Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Busy Parent Needs to Take Time for Self-Care

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have way too much on my plate. I have a busy job. I have three kids and an injured husband. I volunteer at my church and at my kids’ school. This is what my mother did when I was growing up, so I thought that I was following in her footsteps. Honestly, I don’t know how she did it. I am exhausted, and I never seem to have time for myself -- whatever that means. I want to carve out even a little bit of “me” time, but I’m not sure how. Can you help? -- In Search of "Me" Time, Boston

DEAR IN SEARCH OF “ME” TIME: It can be tough to compare yourself to anyone else, especially your mother. You are your own person with your own abilities and limitations. Take a moment and evaluate your life. Record how you spend your days for about a week. Look for time that you may be able to spend more intentionally and for quiet moments that you can call your own.

This may require getting up a half-hour earlier than usual, before the family rises, so that you can take a bath, do some stretching, read a book, just be still. Claiming quiet moments can help you to feel calmer and more in control of your life. You may also want to make a list of your daily responsibilities so that you are clear about what has to be completed. Check off your list as you go through your day. This allows you to have some control over your activities, and it keeps you aware of what you have accomplished and what is left to be done.

Finally, even though your husband is injured, ask him to help in whatever ways he can. Ask for teamwork from him and your children. This will help you to feel less alone.