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  • Mary-Sue Cowell

Carving Out Time

We are now into the third week of summer holidays. I am blessed to have the summer off from my full time gig and am able to spend it with my daughter and I love every minute; ok maybe not every minute. If I am being honest, which is what I am here for, I am finding it difficult to balance her needs and mine right now. Anyone feel what I am feeling with their own lives?

Summer goes by quickly and I want her to have all the experiences and fun before we head back into school in the fall. Covid has made her little life difficult. We moved to a new neighbourhood at the outset of Covid and as an only child not being able to explore the neighbourhood and meet new kids and friends was hard. Now, as things are opening up in the world I feel the pressure for her to have all the activity and time with other kids as she can. Supporting and creating opportunities for this falls on me during the summer as my husband is working. I also have my coaching business, some goals for myself and things I want to get done over the summer so finding time and feeling like we are both getting what we need in the, not really; but for lack of a better term, "parenting alone" and only child life is proving to be harder than I thought. This week I have put a few things in place that I hope will help and I thought could help you whether you have a child at home or not or need to balance your own needs with those of a partner, pet, parent, job, or simply your to do list.

Carving out time for me means:

  1. Everyday is not going to be balanced; and that is ok. Some days are skewed one way or another; however we can look at the next day/week and decide what we put into it and go from there.

  2. I need to incorporate "open" or "free" time for adventure or spur of the moment decisions because flexibility means less stress and if it is pouring rain I don't feel the need to go to the beach even if I had planned on it or if it seems like a great day for a hike instead of a bike ride that is great too!

  3. Plan an extra half hour around each scheduled event and don't over plan. I find in my world it always takes me a bit longer than I planned to pack to get ready to go somewhere or to complete a task so if I start it a half hour sooner or tack a half hour onto the end this should alleviate some of the panic. Even better if I know what is happening and need to pack some things I can do it the night before if it works. Trying to fit too many things in is stressful in and of itself so leave some things for another day.

  4. Remind myself that I am doing the best I can and the only pressure I have is really the pressure I am putting on myself.

  5. Enjoy the moments and be present. The days go quickly and are not guaranteed to us so I plan to enjoy, love and laugh through as many moments as I can. I am right where I am supposed to be.

I'll let you know how it goes and I hope you do the same. If you have any tips or tricks to carving out some time for yourself please share.

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