A Mother's "doing it all" Schedule
Women everywhere understand this quote, especially mothers. There is but so much that we can fit into a day, a month or a year. It is great to have long-term goals but it is also important to take life one day at a time. We need to organize our lives around the things that are important to us today, not what may be important in a year. If we can truly have it all, just not all at once, then it is important to focus on today's dreams and priorities.
Once you have determined your priorities, create your ideal schedule and attach it to the refrigerator so that the entire household understand the weekly flow of the household. Be flexible. On a perfect day, all the pieces will fall into place but life happens (sick kids, extra work or school project, travel, oversleeping) and you just have to go with the flow and regroup the next day.
As mothers, we are so dedicated to our families that we often neglect our personal needs or goals. Make sure that there is at least one thing on your daily schedule that you can claim just for yourself. In 24 hours, surely, you should be able to say that you spent an hour taking care of your own physical and mental health.
As you can see from the schedule below, my personal priorities are exercise and writing; I try to accomplish them early while the family is still asleep. At the end of the day, you should be able to say, "I loved and nurtured my family and I also loved and nurtured myself."
5am: Rise and Shine. Meditate. Pray.
6am: Write/Blog/Facebook (anything that brings you personal fulfillment).
6:30: Get kids up, have breakfast, and perform the last minute homework check.
7:30 - 8am: Get kids off to school.
8:30 - 5pm: Work for mommy (inside the home or outside the home).
12 - 1pm: Lunch/errands for self and kids/pay bills/gym.
4:30 - 5: Leave work. Pick up kids, if they are not already home.
5:30 - 7pm: homework, sporting events/music lessons or other after-school activities.
7 - 8pm: Family time (Dinner, TV, games, books).
8pm: Pajamas, hugs & kisses & bedtime story.
8:30: Parents clean-up (dishes/laundry).
9pm: Grown up time (yea!!!). Relax alone or with your spouse.
10 - 11pm: Me time. Writing, blogging, Facebook, sleep, whatever "me" time means to you.
11pm: Lights out
I am a morning person so I am comfortable starting my day super early. I am usually ready to sleep by 10pm but I push myself to stay up just a bit longer. Create a schedule that works for you. It should contain only the things that are very important to you. It is fine if your "me time" means an extra hour of sleep.
Doing it all, also requires negotiation skills. Hire a babysitter, invite the grandparents over, or negotiate with your spouse for a night off. I know many mothers who wouldn't dream of going on a weeknight. Once or twice per month, get the kids ready for bed and meet a friend for dinner. You may be a little tired the next day but that extra human connection, I call it friend therapy, is well worth the effort.
For me, "doing it all" means doing what is important. I don't need to "have it all" at once. Having what is important to me right now, is enough.