Time. There just never seems to be enough of it.
I wonder what I did with all my free time before I had my daughter.
Sometimes I look back and realize how simply I had taken for granted the ability to go catch a movie with my partner, take a bike ride, or even fold laundry without interruption.
For someone who hasn’t experienced motherhood quite yet, I can understand why even with warnings from other moms, we just really don’t get it yet.
I still am struggling to find out what happens to my time on a daily basis as a mom.
We feel stressed when we constantly feel like we are up against the clock.
The flight or fight response gets triggered when our list of things gets overwhelming.
This stress not only affects our emotional and mental health, it starts to creep into our physical health.
Does your day sometimes look like this?
This is how my day as a mom usually pans out…
7 AM: “Good morning, so much for hopefully sleeping in today.”
11 AM: “Oh geez it’s already 11am”
3PM: “I am exhausted and literally nothing has been done. ”
6PM: “Ok, only a couple more hours before baby goes to bed and then I can get caught up on some things I need to do.”
9PM: “Nope, Im exhausted. Time to get to bed.”
Although this is a simplified version of what really goes on, my first year of motherhood has seemed to be one giant run on sentence of “must do, but can’t do today. Maybe tomorrow.”
I have been really interested in self-improvement and helping maximize my time. I have surrendered to the fact that I can’t, and honestly shouldn’t, try to do it all.
This a slower season of life, and I have been focusing recently on doing less and feeling more.
BUT, that doesn’t mean I don’t love a good book or podcast about maximizing time or being efficient.
I recently listened to a podcast where Tony Robbins discussed the biological clocks we all have with Daniel Pink who wrote “When, The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.
What I found fascinating, and so easy to implement from this book, was how each of our days can be split up into three categories so that we perform our best.
In fact, ayurveda splits up each day into three different times: Kapha time, Pitta time, and Vata time…
While these words may not mean much to you, the underlying theme is that even hundreds of years ago we understood that our brains and bodies don’t operate the same throughtout each hour of the day.
Ayurveda teaches us that there are certain times to do certain things….we should go with nature not against nature.
This is applicable to stay at home moms, working moms, and our partners!
So what should each day look like?
Morning to Lunch: Focus Driven Work
Our brains perform head down, highly concentrated work in the morning before lunch. You may already be aware of how its easier to accomplish things in the morning.
I try to set up my mornings to do things that require some focus and have a definitive end. This could be emptying the dishwasher, making a grocery list and planning meals, or possibly creating a yoga class or editing a blog.
We tend to be in tune with the sun, and we want to take advantage of the energy that a new morning brings.
I also really love to spend the mornings with my daughter doing similar things with her. We like doing an activity, drawing together or reading a book. The author found we are biologically engineered to perform our best work at this time. If you want your child to concentrate (as much as a little one should), try to use mornings!
Lunch to Dinner Time- Administrative and Mindless work
I struggle with this time of the day and that midday slump.
I try to eat a high protein and whole grain lunch, but sometimes I find myself grabbing something fast, and that usually doesn’t help the groggy feeling that comes in the afternoon.
Daniel Pink says this time is great for administrative stuff, for example answering emails or setting appointments.
This is a good time to set up needed doctors appointments or pay some online bills.
I also like to do some more mindless stuff that lets me zone out….like folding laundry.
The author also stresses the importance of taking a break. We tend to have this “power through it” mentality ( I know I did!) and he says this is the amateur way of doing things. Very successful people know the importance of taking a break.
So take a walk outside with your baby, rest on the couch and read a book together, or maybe even take a nap if you can.
We all tend to chuckle together as new mothers when people tell us “nap when the baby naps.” I get it, sometimes that is our only time to get something done. Maybe it’s your only chance to take a shower that day.
Even a 10-15 minute cat nap can do wonders for you body and mind. Or, try to meditate for 5-10 minutes. When I follow through with a consistent meditation practice, however small, my husband can very easily tell by my demeanor and how stressed I get. I now consistently practice twice daily for 20 minutes. Meditation is the first thing I do when my daughter takes her nap.
It’s that powerful!
(If you want to start a meditation practice geared towards moms, I will be sharing more tips and starting community practice on our closed facebook group which you can request to join here!)
Dinner to Bedtime- Creativity and Play
Daniel tells us that we get a little bit of a second wind in the evening and that our brains are geared for creativity and bigger thinking during this time.
This must be why so many entrepreneurs tend to work into the wee hours of the night.
As a mom, this can be a great time to connect with your whole family over dinner and talk with each other. Our brains are wired to make connections. This is a great time to share those ideas you have been thinking about all day.
This is also a great time to really enhance and support your child’s creativity! In our home, we love to work with Cora on her animal noises and pretend to be certain animals…she loves it! (I make a pretty good monkey by the way lol!)
Singing and dancing is also a great thing to do, although I would like to point out its a great thing to do anytime!
Keep a small notebook by your bed so that as you wind down and get ready to sleep. You can write down any small ideas that may come to you as you are falling asleep.
I have realized over the years that as much as I promise myself I will remember things, I never do! It really makes me kick myself when I am trying to think of different things I know I have already thought of before!
You can always start your day over…
I also love this philosophy of having your day split up into three parts because it it allows us to start over our day three different times.
In truth, I believe you can always start your day over.
We have a clear new beginning three times a day with this philosophy.
If you think the morning didn’t go as you had hoped, the afternoon gives you a new chance and a new way to approach what needs to be done.
There is a reason people love to start things on Mondays, the beginning of the month, and the biggest fresh start: the New Year!
So what do I do with this information?
This breakdown of how are brains function best and at what times should give you some insight into how to plan your day.
This guide certainly has flexibility. We need to always embrace flexibility in our lives as mothers.
For example, I have always enjoyed working out in the morning. This last year, however, I have either had to make decisions to work out at night or not work out at all, because the mornings did not work for our family.
Treat this as a guide, and give yourself grace for not getting it all done….believe me, none of us are!
Instead, focus on embracing each day and living in the moment.
Learn to take a break each and every day!
I hope that you realize your body and mind was not meant to go at 100 mph every minute of the day.
Are you interested in reading this book? Let me know in the comments, and if enough of you are interested, we can all read it together!
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