It’s been a long day full of errands and chores around the house. You’ve just walked in the door and all three of your kids, who are under 5 by the way, are tired and hungry, and are sporting full diapers.
Waves of exhaustion roll over you like steamrollers over tar on a hot summer afternoon. You’ve learned to function on 4 hours of sleep a night.
But it’s okay because you understand the phase of life that you are in. Your family needs you and there are still beautiful moments in every day. Like the time when your oldest was teaching her sibling how to nurse her Cabbage Patch doll like mommy, or the time your second oldest tried to give the baby some goldfish crackers she found on the floor.
Or even the time when your oldest was sitting in a high chair and accidentally knocked over a bowl of food which caused you to lunge forward only to bump into the near by cabinet and knock a KNIFE of the top shelf that flew into the air and landed on your child’s highchair tray leaving you completely stunned and nearly shaking with gratitude to the angels that protected your child.
Wait those are my memories.
Do any of those sound familiar? Well I hope the knife one doesn’t. I mean so random right. I’m getting chills just remembering.
Btw, she’s 11 now and just fine. Very well adjusted if I do say so myself. Even if her mom who an actor and has invented random characters for her entertainment since youth.
Ahem. Moving on.
If your life sounds anything like this than the idea of making extra time for the things you love to do can seem ridiculous. Almost like when someone asks you when you are going to have your next child while you are still nursing the first one.
I MEAN COME ON! The uterus is still warm, people.
As an actor-filmmaker-blogger-mom of three-married for 12 years-part time working mother. I TOTALLY understand the struggle. So here are my top 3 tips on how to make time for your passions with a young family.
1. Ask for help
This is going to be the first one because it was the hardest for me to remember to do. I never thought that someone would actually watch the kids for me for some other reason than if I had to work or go to the doctor or if I was sick. I always felt like there had to be this super charged event going on in my life to warrant asking my mother in law or a friend to watch the kids for a few hours. But I was wrong. Asking someone to help you with the kids at a regular time every week is totally okay. Let them know that you want to have some time to work on something that’s really important to your sanity. I think most people who love and care about you want you to be a happy healthy momma. And if that means taking 3 hours on a Saturday morning to workout, garden or write your book then they will support that!
2. Include the kids
My passion is acting. It’s great but the problem is that it takes a lot of time to rehearse for a play or film for a movie. So when the kids were little I would practice acting by reading their stories with full on character voices. They loved it and I loved seeing them love it. It was magical and I got to practice. One of those characters survived for 7 years and is an integral part of my one woman show Sweatpants and High Heels. (Her name is Sha-T, my older, wisecracking Indian Auntie) If you love to paint, get the kids finger painting next to you.
If you love bake, let them work on their own creations next to you in the kitchen. If you love to play in a band, get them a toy guitar so they can rock out with you at rehearsals. Finding ways to include your kids will also spark dreams and creativity in their little lives as well!
3. Make Your Passion a Priority
As a mom you have a lot of fires to put out every second of every day. There are some things that HAVE to be a priority like making sure the kids are safe and fed. But there are things that can wait like laundry and dishes (yes I said it!)
Instead of always rushing to pick up every crumb after the kids or stay up on the laundry do like Elsa says and “Let it go”. Seriously.
If you see yourself heading to the sink turn right around and head to your easel or your book or your guitar and give yourself 30 minutes to enjoy your passion. Your passions are part of your own wellness and your wellness is important to keeping the family going. So don’t downplay the importance of your passion!
Making time for your passion isn’t something that will come easily but it will come if you give it attention. Give yourself grace knowing that in this phase of life you might not have tons of time to dedicate to doing what you enjoy. But as the children grow so will your flexibility.
You never know what could happen! One day you might find your self onstage looking out into the theater house and seeing your oldest kid running the lights to your show. All because you sparked an interest of theater within her while you were making up all those characters when she was a little girl
Dija is an actor, filmmaker and blogger living in Indiana with her three children and husband of 12 years. Dija is the creator of Sweatpants and High Heels which is a comedic almost one woman show for moms who have big dreams. You can find her blogging about her creative journey and to inspire other creatives who want to change the world over at The Inspired Cafe.