Time . . . that limited resource you never seem to have enough of—especially when you’re a mom and a business owner. If you’re struggling to find the time to juggle growing a business, raising a family, and then there’s life and all the things it throws at you, self-care may be taking a back seat. How do you make time for self-care as a mompreneur when so many other things and people are begging for your attention?
In this episode, I’m giving you my four go-to strategies for incorporating self-care into my already packed schedule as a mompreneur to a seven-figure business and homeschooling mom of six. By the end, you’ll have actionable suggestions you can use to implement some much-needed self-care into your daily, weekly, and monthly routine.
Let’s get to it.
Make A List
I’m embarrassed to admit how long I went without incorporating any type of self-care into my life. I prided myself on serving others first and putting my own needs last. That’s the Christian thing we’re all supposed to do, right?
What I found out, after a particularly hard crash and burn is that, that’s actually not the way God designed it.
Yes, we need to not be selfish, but even Jesus took time *daily* to get away, by himself, in a deserted location to pray. He often sought to take his disciples with him to get away from the crowds, too.
There’s a time for serving and a time for refreshing yourself. I encourage you not to neglect the refreshing part or you’ll eventually find yourself out of the energy and desire to serve.
As mompreneurs this is even more important because we’re pouring out for our kids and for our clients and customers. Not to mention spouses, parents, and other family and friends.
Hopefully, you’re not at a point like I was where after 10 years of neglecting self-care, I didn’t even know what I enjoyed doing all by myself anymore. I had to go on a journey of self-discovery to figure out exactly what self-care looked for me.
Maybe you already know.
Either way, I want you to make a list of activities that you can do daily, weekly, and monthly that are things you enjoy doing and are for your refreshing.
For me, my daily list looks like:
- An uninterrupted hour of work
- A walk around my neighborhood
- Audio books on Audible
I don’t do all of these every single day. But this gives me a list to choose from and some variety to mix it up. It’s the same with my monthly and weekly lists.
My weekly list looks like:
- Coffee out of the house to brainstorm or write
- Weekly beauty routine (face mask, hair mask, etc.)
- Date night with my husband to our favorite Mexican restaurant
- Chat or visit with my parents
- A grocery run alone (not really my top self-care item, but I love to listen to podcasts in the car by myself driving to and from, and I try to incorporate lunch out by myself before I hit the grocery store, and a Starbucks run afterwards). It’s my reward for having to meal plan and grocery shop for a family of eight
My monthly list looks like:
- A pedicure and/or manicure
- Sleeping in as late as my body will let me, and spending the day reading or doing whatever I feel like that day
- Rewarding myself with a new book, Lululemon outfit or some other small token for reaching a goal
- A trip to the beach or a nature park with the family
- Personal or professional development courses
Some of my aspirational items that I’d like to happen more like quarterly or once or twice a year:
- A weekend away with my husband
- A weekend away by myself
- A massage or spa day
- Lunch or dinner out with friends
- A weeklong vacation (I’ll be honest, right now this is only happening like once every three-plus years)
- Museums, art exhibits, or cultural attractions
I really want to hit home the point that I’m not doing ALL of these things every day, week, month, quarter, or year.
This is simply my list of some of the things that bring me joy and refresh me. Your list will look different than mine. Some categories may be longer or shorter. Some of the activities I do daily, you may prefer to do monthly, and vice versa.
Make your list your own. It won’t be self-care unless you’re choosing activities that fill you up and bring you joy.
Maybe your joy is a trip alone to Target, a cup of coffee on your back porch, or a potluck dinner with your neighbors.
You do you, Mama!
So we have this great list of activities that fill us up, but that won’t get us very far unless we intentionally do them.
I’m a compulsive list checker. I feel accomplished when I can check a task off my list, so I write my daily self-care activities in my planner.
Choose a few activities that you enjoy and that can be reasonably accomplished during the day. Then, schedule time. Seriously, put it in your planner, in your phone, on your calendar. Whatever device you use to track your priorities. Make self-care activities a daily priority.
I have a babysitter who comes on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to help me so that I can get some uninterrupted work time in. This is especially necessary for me because we homeschool five of our six kiddos. If your kids are at school during the day, you may choose to utilize that time instead. I try at least every other week to take one day to go out for coffee, lunch, or one of my other weekly or monthly self-care activities.
Yes, I could use the time to squeeze in more work, but what I find is that when I take time to rest, my mind is refreshed and I’ll have some fantastic idea for a new project or new piece of content to write about. It’s about making the time and space to be able to think creatively. Getting away will help you do just that.
We have a large family, so it requires major planning for any self-care activities that take me away from the kids. I have to be intentional about planning ahead for date nights with my husband, weekends away, or any trips. These are all few-and-far-between activities because they require planning and a babysitter willing to watch a whole flock of little people.
I’m trying to get better about vacations . . . at our current rate we’re only making it about once every three to four years. There’s always room for improvement in our self-care efforts.
My advice is to prioritize what’s important to you and what fills you up and refreshes you. Maybe vacations aren’t it for you—maybe you enjoy a hike or a conference.
Take the time to plan ahead and schedule what’s important to you. If we don’t schedule it, it won’t get done.
Make It a Routine
I don’t know about you, but my kids thrive on a schedule and when we have a routine and we stick to it, there’s peace in the house.
Every night after dinner, chores, and the inevitable living room dance party or random improv skit, our kids get on their tech devices for an hour or so to play games. We all sit together in our living room, and while they play games, listen to music, or build neat creations in Minecraft, I focus on some of my personal daily self-care activities.
This might look like listening to a meditation on the Abide app.
Coloring while I listen to a book on Audible.
Doing a stretch routine on FitOn, and then beating my husband in a round of Words with Friends.
These activities have become part of my daily routine and I’ve done them for so long that now they’re a habit. Not just for me, but for the whole family. The kids know that after dinner and chores, they can get on tech for a little while and I know that I’m going to have some time to focus on me while still being with my family.
Does the hour go uninterrupted? Rarely.
Inevitably, there’s a “Mom, watch this!” or someone who needs a drink, help with a snack, or a tech glitch that needs attention. But, that’s OK. It doesn’t have to be all by myself to be self-care.
I’m taking time to focus on things I enjoy while my kids are focusing on an activity they enjoy.
And we’re doing it with each other.
A side benefit is that my kids are seeing me invest in activities that I enjoy. I’m modeling for them healthy self-care.
Incorporate Activities in Your Morning and Evening Routine
I’m a huge fan of morning quiet time. I love Claire Diaz-Ortiz’s book Design Your Day and Laura Vanderkam’s What Successful People Do Before Breakfast. If you haven’t read either of them, I highly recommend them. They’re great books to read to learn about setting your day up for success with a great morning routine.
I love spending the first hour of my day reading the Bible, reading a devotional plan on Youversion, and praying. Then I try to get in 30 minutes of exercise or a walk around the neighborhood. It helps me feel better and gives me energy.
Choose activities that will help you get your day started on the right foot. Your morning routine will look different than mine.
As a mom, I believe it’s important to start your day before the kids wake up. Otherwise as soon as you wake up, you’re met with the demands of the day. I don’t know about your children, but mine hit the ground running in the morning with requests and questions a mile long. It’s better for me to start my day quietly and fill my cup before I begin pouring out into theirs.
I’ve already shared my evening routine with you in the last strategy. I look forward to these two times a day when I can focus on activities I enjoy and that replenish my energy.
Please take heart, mama. I hear you saying how will I find the time? How can I make this work?
I’m not spending hours a day on myself.
I’m investing an hour in the morning (by getting up earlier, before my kids start their day).
And, I’m investing an hour at night with my kids in the same room.
Stuff happens, and some days I oversleep and don’t get my morning time, or some nights I’m too tired or I realize at the last minute I forgot to complete an assignment for my master’s degree that’s due that night and I have to spend my evening time working on my assignment.
It’s not a flawless or perfectly executed plan every single night. But it’s a routine I’ve established and I know there’s always tomorrow. Another morning quiet time, another evening to sit and listen to a Jan Karon novel.
I feel like a broken record here, but you do you. And keep realistic expectations. There will be nights the kids aren’t having it, there are soccer games/practices, or a client emergency that needs to be handled ASAP. Do the best you can and try again the next day.
These practices aren’t the law. They are not some unattainable standard to hold yourself to (I see you classic overachiever and I stand with you in solidarity).
They’re a practice. And practice makes progress. Not perfection.
Emily Ley is known for her eloquently stated quote which I hold near and dear to my heart, “I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.”
I encourage you, dear mama, to hold yourself to a standard of grace when it comes to implementing self-care, growing your business, and loving your family.
Let me pray for you.
Over the years I’ve invested in a lot of business books, parenting books, and even tried a few books that mix both. And, there are really only a few. There aren’t many books that I know of that tackle being a mom and growing a business. Here are some that I’ve found that I’ve gleaned a lot from, and hope that you will, too.
Also, listen to Podcast Episode #3: 4 Simple Ways to Balance Work, Kids, Homeschooling, and Life if you’re at that place where you’re feeling like something’s gotta give or there has to be a better way to get everything done that needs doing.
I would love to connect with you on LinkedIn, you can send me an invite here.
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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