Is that you? Are you feeling as if you should have made New Year’s resolutions, but haven’t yet because you know you can’t possibly fit one more thing into your life? You know you need time for work in the workplace and at home, time for your family, time for spiritual renewal, time for giving back to society, time for personal growth, time for exercise and a bit of downtime for yourself. And there are only 24 hours in a day. And you need to sleep.
There seem to be more and more studies on the short-term and long-term dangers associated with sleep deprivation. It’s not surprising that you feel overwhelmed. Who has time to keep or even to make, New Year’s resolutions?
As I reflected on the “no time” for anything more problem, I thought of the women I knew who had really impressed me with how well they’d managed the times in life that were busiest. I realized two things they all did that you might consider when envisioning the coming year. These amazing women had determined what they were doing that others could do instead and they combined the items in their must do list, finding activities that helped meet multiple demands on their time.
What others might do for you is interesting to ponder. If your parents or in-laws are nearby, ask them how they might like to help so they feel useful, not used. Hire out mundane tasks to the extent you can afford to do this. Work with your spouse or partner or older children to divide up responsibility for some of the tasks.
I went to graduate school with a working mom whose family had divided dinner preparation responsibilities and dad and each of the children planned for and prepared dinner one night each week, mom still cooked two nights, they had take-in one night and went out one night. The shopping list was prepared for the week and each person contributed requirements, shopping was done online and the food was delivered to the home. This approach worked very well for them and they each enjoyed their weekly night of hosting and the other nights when they were served.
Work with your friends to see how you can help each other. Many busy moms have realized that they don’t need to go to every practice event so take turns driving and also take turns hosting overnights and play time. I’m sure you can think of more things you are currently doing that others might help you do with mutual benefits.
It can also be rewarding to think about activities that enable you to meet multiple demands on your time. Perhaps the most interesting is to think about how time with family members can also be time when you are learning or doing household tasks or exercising or giving back to society or even enjoying personal down time. In the last category for example, I notice when I have manicures that often there are little girls and boys there with their moms loving every second of having their nails painted green or having sparkles or pictures placed on their tiny finger nails and at least in my local salon, the cost is minimal.
The trip to the manicurist probably also included some one-on-one time in the car with mom. I recall doing meal clean-up with my mom and sister. My sister and I thought it strange that our mom participated, but it made our job easier and faster, so we didn’t question her decision. Many years later I asked my mom why she had been part of the clean-up team. She expressed surprise that I hadn’t realized it was one of her favorite times. She noted that my sister and I would talk non-stop and it kept her aware of much more that was going on in our worlds than she would have known otherwise.
Make your resolutions for the year be to share the workload (note that I didn’t recommend delegating or offloading the work) and to think of activities that might help you address multiple priorities simultaneously. Discussions on how to accomplish these resolutions might even be fun.