Do you get frazzled because there isn’t enough time to do everything that being a parent asks of you, including time for yourself?
Does time become an issue that adds more stress to your day?
What if you could learn how to make time your friend and discover ways you can parent without the added stress of time?
Time flies, Time heals all wounds, Time stopping, wasting time, use your time wisely, time limits, Father Time, just enough time, spending time, measure time, time changes things, I don’t have time, I have too much time, Where did the time go? Take your time, Two at a time, Manage your time... and so it goes
These are all interesting concepts and sayings about time. Some of which we believe to be true and others not so much.
I like this quote from the book, The Time Keeper By Mitch Albom:
Parents all over the world live in added stress about time. They worry that their children are growing up too fast and that time is flying by. They get exhausted trying to fit in as much as they can in the minutes and hours of a day. The various demands of family life can pull at how to manage time and in doing so things that are important get put aside, like making time for self care. In all of this overwhelm, time becomes the enemy as if it is out to get us.
Let's explore more about this concept of time.
What are your beliefs or your experiences about time? Do you consider time something that you need to manage? Is time manageable? Is time your excuse for not doing things that you don't like to do? Does time give you clues about the value and priority of the things that you are choosing?
If our thoughts and points of view about something create our reality, then what is needed is to look at how you view time. We could enter into the theories of both physicists and quantum theorists, but what really matters is what is your point of view about time, how do you use it and what do you know about it that you haven’t acknowledge before.
What do I know about time:
For example: I know that when I am having fun, time seems to go faster. When I am bored, things go slower. From that I know that for me, it is beneficial to explore ways to make boring tasks more fun.
I also know that when I ask time to work with me, I can arrive to appointments faster than would be expected. I have been able to get across town, which almost always take at least 30 minutes, in half that time. From this I also know that time is not concrete, it is malleable, and will work with me, not against me.
Another thing know about time is that when I believe that I won’t have enough time for something, I won’t, and I will find myself anxious and stressed. But when I ask, what would it take to have more than enough time to complete or do what I want, it seems to show up.
Perhaps you have heard or even experienced that as you get older time seems to go faster. It would seem so to many people. We could ask some questions about that too. What do I know about getting older? Am I tapping into some undo anxiety about not having done all that I want to do and now I have less time available.
These are all interesting aspects about time that we can be aware of. Some of them project fear or lack of control, which can lead to anger and stress and doesn't allow you to make time your friend.
What if you were more aware of what you are creating with time? For instance, in reading anything from above, did you notice any change in your energy field, or in your body awareness? Does the very mention of time or time management bring you discomfort, unease?
Start by asking yourself-
"What do I know about time? What would I like to change about my relationship with time?" Do you find that you are feeling overwhelmed trying to meet time deadlines? What needs to change so that you can use time to your advantage?
On a vary basic level, time is an invention we use to measure and to give us structure. It allows us to have a point of reference for many things. It was created to give us more ease not dis-ease. We are the ones who misuse it or demand it to be more of what we want. It becomes our excuse. How many times have you made time your excuse?
Let’s talk about being late.
Another time complaint I hear from parents is, "We are always late, I can never seem to be on time." Take a look at what it is that keeps you being late if you truly desire to be on time. Is it a way to honor others who may be waiting for you? Do you worry about what others will say when you are late? Does getting your kids ready create a consistency of tardiness? What is required for you to be on time? What are your beliefs about being on time or being late?
Growing up I was taught that is it is wrong to be late. So then any time I was late or knew I was going to be late, I would go into heightened stress, which didn't help me at all. What I now know about being late is that it is a choice. I choose to be on time and when other things interfere with that, like a traffic jam, I don't make myself wrong and I do the best I can. I know it will all work out. I appreciate clients who honor me and my time by being on time for our appointments and meetings, but I also understand when things don't allow that to happen. I also know that for some people they just will not be on time. I know that about them, I don't judge them for it, I just know that I can expect that of them.
What do you want your children to know about being on time?
It isn’t a wrongness if you are late- it is a choice and with every choice it comes with a result and an awareness. If I am late to class, I may miss some of the day’s activities as well as some of the content that I will be tested on later. How does that work for me? For some kids, this is fine, because they don’t like school and struggle. It could also be that when I am late to school, I miss out on being with my friends. If it doesn’t have any value to be on time, it won’t likely change. Some people feel guilt or bad for being late, but in my experience, it doesn't make them be on time. Letting kids learn the results that occur when one is late and allowing them to experience those results and then asking them if that helps them or makes things harder will let them to come the awareness and the power to choose something different.
Be on the lookout that your children will be watching how you relate to time. If you make time your excuse, or you are always out of time are they learning how to use time to their advantage? Where can you guide them by asking questions that will bring more awareness about their relationship with time? How many kids look at time as an enemy- It's time for bed, time to brush your teeth, time to get up, time for... things that kids come to resent and do they associate time as the enemy? Ask your child how they would like to make Time their friend and see what ideas they have.
Making time your friend means
- Setting priorities: What’s most important, what matters most to you,
- Making choices about what you would like to do or accomplish and when
- Knowing what will contribute to your life,
- Being aware of the commitments have you made that you truly desire to honor and what commitments do you need to let go of?
Setting Priorities- Make a list of all the things in your life currently that truly matter to you. These can include people that you care about (please include yourself), your passions and work, your dreams for things you would like to be, do and /or have. Then take a look at what is needed to put some attention to each area and what will work for you.
If you have young children, you know that sometimes they may require more of your attention and time than they will when they are older. You can also be aware of how much time do they truly require from you and who else is in their life that can help with that. Each family is different, and each child is different. If you are devoting every waking moment to your child and never getting any time for anything else, you are going to be tired, exhausted, maybe even angry and resentful and this is not empowering your child but developing a dependency that affects both of you.
This is something you do have control over. Time does not control you, you get to use it to your benefit. You can get creative and ask, "How can I create more than enough time to play with my kids and go for a meditative walk?" As you ask that or a similar question, you open up the space for it to happen. You create it.
As you make it a regular practice to check in with what your priorities are and keep making adjustments to allow time to work for you to make those things happen, you will see that time indeed can be your friend. It can contribute to you in many ways as you observe the changes that occur over time. :)
Listen to the replay of Make Time Your Friend below for more tips that you can use to have more ease with time. Let me know what new ways you discover of using time for you instead of against you.