It Is Possible to Do Stuff for Yourself: 15 Moms on How They Make It Happen

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  • Never Stop Learning

    7

    "Find one hour in the week where someone can take care of your children, whether it's your spouse, a friend, or a family member. Sign up for an evening or weekend class that meets regularly, so that it becomes part of your routine. I've taken classes in knitting, ice skating, and guitar simply for the fun of it. You'll learn something new, meet some people, and for that one night a week you'll be known as you and not as Jimmy's mom."

    -- Ali Wenzke, mom of 3

  • Put It on the List

    8

    "It helps to have a daily checklist with the hobby listed as a 'to-do' task -- that keeps me from getting distracted and doing something else."

    -- Michelle L., mom of 1, raddadbox.com 

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  • Find Your Center

    9

    "I've found it well worth the sacrifice of getting up early to have quiet time for me, to journal and read something inspiring, or even do a short body-weight lounge workout, in order to start the day feeling centered and grounded. If you have children who wake when you do (or sooner!), this may be easier said than done, but if it matters to you, there is ALWAYS a way to make time during the day to take care of yourself, even if it doesn't always remain uninterrupted."

    -- Kat L., mom of 2, katloterzo.com 

  • Learn to Be Flexible

    10

    "I raised 12 children and I found that making time for myself to do what I cared about meant being flexible. I love reading, so I made sure I always had a book nearby. I could read while I was nursing the baby, or curl up with a book on the sofa while the children were playing in the living room. I didn't have time to practice piano, but I could make time at night to sing in a choir, so I kept music as part of my life, too.

    Then there is self-pampering. I no longer had hours to spend on my hair and makeup, but I could take a nice, hot, luxuriant bubble bath. And that would restore my need to take care of myself and feel pretty. Moms have to do things for themselves, or they won't be great moms!"

    -- Varda E., mom of 12, Kars4Kids

  • Get an Early Start

    11

    "I have seven homeschooling children, and write two blogs. I get up at dark-thirty in the morning in order to write from 5 to 8 a.m. Doing this makes my entire day better. I'm calmer with my kids, more patient, and much happier!"

    -- Carrie W., mom of 7, carriewillard.com

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  • Delegate Duties

    12

    "I have two kids, 16 and 11. I have the 16-year-old do a few errands and the 11-year-old goes along, and that gives me some 'me' time. When the kids were younger, we took advantage of having family in the area and had them visit grandpa and grandma for a half an hour to an hour."

    -- Candi W., mom of 2, www.nannies4hire.com

  • Find a Hobby That Fits into Your Free Time

    13

    "I am a stay-at-home mom to a 2-year-old boy, and I love writing romance novels ... I discovered my love for writing when my son was about a year old. I needed a hobby, so why not try writing? ... I started writing when my son would fall asleep. From that point, most of my writing happens at night or when he naps. Sometimes my husband will watch our son while I write. 

    The point is, I have to make it a priority. For me, family comes first, and then writing. Even if I write for half an hour a day, I feel as though I've accomplished a lot."

    -- Naomi B., mom of 1, naomiboom.com

  • Connect to Your Kids

    14

    "Ideally I like to work when the kids are occupied. Of course sometimes something will need immediate attention and work needs to get done while the kids are around, but if their emotional bank is filled up, then it's okay now and then.

    The key thing for me in working at home, besides trying to keep my kids engaged with activities, is hearing them when they speak. I try to always give them a thoughtful answer, make eye contact, and remember that they aren't disturbing my work, as much as they are my kids and I owe them my energy. When those priorities are aligned, I can often work while we're all at home. Plus, I know that I'll have some quiet time later to plow through what can't be done at the time."

    -- Colleen S., mom of 5, Date Lady, Inc.

  • Encourage Independence

    15

    "Get comfortable saying 'no' when your kids ask you to play with them. I started doing this early on when my eldest son was about 18 months old and I was pregnant with my second child. I pushed him to play independently, and now I can find pockets of time to write while he and my middle son play together in another room."

    -- Rhea P., mom of 3, Little Stories for Tiny People

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