The Four-Hour Rule

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Self-Care Who?

As a mom, why is it so hard to prioritize self care? It’s as if the concept of taking time for one’s self is both foreign and selfish. If I’m being completely honest, I’m often in this boat. Between working full-time and raising children full-time, it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the days or weeks for much else. So how can one even imagine, let alone require, “me time”? The struggle is real and “mom guilt” is to blame.

Mommy: Party of One

But what if we, as moms, actually took the time to schedule time for ourselves? What if we penciled it in as a standing appointment between tee ball games, dentist appointments, gymnastics meets, date nights, and play dates, with 100% commitment. No refunds; exchanges only. Zero cancellation allowed.

I know what you’re thinking. “Who has time to schedule time for themselves?” You may even be thinking, “I barely can find time to eat let alone find time for myself”.

What I’m suggesting isn’t anything elaborate, however (unless you would like for it to be and if so, Girl Do You!). My proposition is simply this: Try to create a four-hour window of time only for you.

The Four-Hour Rule

You may be reading this and thinking, “Where did she come up with four hours?” Honestly, years ago I came across a book (that I still haven’t gotten the chance to finish) called the Four Hour Work Week and I think the number four just stuck. Mom-brain at its finest, am I right?!

For me, four hours out of my Saturday morning works, but it will 100% look different for everyone. Maybe your four hours can only be two hours . Maybe you can schedule even more than four! Again, what this looks like is completely up to you, your schedule, and your household, so do what is most practical. This time may be weekly, bi-weekly, or once a month. Again, the frequency is completely up to you. The most important thing is that that time belongs only to you.

Now What?

Now that you’ve got the time down, what exactly should you do? Whatever your heart desires, mama! Schedule that mani/pedi that you swear you never have time for during your time slot. Take the spin class. Go to the coffee shop or bookstore and binge read uninterrupted. Maybe even take a nap! Yes, schedule a hot date with you and your pillow! Your spouse/partner won’t mind. They will probably even thank you for it later! For me, I live for my weekly Saturday morning yoga class followed by my quiet solo stroll through Target. It’s bliss.

Conclusion

Disclaimer: I am no self care expert. Most days I don’t have it figured out. Like a lot of mothers, I am way too hard on myself. I overcommit, am poor at boundaries, and burn out more often than I should. So, I know first hand just how vital making room for yourself is.

As moms we are blessed to not only help create life but also to nurture and watch our children grow. That is no small feat, and, therefore requires a healthy and whole you. So, take a little time this week to replenish, regroup, and reinvest. There is no one more worthy than you.

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Kiara is a small town girl raised in Oxford Alabama. She is a graduate of Stillman College where she received her Bachelors in Journalism and her Masters in Communication Management at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After graduating from UAB, Birmingham felt like home and she never left! She married her college sweetheart and resides in Chelsea with their daughter, Kinslee (5), newborn son Carson (2 months old), and their 8 year old Maltese Bentley. Kiara has been a human resource professional over the last decade and currently is the Human Resource Manager for Cintas Corporation. She is also the creator of the career/lifestyle blog Beauty & the Briefcase. In her very “limited free time” she enjoys travel, fine dining with friends, quiet uninterrupted sips of coffee, working out, yoga, and of course blogging.

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