As mothers in modern society, our lives are consumed by the needs of others. Time to ourselves can feel impossible and if we do get the chance to have a break, it often comes with a lot of guilt.
Lovely, you are not here merely to take care of others.
Taking care of others is a valuable and important role that you play but this is not your sole purpose in life. You also get to have your own dreams, passions, goals, relationships, and time for recreation and relaxation.
If you are longing for more of YOU in your life, then keep reading because I’ve invited Life Coach, Jeanna Baene from Thriving Mums to share how she made time for herself every day, without guilt, using routines. She has turned her experience into a 4-part Balanced Mom Blueprint and now she helps other mums do the same!
Hi Jeanna! How did you come to realize that routines were so important to be able to thrive as a mum?
I realised that routines are so important when I became a mum and my husband was working away a lot. I was at home with my two little ones, taking care of them, running errands, organising appointments, and all things mum life. Without a routine, I would have lost myself and completely drowned in all the mum duties (well, I did for a while). So, I figured out a routine that worked for me and my kids, only to have it completely turned upside down when my husband was on break. The kids went to bed at different times, our day looked completely different and that affected our whole day and our mood.
What difference has having a routine made to your life and wellbeing?
Before having a routine I started each day without intention, randomly going through the day, jumping from one thing to the other, hustling through the day trying to do a million things at once which made me feel so exhausted and frustrated because at the end of the day I didn’t finish off my to-do list (even though I was ‘busy’ all day) and I didn’t even have a minute for myself. I was so stressed out all the time. And the worst part was that I knew tomorrow was going to be exactly the same.
So, when I started figuring out a routine that worked for me and my family everything changed. Every morning I start my day with a plan. Mentally I know how the day is going to go (more or less, you know mum life :D). I know my goals for the day and my most important to-do’s which help me to find time for myself every day. Instead of randomly hustling through the day feeling exhausted and feeling like the day doesn’t have enough hours to get everything done, my routine enables me to be more intentional with my time, be more organised and balance my own needs with the needs of my family. I know that every day I have time for myself, to recharge my body and mind, to do something I love and that makes me happy. Without a routine, I would still feel like mum life has taken over.
What are the non-negotiable things in your routine?
My non-negotiables in my routine are planning out my day (either at night or in the morning), my morning meditation, home yoga (some days), doing at least one thing a day that makes me feel good, and having present playtime with my children.
What advice do you have for mums who feel reluctant to set up a routine because they don’t like being too structured or feel they are no good at sticking to these sorts of plans?
I totally hear you! That was me. I was like “I don’t need this”, “Who likes routines?”, “That stuff doesn’t work”. However, when I became a mum all that changed. I realised that not only did my children need a routine and structure in their day to feel good, but I did too.
Also, I wouldn’t see your routine as a set-in-stone plan that you religiously have to follow to the minute. That would be hard to achieve because we all know that with kids, each day looks different and is unpredictable. Rather, I suggest seeing your routine as a ‘lifeline’ that guides you through the day and helps you to not just ‘waste your day’ with random busyness. Instead, you have a plan on how to get everything done and be organised so you can feel satisfied with yourself at the end of the day.
And while I was thinking a routine would take the fun out of life, actually the opposite is true because by having a mental plan about how your day is going to go, and at what time certain things will happen e.g naps, lunch, soccer training, kindy pick up – mapping out all those things visually helps you to find those pockets of time that you can use for yourself. That way you can make sure to fill up your own cup each day while taking care of everything else, which makes you feel good, energized, positive, and way calmer and more centered, rather than just getting through the day reacting to your environment. By having a routine and knowing when you will have that time for yourself, to take care of your personal needs, and working towards your personal goals enables you to be the kind of mum and wife that you actually want to be and to show up as the best version of yourself – for your family as well as for yourself.
How do we create a routine that helps us find time for ourselves each day, without the guilt?
First of all, know that your personal needs and goals matter and that you are a much better mum if you take time to fill up your cup throughout the day and take some time for yourself to follow those dreams and goals of yours.
With that in mind, here are my tips:
1. Create a joy list
Write a list of all the things you enjoy, love, and that make you feel good.
2. Observe your daily routine
Take a look at your day or keep track of your day for a few days and then look where you could be ‘smarter’- more intentional about how and on what you spend your time.
3. Know your goals
What do you want your life to look like?
What kind of person do you want to be?
How would achieving those goals make you feel? Why is this important to you?
Your goals may be living in a certain place, buying a house, taking a long 20-minute relaxing shower (instead of a 5-minute rushed one), exercising to feel good, meditating to calm your mind…
4. Know your values
What is non-negotiable for you?
What would you get out of bed for at 2 am in the morning?
What matters most to you? And why?
5. Start building your routine
Once you are clear about your goals and values and know what you need to do in order to achieve your goals and live by your values you can start building out your routine.
First of all, follow the ‘One Thing a Day Rule’. Do 1 thing a day from your joy list. Decide on what that one thing is for you that day and then take a look at where it best fits into your day. Having an actual date and time for that ‘1 thing’ (have it scheduled in your calendar) will make it much easier for you to actually follow through and take that time for yourself.
Then take a look at the activities you ‘have’ to do in order to achieve your goals (daily goals and long-term goals) and see where those best fit into your day.
This exercise works best if you get an actual planner or calendar where you can plan out your day in detail. That way you can see when you can make space and time for your own needs and goals.
Use the pockets of time that you do get throughout your day to do something for yourself. Do something that makes you feel good or something that brings you closer to achieving your goals.
6. Daily preparation
Prepare yourself for the day ahead. It’s best to schedule out your day in a planner, every night or in the morning (if you have the time).
That way you have a mental plan and are not just randomly going through the day. You are able to intentionally spend your time which will enable you to have enough time and energy not only for your family but for yourself as well.
If you would like to learn more about how to use routines to create time for yourself every day, without guilt, join Jeanna for her free live workshop!
About Jeanna Baene
Jeanna is a Life Coach for Mums and the mother of two little boys. She describes her life as crazy & wonderful!
Jeanna remembers being at home with her boys, her husband working away a lot, feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and exhausted, trying to balance it all. She was constantly putting herself last, only serving her family and she never had time for herself. She truly believed that the only way to be a good mom was by putting her life on hold and dedicating her life to her family…until she found a better way! Now, Jeanna helps mums balance their own needs with the needs of their families so they can stop just getting through the day and achieve their personal goals each day while being their best selves for their family.
“I’ve made it my mission to provide mums with the tools needed so they can feel empowered and confident to live a fulfilled life and thrive as a mum without feeling guilty.”
Follow Jeanna on Instagram.