19 Feb 2015

If You’ve Ever Struggled to Find Time for Yourself While Caring for Everyone Else You Need This Book!

If you’ve been following me on Facebook you know that we’re coming off several nights of the puke/sleep/puke/beg God for mercy/puke cycle with one of our kids.

It’s left both Pete and I with the worst kind of two am parenting hangovers. But the world and the long list of to-dos and the laundry and the neighbor kids and the nerf gun wars and the basketball practices and the work deadlines don’t pause long enough for us to spend the next several days napping and catching up on sleep like we used to do back in college.

I’ve been dragging. I skipped the shower this morning so I’d have extra time to sleep in.

And Pete will be out of town the rest of the week and on Saturday alone Zoe has her first ballet lesson and both boys have basketball games as well as a Bible quizzing practice they’re supposed to be at.

Suffice it to say if we make it to three out of those four I’ll consider it a miracle.

Because we’ve also had two snow days this week as well as the public holiday on Monday.



And the evenings spent teaching my middle son the fine art of how aim your puke into a bowl beside the side of your bed.

Oh man, I forgot how rough those nights are. And how heart breaking it is to hear your gagging, retching child whimper, “I’m going to DIE” as they are so shocked by what is happening to them and you’re so helpless to make it better. I bring mine a comfy rug to sit on in front of the toilet, a soft rag for wiping the mouth and a cup of water close by for rinsing out the mouth. And then I whisper all the, “please please please God let it stop” prayers.

And then I am always stunned and amazed when they stroll through the next morning asking for pancakes.


In the midst of all of this and in between two work deadlines I had two hours when all three kids were with friends. I could have used that time to catch up on work. I could have used it to wash the dishes. I could have used it to sort the laundry that’s been sitting waiting to be folded in the hallway for two days now.

But I didn’t.

You know what I did?

I went to Panera. Because – BAKED POTATO SOUP.

And coffee.

And warm, fresh baguettes that actually brought tears to my eyes they were so comforting when dipped into that soup.

I went to Panera to listen to music and read and remember that I’m a human being and not just a half-dead mommy/employee/writer/wife. So far it ranks about the best decision I’ve made this week.

And I did it because of this book.


This amazing book I’ve been waiting to read ever since my friend Jessica Turner said she was writing it.

It’s called The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You and if you’ve ever struggled to find time for yourself in the midst of taking care of everyone else (HELLO EVERY MOTHER I’VE EVER MET!) YOU NEED THIS BOOK!!! For real.

This is NOT a book about doing more. It’s a book about empowering women to do more for themselves.


I know how you are stretched paper thin.

I know how you can’t remember the last time you took time just for you. For that thing that you love doing.

I know that you struggle with feeling guilty about prioritizing yourself in the midst of all the family priorities you’re juggling.

But here’s what I’m learning – A family can’t keep on running when the mom is running on empty. (Yea, go ahead and click to tweet that – so many of us need the reminder).

That’s what The Fringe Hours is about – Making Time for You.


In Jessica’s words:

Every woman has had this experience: you get to the end of the day and realize you did nothing for you. And if you go days, weeks, or even months in this cycle, you begin to feel like you have lost a bit of yourself.


This is a good word, friends. And the book comes packed with practical suggestions for discovering the nuggets of unused time in your day that you can put to good use for the things you love.

This isn’t about taking a five day trip to Cancun (although, how blissful would THAT be) – it’s about a realistic understanding of a woman’s schedule and how to make the most of the little bits of time on the fringes that can add up to a whole lot more refreshment, inspiration, and rest than maybe we’ve realized.

This book empowers women to take back pockets of time they already have in their day in order to practice self-care and do the things they love. Jess uses her own experiences and those of women across the country to teach us how to balance our many responsibilities while still taking time to invest in ourselves.

I love that she also addresses all the road bumps on the way to this lifestyle, such as comparison and guilt, and demonstrates how eliminating these feelings and making changes to our schedules will make us better wives, moms, and friends.

It’s the reason I always have a book with me now for reading while waiting at basketball practices or in the car.

It’s the reason I choose NOT to clean my house once the kids are all finally asleep because those quiet hours are GOLD and I much prefer to spend them on the things I love, instead of the things I feel obligated to do. (But goodness if you love cleaning and it soothes and restores your soul, get at it!)

It’s the reason I take hot baths while reading my favorite book way late at night (maybe you’re a morning person and you love the early fringe hours – I am NOT that girl).

It’s the reason I’m at Panera right now writing to you all instead of mopping all the dried snow muck off our floors. Because this fills me up, this makes me feel like myself again, this gives me the energy to go another round with upset stomachs tonight.

Seriously, this book is perfect for any woman who is doing everything for everyone–except herself.

Click here to pick up your copy of The Fringe Hours

Click here to join Jessica and The Fringe Hours book club.

(Amazon affiliate links used – gushing entirely my own).



{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1

    Hi, Lisa Jo. I love this post! My oldest is almost five and I have never been able to figure out how to get to a point where I have enough time for myself, my husband, my hobbies… basically anything but my kids. I’ve spent a lot of time praying lately because I NEED something more in my life. Something for me. And when opportunities do come up, I find that I shy away because I’m afraid I won’t be able to find enough time to keep any commitments outside of pouring Cheerios and changing diapers. Yes, you are right – I so need this book!

    • 2

      Hey there Lisa, I so get that tension. But I’m also learning that I love better if I’m filled up – when I’m empty I’m just a pretty crabby mommy. Praying you find that margin to celebrate what you love in the fringe hours too!

  2. 3
    Kristin Y. says:

    Dear Friend(bc, you feel like one)~
    Today, I’m inspired to write to you. I subscribe to your blog and, honestly, I don’t have time to read most posts.(I’m sure I shouldn’t admit to that-but, there it is.)Which is a shame bc, most topics resonate, soundly, with me, when I do. (I’m, always, amazed at how you open yourself up to us & we find parts of ourselves in your posts…in you.) Today’s title caught my eye. I took a couple minutes & read. First, I found myself commiserating with you-my 6yr. old daughter, just, had a GI bug & watching her go through that, while, just, wishing I could take the awfulness away for her is one of those “mom moments”, I wish, we all didn’t have to go through. And, like you said-you can’t hit “pause”, on the rest of life, bc, you’ve been up all night emptying buckets, getting cool wash clothes, etc. Second, I’m, so, glad to hear that you & others, have that feeling of being everyone else’s “someone”-someone’s wife, someone’s mom, some troop’s “cookie mom”, etc., but, not having time or taking time to be “someone” of your own. (It’s been a while, since I ignored all the “should’s” & went with a “want”. It feels selfish-why?) With a hub, that travels for a living, having to be that sole parent, often overshadows being a person, in my own right. And, I allow it to happen, too much. (Sometimes, being someone’s “someone”, is easier than finding out what your own soul needs. And, sometimes, you’re, just, too exhausted to even search..) Of course, then, you find yourself writing a book, to a person you’ve never met, in real life. What I’m trying to say, is “thank you”-for sharing that part of your life & for sharing this book. I’m sure, it will take me, a while, before I “prioritize” myself, and get it. But, I, know, now, that it’s there and that I’m not alone. And, that’s, a lot. Thanks, for being you & letting everyone see the good & bad. ~K

    • 4

      Hey there Kristin – well wasn’t this so fun! Thank YOU for taking time out of the busy and the chaos and the bugs to encourage me – there is nothing as wonderful as getting to hear from the folks on the other side of the screen! Here’s to a weekend with at least one nap snuck into it, eh? : )

  3. 5

    Can I pass on a piece of genius from my husband, who was a single father when I met him? He’s an engineer and is always about the most efficient way to do anything. When his girls were small and one of those evil bugs was rampant in their house, he took a laundry basket and lined it with a large trash bag. Givess the child a larger area to aim for and the cleanup (if all goes well) is simply throwing away the bag. I was astounded at how sensible this was and have passed it on countless times. I hope your day goes smoothly tomorrow. Hng in there, Mama! You are doing great.

  4. 6

    My 10 month old had his first serious throwing up spell this week. Thankfully, it was 12 hours of the throwing up, but that was more than plenty. It is amazing how the tiredness hits you in full force. I already read Jessica’s book and I agree completely! We have to make time for ourselves – whether it’s 5 minutes or 2 hours – so we are renewed to care for our families. And yes, that means letting dishes wait sometimes. I’ve also had a complete shift with my nights after reading her book. Every woman should read this book – and yours! :-)

  5. 7

    This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that helped me.


  6. 8

    I am genuinely glad to read this website posts which contains tons of
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