In the month of October, each Monday, I will be writing a post on gaining peace of mind.
The quanitity of time isn't as important as the quality of time. To do this though, we need to stop thinking of not having time for ourselves as some sort of badge of honor. In too many case, we look at doing too much or making too many sacrifices as a good thing; it shows our dedication. Yet, not taking time to rest and rejuvenate can make you fray around the edges. Your patience is short and if this goes on for too long you become resentful of the life you want so much.
You can make some time for yourself but it involves letting go of control and the desire for perfection - delegation. Spouses, family members, friends and even older children can be given some of your responsibilities. But you need to be able to let go. Here are three suggestions to make delegation easier.
1. Communicate your expectations but give some leeway. Let your son know that a clean kitchen means a swept floor, clean counter tops, no dishes in the sink and the garbage emptied. Let him know the time frame for completing that task (every night, after dinner before bedtime).Then allow him to do those things in his own way. Don't criticize because they do things differently or in another order than you. Focus on the end result and not the means for getting there.
2. Set a realistic bar. If you look for perfection both you (the delegator) and the one doing the work (the delegatee) will just be frustrated. Have a standard that they can meet and you can be happy with.
3. Don't just delegate boring and tedious tasks. Cleaning the kitchen is never fun, but maybe planning and cooking a meal or two a week is. Give a variety of assignments.
4. Show gratitude. Let them know that you appreciate what they are doing. You don't need to gush about it or put a bumper sticker on the car that says "My daughter does her chores." But a kind and thoughful word can go a long way.
5. Make your needs known. Let family members know that you need their help so that you can carve out a little bit of time for yourself. The only way people will know what you need is if you tell them!