How are you doing with taking care of yourself?
If you’re like most mompreneurs, self-care comes last on your list.
Think not? Okay, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about working moms:
- 35 percent of all solo entrepreneurs are women, and their numbers are increasing by 23 percent annually according to the Apollo Research Institute.
- 94% of self-employed (aka solo entrepreneurs) utilize a home office for their business (Source: NASE).
- Women average 21 hours of paid work time and spend an average of 18 hours per week on household chores. (2007 Pew Survey Data).
- Mothers spend 13.5 hours per week with children (in 2011), yet more than a third of those surveyed feel they don’t spend as much time as they want with the kids.
- Working moms spend about six hours more in household work and an additional three hours more in child care than their male partners, says the analysis, by the Pew Research Center.
What does all this mean?
The division of labor for a ‘typical’ 2-parent family has shifted in a positive direction for women over the past fifty years and in general, we have a more holistic sense of how we define ‘providing’ for our families. Yet, mothers still do more housework and child care than fathers. And although overall work time for fathers (paid and unpaid) is more than for mothers today, fathers typically have almost three hours a week more leisure time than moms do (28 hours vs. 25).
Although these ‘leisure time’ figure above (21 hours/week) is surprisingly high (in my experience), I have to wonder whether moms include the time spent transporting kids to and from events (and sitting idly while kids participate), preparing food, picking up around the house – in that ‘leisure’ time.
Regardless, when you do the math of the time in a typical week, and then subtract a typical 16 hour weekend (21 – 16), that leaves an average of one hour per week day that moms can claim for themselves. (That number seems much more realistic to me).
[Tweet “If you do not take care of YOU, who will? #selfcare”]
If you do not take care of you… who will?
With everything that demands a mompreneur’s time, I’m living proof that self-care is a critical ingredient for sanity and success. When I consistently focus on business tasks and then add mom tasks to the list, I run out of time for rejuvenation. It doesn’t take long before I’m wiped out, tired, feeling terrible and resentful. I’ve learned that it’s so important to flip this triangle upside down so I fill myself up – and then can continue to give, nurture and support my family and my clients.
How to make the most of your leisure time
Most moms pride themselves as being ‘Multitasking Masters’. Managing many tasks and the ability to rapidly shift between priorities is a success indicator, but I would like to offer three strategies that can help you amp up your self-care.
1. Work during work time.
When you are working, work. Limit your social media time, manage your interruptions and do whatever it takes for you to stay focused. I’m always amazed when my clients are actually accountable to their time – and report their surprise at how much they complete in a span of 20 minutes. Try it for yourself. Split your work time into twenty minute segments, shut down your distractions – and get going on your most important task. See what happens!
2. Play during play time.
When it’s time to play, HONOR that time. If it’s game night at home, turn off your phone or iPad… and just be in present to the playtime. If it’s time at the gym, leave your phone in the locker – and get busy with your work out. I’m always amazed at the number of people who allow their phones and social media to creep into their workout routine.
3. Do one thing that you love daily.
What do you LOVE to do? What activities truly nurture you? Make your own ‘Love Myself’ list of go to activities, and plan to do one daily for the next week. At the end of the week, reflect on your happiness quotient and see how it is affected by spending more time being present and doing things you love.
For today’s mompreneurs, if you don’t focus on you, who will?
We live in a frenetic time where access and priorities are consistently pushing our human limits. Self-care doesn’t just happen. It takes intention and consistent action to put yourself first on your list of priorities so you are able to replenish and renew your own resources.
Which area do you need to focus your attention on? Work, Play or Nurturing yourself? Please share your comments.
Image courtesy of Flare/FreeDigitalPhotos.net