Friday, May 20, 2011

Respecting Your Time

Time seems to be my running theme for the week. How to manage everything and still keep a balance with all my projects, my jobs, and my family. I very much wanted to share a key point in all this time management blah, blah, blah, that has helped me.

I'm throwing this question out to all the working moms, artists, wives/partners, and generally busy people out there. How many times has someone in your family come to you at 10:00pm and said one of the following (or a variation of)?
I need clothes washed for tomorrow.
We're out of toilet paper.
I need treats for school tomorrow.
The list goes on, but I think all of you get the idea. Which brings me to another question.
How can anyone else respect your time if you don't?

I can't even begin to count how many times this has happened in my house. And I've given up precious sleeping time, or creative time, to make sure the needs of my family are met. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being a mom and a partner and get a lot of satisfaction out of taking care of my family. But I love me too! And sometimes, I need to take care of me first. Which in turn makes things much more pleasant for everyone. Like the old saying, "If mom's unhappy, everyone is unhappy."

Previously situations like this would normally send me right over the edge in to a screaming tantrum similar to that of a two year old minus the kicking legs, (most of the time), all the way to the washing machine. Because I find it all to be very disrespectful. I am the one who has created this behavior. I am the one who somehow has sent the message to my family that it is ok to disrespect my time. Simply by not respecting it myself. Lately I have been able to change things up a bit and keep my cool, stay in the moment, and realize I need to create better boundaries. I have managed to accomplish this by CALMLY explaining, without one ounce of anger, that my time is important too. I have asked my family to be respectful of my time and to let me know earlier in the day when they need laundry washed or something for school.

For the most part this has worked out pretty well. The kids have gotten better at letting me know way before hand if they need something for school or have activities I need to participate in or attend. And on the rare occurrence that they forget, I remind them of how our system needs to work for everyone. No longer do I do laundry at bedtime. And no longer do I waste the energy getting angry about it. I gently enforce my boundary, and everyone does much better the next time.

My point to all this is simple. You have to take care of yourself and make yourself a priority right along with your family. The end result is beneficial to everyone. And it IS worth the time to find a system that works for everyone in your life, including you! And by making a few simple changes I have found that I have more time to do the things I want to do, and work on the things that are important to me. The time spent focused on my family has deeper quality, meaning, and my full attention.

Hope you all have an amazing Friday! I'm pretty sure the mixed media piece at the time of this post will be going in my Etsy shop here shortly. It's time to clear some space for something new.

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