe I was a better mom after I attained my objective of having more space, because I had eliminated so much of my stress along with the clutter. I was no longer yelling at my kids over minor issues or blaming my husband for anything that went wrong. Fulfilling my own desire helped my entire family, because I spread my happiness to everyone around me.
How to get your own gift of time
When my parents and husband took on more responsibility for driving and caring for my children, they gave me a gift of time that allowed me to pursue a goal that changed my life in meaningful ways. By recognizing the value of those precious hours, I was very careful how I spent that time in order to get the most out of it. That helped bring clarity to my life, because it forced me to discover what I could do in those limited hours that would make the biggest difference towards improving my life. As I grew closer and closer to obtaining my goal, I became more confident in my own ability to control my surroundings and my emotions. The process replaced stress with a sense of calm contentment.
We all should discover our own way to find those precious hours we're craving, and many times the key is to take a break from kids. We can reach out to family or friends to watch our kids, but I recognize many moms don't have a support system to lean on. We can hire babysitters or nannies, but I know that expense is not something all moms can afford. We can pursue our own private plans while our kids are in school or daycare, but that's not possible for mothers who work during the day.
There is another way
What If one touch of a button allowed us to arrange carpools with friends, find a neighborhood mom whose kids want a playdate, meet other mothers at our child's school, or even discover a new local mom who's besties with our cousin? it would seem like magic. But you don't need a wand to make that happen. You can find all that and more through MomSub.
I created MomSub to build a community of moms who help each other in order to reduce stress, save money, and gain time. The best part is that you can have someone you trust watch your kids without the guilt, because you've paid it forward by doing a favor for another mom. You can use MomSub to trade childcare just with moms you already know, or you can expand your network and get to know new mothers in your neighborhood. It's your choice. Just like it's your decision how to spend those rare hours of "me" time away from your kids. All you have to do is join our community. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. And tell us what you did with your gift of time.