So, who’s in charge of your calendar? That may seem like a ridiculous question, but how many times have you heard yourself or someone else say, “I don’t have time for ____.”
When we say we don’t have something, we are admitting that we have a limited amount and there’s no way to get more. And sometimes that’s true. When we have $500 in the bank and someone wants $600 from us, we don’t have that money. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get the money! Think about it: if the $600 was needed to save our child’s life, we would get the money. Even when something is finite, we can choose to be in control of it or at its mercy. And time has very little mercy. So how can we be in charge of our time?
First, we need to look at our language.
Many years ago, I decided to stop using the phrase “I don’t have time for that.” Instead, I said “I don’t make time for that,” or “I don’t want to spend time on that.” I brought the responsibility for my time and how I spent it into my control just through my word choices. Because once we are adults, we are in charge of the decisions we make and how we spend our time.
That doesn’t mean we’re completely free of constraints. We must live within the context of our choices and actions. For example, when I had a child, I made a choice to give up a large portion of time to motherhood.
However, how we spend our time as a mother is entirely within our control.
We may choose to be stay at home moms, spending all day with our children, educating, caring, and playing with them. We may choose to be working moms, delegating a portion of our child’s care and education to other people, either family members or professionals. But all moms, regardless of their employment status, face limited time. Even stay at home moms have to do non-child related tasks, which means we all must decide how best to spend our time with our children. And this leads me to my next point: Honesty.
In order to be in control of our calendars, we must be honest about our choices.
As a working mother, I am honest with myself about the fact that choosing to have a job means that I delegate some of the “raising” of my child to others. My child spends several hours a day with other authority figures who are teaching her how to interact with others, among other things. I was very careful in how I selected those people, but ultimately, I accept the fact that I am not in total control over what she is learning. I’m not saying that this is the best way for everyone; what I am saying is that in order to be sane, we need to be honest about the consequences of our choices.
What about when our choices are “forced” upon us? I know moms who want to stay at home but need to work instead. It is true that sometimes we don’t have the privilege to freely choose everything about our life and our commitments. In that case, we need to learn how to accept and embrace reality.
Wherever you find yourself, you can be happy.
Examining your language and being brutally honest with yourself are two steps towards that possibility. To learn more, why don’t you give me a call? (Choose the Breath of Fresh Air option).