Making Space for YOU as a Working Parent

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As a working parent, it can be challenging to make space for YOU in your schedule. You have so many responsibilities, schedules, needs, and people to manage, that it can feel impossible to find the space to take care of yourself and do what lights you up. In this blog post, I’m sharing a few of my favorite tips and actionable strategies to help you balance it all and find space for more of what you love in your daily schedule. 

Why It’s Challenging to Make Space for YOU

So often, I hear from people that they are struggling to get everything on their to-do list done while taking the time to eat, sleep, exercise, hit their 10,000 steps, take care of their family, cook great meals, and so on. However, the truth is, we tend to make space for everyone else’s to-dos and forget to make empowered decisions with our time which puts OURSELVES on the agenda. We put the to-dos for ourselves off until everyone else’s is done. 

Oftentimes, that leads to physical and mental stress and burnout. We feel a constant weight on our shoulders and in our bodies that we shouldn’t feel. If you are experiencing that, it’s time to draw a line in the sand and prioritize putting yourself on your agenda, because if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you show up as your best self and take care of others? Life is meant to be enjoyed, and the more space you create for YOU, the more you’ll be able to be present in the everyday moments and contribute to this life you’re living with purpose and joy. You’ll be able to give others the BEST of you, not the rest of you. 


Tips for Making Space for YOU as a Working Parent

If you’re a working parent that is looking to make space for you in your daily schedule, check out these tips to help you commit to and stay accountable to doing just that. 


Audit your Schedule

The first tip is to audit your agenda, planner, and calendar and take stock of what’s going on. Ask yourself if what’s on there is really important to you. Look for areas that you can make treating yourself and taking care of yourself a priority. That needs to be scheduled in FIRST. It’s also key to ensure that you add space to your schedule to recharge. Remember, it’s okay to have blank space in your calendar, which is especially important for type A people to remember. That downtime is key to bringing better energy and focus to the next item on your calendar. You are a gift to the world and you owe it to yourself and to others to make space for you. 


Decide to Flip the Switch

Many of us have it ingrained in us from our childhoods that we need to sacrifice ourselves to be helpful, understanding, and tolerant of others at all times. While it’s great to be all of those things, it can’t come at the expense of your own mental, emotional, and physical health. We have to make the conscious decision to flip the switch and take care of ourselves first. If we don’t make that decision for ourselves, life will flip it for us when we reach the point of burnout and physical illness. 


Develop a Journal Practice

It’s so important to develop a journal practice to keep yourself grounded and operating in gratitude. Even if you just take 2 minutes a day to sit with your thoughts and journal, it will transform your mindset. You can play music while you journal to really get your endorphins going and set yourself up for a great day. You can write down how you’re feeling, what you’re grateful for, what you’re looking forward to, or use a journal prompt to guide you. The key is finding a journal practice that works for you, brings you joy, and makes YOU feel inspired.  


Lean into Your Senses

Another great way to make space for you is to lean into your senses. Go on a walk and pay attention to what’s in nature all around you. Notice the trees, the sound of the birds, the smell of the flowers, etc. Turn on a podcast and treat yourself to inspiration and personal development. By incorporating movement and your five senses into your day, you can reconnect to your inner self and reset your body and mind. 


How Making Space for YOU as a Working Parent is Different For Men and Women

The process for finding time to incorporate space for you in your life and schedule is different for everyone, whether it's working men or working women. Everyone’s life and responsibilities are different. 


Men and women tend to plan differently because of the way they’re wired, so you have to find what works for you both in your household and as an individual, communicate it to your partner, and motivate each other to make yourselves a priority. As working parents, you have to work together to share the responsibilities so you can each make space for yourselves while caring for your family and tending to your work life. It’s a team effort.


It’s easy to see other people’s routines and try to make them work for you, but if that’s not how you’re wired, it will never feel good to you. When you accept the way you’re wired and become aware of how you work, it becomes easier to take the aligned action steps that help you thrive.


If you need help identifying your planning style and productivity archetype, you can take our FREE quiz over on Ponderlily. Knowing your planning type is key, but it’s also important to know that it can change in different seasons of life. What makes you feel productive in one season may be completely different in another season, and that’s okay. 


As couples, it’s important to talk about your planning style and routines so you can be on the same page and know what works best for each person. Have open, honest conversations about what you need and how you can help each other make space for yourselves in your schedule and set yourselves up for success. 


Using Intentional Planning to Make Space for You

Making space for you in your schedule is made easier when you have an intentional planning routine and a planner that allows you to make space for meaning in your life. I created the Ponderlily planners to be just that for people so they can lead and live fulfilling, balanced, healthy, joyful lives. 


The Ponderlily planners have sections aimed at keeping your vision board at the forefront of your mind while taking aligned action to reach those goals and making space for YOU. There are also journal prompts to help you stay connected to yourself, inspired, and grateful. These planners go beyond the everyday to-dos and help you focus on the bigger picture of what you want in life by making your intentions your guided actions. There is also space for you to recharge in the planners. If you are looking for an intentional planner, you can check the planners out here

If you need more support in making space for YOU as a working parent, feel free to book a consultation with me to work through it together!

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