A few weeks ago, this post and the following replies popped up in a Train Like a Mother Club private Facebook group. It was so well-received—and the suggestions were so helpful—that we thought it would be helpful to the greater AMR community as well. (We have removed all names and important identifying characteristics from post + comments.)

I don’t ever seem to find the time for me.

I’m beyond frustrated. I was absolutely LOVING this program and getting every workout done no matter what it took. Then, life took over.

I’m pissed with myself because I don’t ever seem to find the time for me.

Children’s summer reading program and workbook time , children’s therapy sessions , working on scheduling swim lessons that my husband swore he’d take care of 😡, and I’m still at work late now so we can hopefully enjoy our half-day Fridays that don’t always happen .

Everyone and everything seems to get a big ole  but me. I’m frustrated, overwhelmed, dreaming of a summer family vacation that won’t happen.

I’m tired of always finding myself last on the to-do list of life.

To my fellow BAMRs: How do you make time for you? My only time seems to be extremely early in the morning and you can guess who doesn’t like that time slot? My DH.

Thanks for letting me rant. Back to work. Maybe I’ll be home by 7:30 before the children are in bed.

How do you make time for you?
The tribe answers:

I don’t always get a workout done, but I vary my times based on when I’d have pockets of time in my day. Busy evening? I try to do it early (or late if need be). Made it to the end of the day and still haven’t done it? Forced myself to at least do something. If Tuesday is nuts, I swap a workout day. Also, I usually look at and plan the whole week over the weekend so I know how best to tackle it… And of course as moms, unexpected things happen. Then I just do the best I can and try again tomorrow.

Two thoughts:
First: I once heard a pastor’s wife speak to a group of moms I was part of. She said, “Make a list of everything you do for each individual family member. Then list what you do for yourself under another column. You’ll most likely see your column is far shorter or bare.”

Then she said something I’ll never forget: “People will always take what you are willing to give.” And once you give, it’s hard to take away. Asking for help or dropping things from other columns is the only way to make your column stand out a bit more.

Secondly, another person I follow on social media said, “You’re only one bite or one workout away from getting back on track.”

My favorite blogger, Beth Woolsey, says any number of kids is a lot of kids, and I wholeheartedly agree. It is HARD, and you get to feel like it is hard. The best thing about this community is that you get to bitch, too. We’ve been there. We are there. And we’re here for you.

I have no magic answers but much sympathy There is nothing more frustrating than feeling like you are giving everything to everybody and there’s nothing for you. (I think The Giving Tree is a horror story.) In these situations is when I decide, you know what? I am gonna be a b*tch and just demand what I want and steamroll over who or what is in my way. It’s not my usual way to roll but sometimes a BAMRs gotta do what a BAMRs gotta do.

Rant, rave, be pissed! But remember, if you can’t take care of you, there is no you left to take care of others. Make it happen so you can be the best you for all of the sh*t life throws at you!

I have been where you are and completely understand. To make the time, I started getting up early. I mediate (Headspace app), coffee and exercise or catch up on reading. If you get a chance listen to the book Girl, Wash your Face by Racheal Hollis. It is this very topic.

Truthfully, some days I win and some days I get super pissed off at myself for not taking a little me time. I’ve gotten better in the last year about fighting for my run time. That said, when what I need is a nap or a bath I still wimp out a lot.

Be angry. Be sad. Feel all the frustration. Try and channel it into making some time for yourself tomorrow. If you keep at it, it will get easier to do. It won’t be perfect in a week. Nothing real moves that fast, but kinda like meditation if you keep coming back to your focus, it’ll get easier (or so I hear, I can’t meditate to save my life at the moment 🤣).

Be kind to yourself and lower expectations on yourself and raise them on others in the household periodically …. let the little stuff go …. and hang on because it’s not easy and there’s never enough hours in the day. There were years I did not find time for me and felt stretched in every direction … I think everyone muddles through in their own way.

One thing that gives me a little sanity once in a while was the power of the word “no”, usually when asked to take on something else when I was already overloaded…saying no sometimes is essential to finding those little pockets of me time.

Parenting is hard. Science Alert: having kids does not make us happier. Add meaning to our existence? Yes. Make us happier as a person or in marriage? No. My three daughters are between 16 and 21, so I’ll offer what I’ve been reflecting on (it may be unpopular).

I look back on all the Kindermusik classes, elaborate birthday parties, holiday extravaganzas, trips, and feel like maybe I peaked too early! They don’t remember it much and I sometimes wish I had not been such an “industrious” mom so early. One more book at night may have been a better choice much of the time. It’s a 20+ yr job/child after all! (Yes a marathon 🙂) Maybe I’m wrong and I’d still feel drained now but those are just my 2 cents. ((Hugs)) 

It’s HARD! I work from home, so I feel like laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc. all fall on me, because I’m here during the day (working, but here). So, this is what I’ve come to realize: SO MUCH of what I do, I do because I think I should and NO ONE else in my house would care if I didn’t dust/vacuum one week, for example.

So I’m learning to let little things go for a bit and I KNOW that I’m a better mom when I work out. I get up early 4-5 days/week to run, but the days I don’t, I usually make my XT or rest days and go for a walk with the kids to the park or go to the pool and swim with them. They love it, I don’t feel TOTALLY lazy and it keeps me sane.

Ok, your turn: How do you make time for you?