Our Christmas tree is still up.

As is the entire Christmas village.

Our washing machine is still broken, but I think we are (finally!) free of the lice.

I have a two day business trip out of town and my husband is lugging our laundry into work so he can borrow their machine and dryer so that I can have clean underwear for said trip.

Real life, man. It looks the same whether it’s a new month, a new week or a new year, doesn’t it?

Our kids got a ton of “project” gifts this year. They LOVE them some arts and crafts but what that translates into is that Peter and I end up helping assemble exploding volcanoes and hand stitching the doll crafting kit.

They’re on the verge of being able to manage that themselves, but are not quite there yet. So, their craft table is strewn with the guts of a whole lotta projects that have all been opened and all the parts handled and pieces explored and then not quite super effectively packed into cookie trays and baking sheets to await some extra time from mom or dad to finish it up.

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So if you asked me to sum up parenting these days, I could do it in two words: Stop. Go.

It’s also one of my all time biggest, makes you wanna tear our your hair and wail in desperation parenting frustrations.

And one of the reasons I’m most likely to lose my mom temper. How just as I begin one thing there’s someone who needs me to stop what I’m doing and help them with something different.

I sit down to write and someone has a meltdown because they can’t find that one last Lego part for their new construction. I find the Lego and run into the little sister with the sad eyes because her doll still isn’t finished. And she’s going to sit there and watch every stitch till it is. By then it’s time to start dinner and there are a trail of dirty cups lining the counter that have to be loaded into the dishwasher before there’s room to start cooking. But before that can happen the dishwasher needs to be unloaded. And right in the middle of all that someone will inevitably need to have their butt wiped or their spelling checked or their school report card signed.

Stop. Go. Stop. Go. times infinity.

You know what I mean, right?

The improbable odds that mom will snatch any consecutive patch of time to herself today. 

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Time seems to trickle through my fingers like so much quicksand and it’s the fastest way to make my head explode. If by the end of a very long stop-go day I haven’t had any legitimate time of my own, I start to feel myself going into meltdown mode.

A mom’s biggest challenge and her biggest essential is — time to herself. 

It’s also the hardest thing to do.

It’s why I hope you start your year being intentional about your time. Your time for you.

I’m not talking time-management here. I’m talking permission.

My prayer for all the weary moms this year is that we’d give ourselves permission:

Permission to make space in your day for you.

Permission to let go of self-imposed pressures.

Permission to get rid of guilt and comparison.

Permission to make time for yourself this year.

Permission to pursue your passions.

Permission to take care of your mind, body and soul.

Permission to embrace help.

Permission to make time for community.

Permission to give thanks and choose joy.

And we all know that none of that is gonna happen unless we make it happen. And I can feel you shaking your head and thinking to yourself, “impossible! It’s more likely I’ll lose all that holiday weight in the next week than figure out a way to make time for myself a reality.”

But here’s the thing. My friend Jessica Turner is a full time working mom of three kids as well as a blogger, speaker and writer. And she is also my permission mentor. Jessica gets busy. She gets tired. And because she gets those things she decided she needed more room in her life for time for herself.

And after years spent figuring out how to put that kind of permission into practice she wrote a book sharing what she learned and how women can use their fringe hours in ways that enrich their lives.

Right there in the middle of the stop-go.

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The Fringe Hours is her book that started with a survey of more than 2,000 women to see how we spend our time. And then it empowers you to take back the fringe hours–those little pockets of time you already have in your day–in order to make time for your passions and practice self-care. Packed with tons of real life examples, it’s a must-read for any woman who feels at her wits end from wishing she had more time in the day!

It’s companion book, My Fringe Hours, just released and is part study guide, part personal journal, part mission statement, tailored to you, your life, your story, and your hopes and dreams. It’s the starting point for a year where you can plan to be intentional in giving yourself permission to make time for the things that matter to you. The things that are so often lost in the stop-go days.

Seriously, stop doubting it’s possible and wasting more time this year wishing you had time for you. It’s time to take time back!

This book is the place to start.

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My Fringe Hours is just the right size to fit in your diaper bag or purse, it’s pretty, it’s full of practical ways to track how you’re spending time and suggestions for how to make your time work better for you. 

It’s like a personalized research tool for understanding how you spend your time. It comes with a free weekly time tracker and will help you figure out:

  • What items are non-negotiables (i.e., work, taking kids to school, etc.)?
  • What time was wasted?
  • What activities could be streamlined in your schedule?
  • Are you doing too much? Do you need to say no more?
  • Did you do anything just because it would have made you feel guilty to not do
  • it?
  • Would it be helpful to ask for or hire help for any of the things you spent time on during the week?
  • Did you take time for yourself? If so, how much time?

And this week, Amazon has both books on sale! Happy New Year to us!!

Click here to Buy My Fringe Hours – the beautiful hardcover, personal journal, time tracker and companion – on sale for $11.06.

Click here to buy The Fringe Hours – the Kindle edition is on sale this week only for $2.99. Ack, Amazon discounted it AGAIN and the kindle edition is now ONLY $1.99!  (I have no clue how long the sale will last. I’d grab it while you can!)

Forget resolutions. This year maybe it’s time to give ourselves permission. Permission to take back some of that stop.go time and make it work smarter, kinder, healthier for you. 

 

With thanks to Revell for sponsoring today’s post; all opinions on the importance of building in time each day for moms to recharge are my own deeply held beliefs.

 

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