My life was too busy. My kids needed a lot of support and attention. We were facing some major challenges in our family. There is only so much time and money to go around. I am so far behind as it is. There were at least a dozen reasons why I did not think time for me was possible. But I knew that saying “you cannot pour from an empty cup” rang true for me. I started small, with 5 minutes. I gave myself 5 minutes every day to just breathe, maybe listen to some music, or sit in silence. At first those 5 minutes were hard to find. I had to wake up a little earlier or sit in my car when I turned in to my neighborhood before I got to my street. Then, I started to see opportunities in other places like arriving a few minutes early to pick up my kids from Cross Country or Cheer practice to sit on the bench and read a little (I keep my book in the car) or walk around the practice field for few minutes and enjoy the sunshine when we were blessed to have it. 
It seemed no one missed me for those few minutes and so I looked for those opportunities wherever I could find them. Then, when I realized those few minutes were like a breath of fresh air and gave me a little pick me up for whatever was waiting, I got even more purposeful about it. I plan to be done by a certain time each night, or close to it, and even if I want to fall in to bed, I give myself 15 minutes to sit down, after my evening routine, and do something for me. I’ll admit, at first, I fell asleep sitting there having “quiet time” but it didn’t take long for me to just enjoy the time, maybe with a cup of tea and a book or maybe with only my thoughts. I needed that time to unwind and clear my head before I went to bed.
My husband and I realized we needed time for us too when we weren’t packing lunches, cleaning up after kids, or completely exhausted. We have date nights (or lunches when schedules allow), and although we couldn’t seem to manage weekly we try to do it to twice a month. We get the kids a pizza and head out to dinner. We are fortunate to have teenagers (I never thought I would say that) who can help look after their younger siblings for a few hours. I know it can be hard to find childcare, but when family or friends ask what they can do to help, take them up on their offer and ask them to babysit for a couple of hours. If it’s hard to get out, put the kids to bed early and have dinner with your partner in your dining room using the “good dishes” or eat pizza on tv trays in front of a good movie. Put it on the calendar like you would any important item on your schedule, because it is absolutely as important as all the other appointments and reminders you have on there. 


  — A Fisher