How much free time would you say that you have? If you’re like most moms, chances are you didn’t even answer with a time estimate. Instead, it is much more likely you answered with a half-cynical laugh. It’s time to change that answer and find out how to get your free time back as a SAHM.
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Early this year, I did a time inventory. If you haven’t done one, I totally recommend it. A time inventory works much like tracking your spending only you note what you do with your time during the day.
When I did mine, I was more than a little shock at the time I spent watching television. The reason I never noticed was because I never simply sit and watch TV. Instead, I was always doing other tasks while watching it. Maybe I was folding laundry or trying to write a post. Either way, it seemed the TV was consuming a lot more of my time than I wanted.
So I made a promise with myself that I would only watch things once my important tasks for the day were done. Do you know what I found? The tasks that usually took me hours could be accomplished in closer to 20-30 minutes when my attention wasn’t divided. That’s an extra hour and a half to devote to other tasks and activities in my day!
Imagine what you could get done with an extra hour or 2 in your day! If this seems like a pipe dream, keep reading to find out tactics to get your free time back as a SAHM.
Let Go of Perfection
Too often we can get caught up in trying to do things perfectly. Letting go of that perfection is the perfect starting point when you’re trying to find extra time in your day. For example, getting the laundry folded quickly is more important than double folding then rolling all of those bath towels. (By the way, this is something that I struggle with so don’t feel bad if you do too.)
You can pick and choose the areas where imperfection is acceptable for you, but it is a fast and easy way to start finding extra time in your day.
Chances are that your family isn’t doing as much as they could/should to help you keep up with the household responsibilities. Delegating chores to your family is another way to get your free time back.
Be sure to let your husband know exactly what he can do to help you out as well. Chances are he simply doesn’t know what you need. When you let him know clearly how he can help you, it will also allow you to find more free time.
- This also ties in with letting go of perfection. Your kids may not vacuum or wash the dishes as well as you would, but in many cases done is better than procrastination.
Give Up Control
This is the hardest one for control freaks like me. If you want your free time back, though, you need to learn to give up some of the control. This takes many forms:
If you overly involved in your child’s extra curricular activities you may need to pull back. Use the time to take care of yourself more.
If you spend hours in the kitchen every night to make dinner, let your husband take over one night a week. Yes, it may mean your kids get mac-n-cheese for dinner that night but I promise you that it will be okay.
Don’t Waste It
Another tip to get your free time back is to be cognizant of time wasters. Have you ever pulled out your phone and hopped on Facebook only to realize you wasted an hour of your time? This is only one of the ways that moms waste their free time. In fact, sometimes it is not even free time that they are wasting. It is time that you meant to be cleaning or playing with the kids.
This is another great reason to do a time inventory. It will help you determine those time wasters. Then, redirect those time wasters to activities that either free up time for you later or ones that recharge you during the day. This is one of the absolute easiest ways to find free time for better things in your life.
The final way to get your free time back as a SAHM is to create systems that save you time in your daily life. When you get daily chores or activities down to a science it will free up a ton of free time for you in the long run. In case you need help, here are a few examples of systems that you can implement in your life:
- Meal Planning – I seriously love making freezer slow cooker meals that I can dump in the Crock Pot in the morning and serve effortlessly at dinner.
- Cleaning Schedule – Even if this simply means spending 10 minutes every night before bed picking up from the day, it will save you a ton of time in the long run.
- Get Ready the Night Before – There is nothing worse than trying to find homework, pack lunches, serve breakfast, and search for socks when you’re groggy in the morning. Make your life a million times easier by taking a few minutes in the evening to get ready for the next day.
Now that you know how to get your free time back as a SAHM, it’s time to mindfully enforce these. Again, the hardest thing for most moms is giving up that control and the quest for perfection. If you need additional ideas, be sure to check out The Hard Truth About Carving Out Me Time. One last straight-forward tip to get free time is to embrace door locks. When you are enforcing some time alone that you fought so hard, protect it by simply flipping that little tab on the door.
See where I’m linking up!
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