Time: are there ever enough hours in the day?
When you’re a farmwife, mother of two little girls, horse lover, and self-employed, having enough time can feel like an endless battle. Some days I think if I could survive on perhaps 4-6 hours of sleep I could get everything done because right now, something always seems to have to be pushed to the back burner. And for me, that something most often ends up being my horses.
When I try to be Superwoman, to do all of the things: to be productive at home, business, play with kids, love on my husband, chat with a friend, exercise, eat well, and ride my horse -- well I feel like a zombie by the end of it: absolutely exhausted and stretched too thin. Doesn’t this seem a bit counterproductive? At every new change in life, I’ve had to readjust my perspective on what my “new normal” is: when I married a farmer, got pregnant, had baby girl one, pregnant again, then baby girl two. All of these major life events made it feel literally impossible to get everything done!
Being a mother of two youngsters has definitely made things the most complicated. My girls are both young, so it's not as simple as “Go play, I’ll ride.” My oldest wants to ride with me, which makes my rides turn into leading her around. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is very important to me and I love it. But it's not me time. That is mother/daughter time, which is very different. My youngest is only eighteen months, so if she is awake, she needs someone to watch her. So, needless to say, it feels like so many things must fall into place perfectly for me to just be able to ride!
Enter: frustration and feeling powerless.
To me, horses keep me sane. They have always been my safe place, my haven, ever since I was a young child. My go-to pick-me-up as a stressed-out teen was riding. Horses got me through depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. Horses are my passion. So when I struggle to have the time, it only makes sense that my inner dialogue isn’t as positive as it should be. I feel anxious and stressed much easier, and have a shorter temper. So I know just how important it is for me to get my self-care.
One of the biggest changes I’ve made to help me through this was changing my expectations. Unmet expectations will always, and only, lead to feelings of disappointment and failure. When I started to be really honest with myself, to see, believe, and know in my gut that during this time of my life I will always have a juggling act -- it has finally become easier to accept. Now I want to be clear, this is not the same as resigning myself to never riding. This is me loving the fact that my children will only be small once. This is me knowing I will only be starting this growing business once. This is me loving every moment I get with my horse and counting it as a true blessing and not that I have fallen short of my goals. I changed my goals for myself, to work with my life today. And the beauty of it is I know I can change my goals as often as needed. And that is completely OK.
In addition to changing my expectations, I started to do these three things which have helped me have a bit more sanity within the chaos of being a farm wife and a mother. If you would like to see what has worked for me, you can get my guide for Finding Time.
What are your tricks for finding time? Share with us, you never know how shining your light will help someone else.