I hear it all the time from my busy mom friends and clients, “I wish I could…Just do nothing…Take a break…Rest…Push off all my responsibilities to someone else…Run away.” That last one sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Just for a week? Or a weekend? Or a day? Okay, I’d settle for an hour or two.
What causes busy moms like you and me to get to a place where we are so overworked, overtired, and just OVER being a parent? Well, just add in your job, your home duties, and whatever obligations you have with friends and your partner, and you can see why we just want to hole up in a cave, drink some coffee before it gets cold, and sleep. I’ve been there so many times. I’ve cried myself to sleep for the desire to be alone. And while I do my best to get away for at least one day each month, it isn’t always possible.
Or, at least I thought it was impossible. The reality is, I wouldn’t allow myself to take the time, which perpetuated the thoughts and feelings that drove me to want to run away!
This is how most busy moms I know operate:
- We don’t allow ourselves space.
- We don’t know how to do NOTHING.
- Yet, we crave it.
So what is a busy, overworked mom to do? How do you go from where you are now, to being legit okay with doing nothing?
First: you have to remind yourself that if you don’t get the time you need, you are going to be an impatient, easily annoyed, hypersensitive basket case, or what my kids playfully refer to the past me as, “crazy mommy.” As busy moms, we like to use our kids as an excuse to not take care of ourselves, so if THEY are the reason, your brain will likely not have a gut response of “NO WAY.” It might be tickled by the idea of doing nothing!
Two: Refer to the dictator of life: the schedule. I’m guessing you have at least one calendar on your phone, or a very detailed, thought-out daily plan filled with all kinds of “important” things.
Look at all those “important” things and ask yourself, “How important is it, really? And WHO is it important to?”
C: Are you all kinds of confused now? Likely, the things on your overbooked schedule have more to do what you believe OTHER people need or what OTHER people will think about you, than what you truly desire for yourself or your littles.
Fourth: Let the comparison game go. Let the ultra-tidy house go. Let the kill-yourself-at-work-to-prove-you-can-do-it-all mentality go. Then notice how your time suddenly has more room in it!
AND DO NOT FILL IT WITH MORE STUFF TO DO.
E: You just created more time in your schedule. You just CREATED MORE TIME! You magical creature! Did you know you could do that? You always have the choice to see things differently…or you have the choice to stay in the overwhelm and crazy-mommy mode.
So what happens with those extra moments you just created? NOTHING.
You get to do NOTHING in those moments. Or, more specifically, the nothing can look like this:
- Take a nap
- Take a shower
- Drink your coffee while it’s still hot!
- Look through a magazine
- If your kids are little, schedule a babysitter or get your partner involved, while you leisurely walk through Target or take yourself on a date
- If you can’t get a sitter, let your littles have a day of media! Yes, I said it! Screen time FTW! Trust me, your sanity and your future self will thank you (and so will your kids)
- Go for a hike
- Hit your favorite bootcamp class
- Relax (or nap) in a yoga class
- Write in your journal
- Call a friend
- Sit and truly do nothing. Breathe. Be present. Feel your body, hear your thoughts, and lean into your feelings
Oh, my sweet busy moms. Half of you is dreaming of creating a NOTHING day and the other half is telling you it’s impossible, that you are crazy to even dream about it, and you don’t deserve this time just for you. That’s your mean girl trying to tell you how awful you are for loving YOU.
This is where you take the hardest step.
You tell her to shut up.
You tell her that your kids need you to be a rested and sane mom.
You tell her that you are AS important as everyone else in your family, and you deserve time to do nothing.
And then, you do it. You magically create your space and do NOTHING.
Let me know what you choose and what comes of it. If you need help walking through the emotions around doing nothing, please reach out to me!