I bet if I asked you to trade your lack of time and hectic life as a parent for a peaceful, calm and leisurely lifestyle, you probably wouldn’t oblige. How about a more financially stable and predictable lifestyle? My guess is again, that you would never go backwards or long for a life without kids. (well, maybe a little more sleep :). Our kids are our joy and so precious to us, even as we struggle for balance and calm in our daily lives.
Our kids, our homes, our houses can take up all of our time and then some. And because that is what we signed up for, we willingly agree to give up our personal time for something that is so much more rich and rewarding. This is our true gift to the world, producing and raising good children that turn into good adults. We make the world a better place by laboring to teach our kids to be good people.
Having Little Personal Time can be Daunting
Still the treadmill of parenting can be daunting and can often leave us exhausted, with little energy left for anything else. And to a certain extent, this is what we accepted when we decided to become parents, and wouldn’t have it any other way. But all of us have personal goals and things that we want to accomplish in life. And we sometimes just want to learn something new or be creative.
Busy Moms (and working Moms in particular) can sometimes feel lost and conflicted. Just trying to stay on top of our daily obligations can be overwhelming. Even the thought of doing anything outside of our normal obligations can seem like a fleeting dream.
Dreams can be accomplished even as a busy Mom or parent. However, first it takes perseverance and commitment to a goal and then the willingness to accomplish the goal. Taking on a larger task and chewing it in small bites can eventually add up to huge achievements. Let’s say that your goals are not so grandiose but you do have projects or things that you want to learn, or are just longing for some time to yourself. Can you find small pockets of time in your day to give some attention to your dreams?
Fulfilling Your Dreams in Small Doses
When the kids are in bed and you are ready to dash around the house and prepare for tomorrow, can you take 20 minutes for yourself? Rather than draining you, these small bits of time that turn into bigger accomplishment can invigorate. You will find your energy renewed to carry on with you daily obligations. Whether you want to read, learn something new, experiment with a new hairstyle or try a craft project, you will have set a time to achieve your goal. If you need more time, perhaps your spouse can play with the kids on the weekend for an hour, while you take some time for yourself.
Twenty minutes or even an hour may not seem like a long time in isolation, but when utilized day after day, week after week, small amounts of time add up to fulfilled dreams. When I had several very small children, I had a dream to write my first children’s book. I lived in a country where young children would finish school at 1:00 in the afternoon and slightly older children would come home at 2:00. I had very little free time. While my baby went for her nap, I would quickly get lunch on the road and do other chores. I would then usually have between 45 minutes and an hour each day to research and write.
Slowly You Will See Your Dreams Realized
It was slow going at first, but with time, the pages started to multiply. After several months I had the first draft of my book. Then I began the editing process, the rewriting and the work on illustrations. Within a year, I was slowly but most surely on the way to accomplishing my goal.
With each passing week, the work that I had accomplished encouraged me to continue and strengthen my efforts. And of course there were many days and sometimes weeks, that life got in the way. However, having that goal in mind pushed me through to fulfill my dream. Let’s look at a way to break down a goal. Let’s say that you want to learn how to refinish an old dresser. List the tasks that you will need to do to achieve your goal. Calculate the time needed and then divide that into realistic slots that you arrange each day. It will look something like this:
Breaking Down Your Dreams into Small Chunks
Project: Refinish Dresser
|Research Online||3/ 20 minute sessions|
|Write list of materials needed||1/ 20 minute session|
|Discuss with spouse how to block out 4 one hour slots to watch kids or get baby sitter||1/ 20 minute session|
|Use one, one hour slot to go shopping for supplies||1/ 1 hour session|
|Review supplies and set up work space||2/ twenty minute sessions|
|Begin sanding and preparing dresser, removing hardware and cleaning and prepping wood.||1/ 1 hour session|
|Check next steps||1/ 20 minute session|
|Begin refinishing process||1/ 1 hour session|
|Complete any smaller tasks associated with refinishing||2 20 minute sessions|
|Final finishing process||1/1 hour session|
|Replace hardware||1/ 20 minute session|
Voila! In just over 3 weeks, you have accomplished a major project that you never dreamed that you would be able to tackle. Some projects or goals that you want to accomplish may take much longer and some may take less time. The point is that by plotting out your time, you can fulfill your dreams.
When I started this Blog I was (and still am) working full time. I work a long day in a busy school and am usually pretty tired when I come home. However, using the method above, I decided on a plan of action, and slowly started the process. I actually surprised myself about how much I was able to accomplish in less than six months.
The Joy of Accomplishment is Motivating
I had a lot to learn, and divided my time between learning and producing content and working on the design of my blog. Before I knew it, I had a fully functioning blog in less than six months (and a bit less sleep than I normally get!) But really, the joy of accomplishing your goals is very motivating and one step leads to the next.
I once read about a woman who was very upset when a friend gave her advice. He told her,
“If you want to accomplish anything in life, you either have to get up early or stay up late”
It wasn’t what she wanted to hear.
While I agree that the above is true to some extent, I would add that by breaking down your dream or goal into manageable chunks of time and consistently chopping away, day in and day out – you can fulfill your dreams! It does take some planning and determination. But keep your eye on the goal and you will fulfill your dreams step by step. Once you accomplish one goal, you will be motivated to start the next. You will be a happier Mom and your family will benefit. Wishing you much success, as you move towards your dreams and don’t ever give up!
If you have benefited from this this post. please share and comment about how you have implemented this into your life