Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Mom's Guide To Being More Productive With Your Free Time

If you compare your life pre-pregnancy to post-pregnancy, then there’s a whole list of differences.
So many things change when a child comes along, and one of the most significant things is that you
don’t always get as much free time as a mom. It’s just the way life goes; you have way more
responsibilities now, so it’s rare that you get time in a day where you don’t have to do something for
your child.

But, I’m not suggesting that all your free time goes out the window. There will still be times when your
parents can look after your child for a spell, or your partner takes responsibility for a while, or they’re
fallen asleep. Then, fast forward five years from their birth and your kid is now in school, which means
you get a little bit of extra free time as well.

For me, one of the most important aspects of being a mom is learning how to manage your free time
and be more productive with it. I think the worst thing you can do is sit around for an hour or so
procrastinating, which basically means you’ve wasted any free time. So, here’s my guide to using
your time better, complete with plenty of suggestions for things to do with it:

Make a list of odd jobs

When you’re busy being a mom, most of your attention is focused on your child. You’re watching over
them, keeping them entertained, feeding them, bathing them, putting them to sleep - the list goes on
and on. As a consequence, certain odd jobs tend to get pushed to the side for later on. These can
include anything from getting the screenwash changed in your car to posting Christmas cards to
friends/family. You know what I’m talking about, right? All those little jobs and errands that you need to
do, but they aren’t essential enough to drag you away from your child.

As such, when you have some free time, it’s the perfect opportunity to do all of these odd jobs. In my
experience, the best plan of attack is by writing a list. You could do it the old-fashioned way, but I think
downloading an app on your phone works better. There’s a post on that runs
through the best to-do list apps out there right now so it might be worth checking that out to find one
for you. Basically, you make a list of all your jobs, and then you can go through it checking them off
as you complete each task. With an app, you can get notifications to keep reminding you at certain
times - which is ideal if you know you’ll be free at a specific time, so you can set up a reminder. Now,
your time is more productive as you’re doing things that need to be done, which prevents the list from
getting longer and longer!

Start exercising

Exercise is such a productive use of your time, and it’s often something we neglect after giving birth.
This is usually because we feel like there’s not enough time to do anything, but when we have spare
time we just waste it doing nothing! So, make it your mission to try and dedicate a short fraction of your
free time to exercising and getting fit. As it shows on, you can do
workouts that last around 20 minutes and can be done in your home as well. So, even if you have an
hour free, you can use a third of this time to exercise, meaning there are still 40 more minutes to be
even more productive as well!

Why do I think this is a smart use of your time? Well, carrying a child for 9 months and giving birth will
take a lot out of you physically. Think about all the cravings you had during the pregnancy, all those
pizzas you ate for dinner because you needed something naughty! Unless you’re on a dedicated
fitness regime, it’s natural to gain a few pains and get a little out of shape when you’re pregnant. As
such, this can help you shed those pounds and start looking and feeling better. This also makes it
easier to be a busy mom as you’ll be fitter, so carrying a child around, walking with bags of shopping,
and chasing your kids around the house will feel less taxing!

Tidy the house

This might not seem like a fun use of your free time, but it’s an incredibly productive way of doing
things. You see, when you’re spending hours looking after your child, it means you don’t have time
to really clean up after their mess or keep the house as tidy as can be. This makes it a nightmare if
any friends or family call around unannounced, as your home looks like a tip! If your child is asleep
or being looked after by someone else for a couple of hours, then it’s the ideal excuse to do a little
spring cleaning.

I’m not saying you have to give your house a thorough clean from top to bottom, moving all the
furniture around and working up a sweat. Essentially, you just need to make sure everything is tidier.
This does two things; firstly, it almost prepares your home for when your child is back and ready to
play again. Instead of adding more mess onto existing mess, there’s a cleaner slate to start with, so
the mess isn’t as bad! This leads to the second thing; it makes your home easier to clean. Small
bursts of frequent cleaning in your free time will prevent instances where your home is overrun with
clutter, meaning it takes days to get it back in shape! There are some useful tips on that can help you clean better and more effectively, so they’re worth a look

Arrange something with friends

Remember the days before you were a mom when you had so much time to go on coffee dates with
friends or go out for lunch together? These occurrences become less regular when you’re a mom -
particularly if your friends are moms as well! It’s sad because it feels like you drift apart, but it doesn’t
need to be that way! Whenever you have some free time, try and arrange something with friends.
Even if it’s just a quick little chat in Starbucks for half an hour - it’s better than nothing. Heck, even a
phone call will suffice - if there’s no other option!

Obviously, everything depends on their schedule as well as yours, but there’s bound to be at least an
hour during the week where you and one friend are free together. For me, this is a very productive
use of your time as you get to be social once more. Having a child is the biggest blessing anyone
could wish for, but there are times when you can feel alone. So, seeing your friends for an hour or
so per week is exactly what you need to strike a balance between being a mom with responsibilities
and just being your old self for a bit. You’ll laugh, catch up, exchange stories - and might even get
some advice if they’re also moms with experience.

Take some time to relax

Lastly, one of the best ways to be productive with your free time is to just relax! I know, this sounds
entirely against everything I’ve been saying as you don’t really do anything when you rest. So, how
is this productive? Well, it’s a productive way of using your time to refresh and regenerate! It’s rare
that you get a chance to just lie down or sink into a big armchair and not have anything to worry about.
This stops your brain from frying, which will work wonders for your mental health.

If you never take time to relax, then your stress levels regularly go on an upward path. At some point,
you’re going to have a breakdown of sorts as you’re just not taking care of yourself. You don’t have to
laze around for hours, just take half an hour or so to recharge your mental batteries. There are loads
of things you can do to relax- I enjoy reading books, particularly parenting ones as you can learn stuff
while you chill! If reading doesn’t do it for you, then there’s some advice on that
gives a few more relaxation ideas. Also, I’ve linked a video above this for a nice relaxing yoga routine
that I think is well worth doing whenever you have some time spare.

On that note, you’ve come to the end of my guide. It’s worth pointing out that my definition of ‘free time’
is any time in your day where you’re not looking after your child in some way. If you feel like you never
have any free time, then make some for yourself! Call your parents and ask them to take care of your
child for a little while so you can do some of these things. These tips will help you make the most out
of any spare time you have, which ultimately leads to you feeling more fulfilled.

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