Take time for you!

8:01 PM

Good Morning and Happy Friday My friends!

Now that the aftermath of the Holiday season is behind us, I for one, am taking this chance to relax and get lots of work done here on the blog.  One of my favorite past times is reading, it's my personal "me" time that I try to take everyday for at least 30 minutes. 

One of the ways I find that many people get a burn out is not taking time to just relax and have time to themselves.  One of the best things you can do for yourself, or your family , is to take some time out for you. I know many say you can't take time everyday, however, in reality I am sure everyone can find even 5 minutes to take a little time to just decompress as well as find time to have family night.

As you all know, I have seven kids, only five left at home still, but it was hard for me to find a good balance so that I could enjoy a few minutes of down time. So I had to get creative. It always seems like it's a never ending cycle with everything I have to do as well as spending family time with Chris & the kids. One thing we instituted in our house 3 years ago was family game night. I always had great fun playing games with my family growing up and it was one of those things that I have always been able to remember. My Mom, My Grandma ( deceased now)  & Aunts & Uncles all love to play games so we would frequently play games like Rummy, Rook, Simon, Monopoly, Spades, Trivial Pursuit and many other board games.

Chris on the other hand, grew up an Orphan and never really had those connections and memories so even he has found how much fun it can be and he really looks forward to it when we pull out the games. I think our game closet now has about 75 board games, not including any card games we play. The kdis really like Pictionary, Logo and Monopoly and those tend to be out go-to games when no one can agree on anything else. we usually try to have game night on a Friday night, which I initially thought would be difficult with teenagers as they always want to go hang out with friends, but our kids actually look forward to it and if they have plans on Friday they will ask us early in the week if we can change to Saturday. I don't require them to stay home and play but they do it on their own because they enjoy it.

On family game nights, I usually try to make Diner a little earlier than normal by about 30 minutes or so and I do something simple so that we have easy clean up and can get started on our game of the night. One good idea that you could do is throw a Pork tenderloin in the Slow Cooker that morning to cook all day then make pulled pork sandwiches for dinner. I also make my own BBQ sauce which only takes a few minutes. I will post the recipe on here one day for you all. I make Spicy and regular for the younger kids who prefer something not as hot. Sometimes we will order pizza, but we don't make that a habit, because we love to save money. I would much prefer to cook and save money for special nights out or special treats for a great week. 

Now, how do I find time to myself you ask with all we have going on plus cooking nightly. It took me awhile to find out just what works for us so that I could make time. You can start trying as well until you find what works for you. 

Do your Kids have nightly chores? All of our kids have chores, even if they work, they still have chores they are responsible  for. I used to find that I would make a new chore list weekly, but it would end up that something would get forgotten off the list, especially stuff that was out of the normal, or I would find myself doing things that was on the chore list for the kids  and it would leave different kids with less chores so the others would obviously get upset and I was constantly having to change the list and making mistakes. Now, I find that I make the chore list each day, using a master list I keep and adding or taking from the list. many of you would argue that that is more work than making a weekly or monthly list, but i will have to agree to disagree on that. You see, how it all boils down is that if I planned to clean out the fridge that day, yet I don't get to it, I can add that to someone's nightly chores which will leave me with free time the next day. I have also heard many parents think it's unfair to have your children do so many chores. Well, my kids do chores nightly and the most it has ever taken them has been 30 minutes and that is when we are usually home on break and the house is a mess. It's a good learning tool for them to learn responsibility as well as learn how to do all the things that they will one day have to do themselves. 

Do you save one day a week to get all of your laundry done? Not me, I do a couple of loads usually daily and get it hung up. Each kid has a basket in the laundry room, when I finish a load I put what belongs to them in their baskets and they are responsible for hanging, folding & putting it away. I could have them do their own laundry and assign them each a certain day,which I have tried before and they all know how to do laundry but I found that work, sports and other things would  find them switching days with someone or not having clean clothes and we would all be rushing on the weekends to get it done and because they do chores nightly, this actually ends up saving me time & aggravation as well. 

How would you feel if you got 5 extra minutes everyday and could do anything you wanted. Well, I'm sure that is easy to do, but I now make time for at least 30 minutes just for me. So even if you work full time and have a family to care for you can still do this. Just 30 minutes may seem impossible to you, so why not start small with say 10 minutes and see how you can add on from there.  You can look above and see a few ways I have managed to cut time out of my day to make time for myself. Does it really matter if your floors go a day without getting swept? Granted, mine are usually done daily, but I don't get upset if we miss a day. Do you find that after your kids go to bed you are rushing around getting things done that you didn't do while they were awake? Why not get them involved with helping you with making dinner, doing chores or other things which gives you two meanings, you can do what has to be done and spend time with your kids at the same time. Something as simple as having them help you with dinner will mean a lot to a child of any age.

Sit down,make a list of all of your household chores including those that only get done once a week. Then decide which chores that you can delegate to your family. Can you spend a couple of hours one day a week organizing a grocery list and menu? that will save time each day by already knowing what your options are. Can you put food in the slow cooker that morning to save time at night? Does your menu reflect simple meals for days you know you will be tired or have less time ? Can you get up 30 minutes earlier than anyone else just for a chance to have quiet time and relax? That is another thing I try to do, I wake my youngest up for her shower 30 minutes before anyone else gets up, while she is showering I check my email, read, watch the news or basically anything I want to do in those 30 minutes. I do find that some mornings I simply catch up on things that I left undone the night before.

Take last night for example. I had a long day trying to work, get caught up on the blog and get household things done, and I was exhausted, so instead of doing the bathroom and throwing in a load of laundry. I sit down, grabbed my Kindle and decided to read. which meant that when I got up 30 minutes early this morning, instead of getting on the computer or reading, I accomplished what did not get done last night. It really is all about making things a priority, including making yourself a priority. You can have the cleanest house around and  laundry always done but how does that affect you and your family? Usually that means you are tired, stressed and out of sorts. You are not only helping your family but you are helping yourself if you take time for you.

Now that I make me time a daily priority, I find that I don't let the small things in life stress me out as much as I used too. I make a daily to do list and start with things that are high priority. Those are the things I do first, and if something has to be left off my list, it is a low priority task that can be done another time.

I know you probably still think you can't do it, but if you simply take time to give it a try, you will be surprised at how much better you feel.

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