Mom to Mom: Finding the time

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Sean MacEntee/Creative Commons

Insomnia helps.

For two years now, I’ve been planning motherbility, a website aimed at helping moms mejpgcreate and grow their own businesses.

The plan is great.

Implementation, however, keeps hitting the brick wall of life.

My husband, Adrian, and I have three kids, the oldest of whom is seven. Adrian works full time. I manage our rental property while being a stay-at-home mom.

Nearly every day, this is what I think: Once X is over, I’ll have time to work on motherbility.

The problem is that “X” keeps changing.

This year alone, X was “as soon as summer starts,” which became “as soon as we return from vacation,” which became “as soon as our foreign exchange student leaves,” which became, “as soon as our 3-year-old starts preschool”, which became “as soon as we’re done renovating the duplex.”

It turns out that life just keeps happening.

Sometimes I get frazzled. Sometimes, self-doubt creeps in.

And I’m not immune from looking around at other moms and finding myself … lacking.

I know … I know … that appearances are deceiving.

But on my insecure days, it seems there’s an unending number of moms starting their own businesses; baking gorgeous, gluten-free cupcakes and guiding their kids to be gifted-and-talented readers and mathematicians, all while they glow with inner peace and their daily workouts.

My life? Somedays, it gets to be 8 p.m. and all I can think is, “What did I do all day?”

Doctors appointments are made. Field trip forms are signed. My kids keep wanting to eat.

And, once again, motherbility gets shoved aside – like that box of old computer equipment my husband has been pledging to get rid of since we moved into our house. Five years ago.

But, mamas, I’ve had an epiphany.

Every Sunday from 3 to 4:05, my kids have swimming lessons. My daughter has soccer practice every Monday evening and gymnastics every Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesdays, we have Lifegroup. Saturday mornings mean soccer games. Sunday mornings mean church.

We do those things every single week. (OK, occasionally we miss church. Truth.)

So, my epiphany is this: I need to schedule in motherbility.

(Rule No. 1: We don’t judge other’s epiphanies!)

If your business is going to be more than a dream, you need to schedule it in. “Someday” never arrives unless you force it to.

Seriously. Put it on the daily schedule at a time when you’re virtually ensured to be able to keep your commitment.

Maybe you can only schedule five minutes a day. Maybe it’s while you drink your morning coffee, or during your lunch break or, sigh, during that precious time between when the kids go to sleep and when you head to bed yourself.

Maybe, heaven forbid, it’s on Saturdays.

Those five, 10, 30 minutes are a sacrifice. Something else will give.

But the life you want … the one where you set your own hours, make enough money, have time to enjoy your family … is worth scheduling the minutes in now.

As I write this, it’s 3:59 a.m., and I can’t sleep.

Somewhere around 5:30 a.m., my son will wander down for breakfast. (Lord help me, I gave birth to an early riser.)

So, I have an hour and a half before oatmeal will be made, lunches will be packed, diapers will be changed, floors will be swept, bills will be paid, dishes will be washed, laundry will be folded … .

I have an hour and a half until the day begins. And so, right now, is my time to do this.

Productivity. It’s the silver lining of insomnia.

3 COMMENTS

  1. THIS is what I NEEDED to read today.. Even though my kids are grown, I have two needy dogs (I confess I think I made them needy by spending so much time lounging around with them 🙁 !!) and a bunch of part-time jobs that make my schedule insane. BUT if I am finding time to watch Dateline and This is US on my DVR, I can find (and schedule!!) time to work on a solid business plan for my granola/food business!

    • I’ve found that, as time has passed, those five minutes have become 10, and 10 become 30 — because when you love what you do, you want to do it more. 🙂 I’m following your blog, but I’d also love to hear about your business sometime!

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