It’s a question that mothers and fathers have been asking for a long time – can you have a fulfilling full-time career, exercise, have a social life and raise children at the same time? I would argue that you can do a lot but not all - at once.
As parents, we need to make decisions about what makes us happy and take action. You spend a lot of time thinking about your children or your spouse and what makes them happy. But you need to consider what makes you tick, because if you’re not healthy and happy, those around you will not be either.
Maybe regular exercise keeps you mentally sound. If that’s the case, make time to do it before work or after the children are in bed. Take the dog for a walk, climb stairs, use YouTube or workout videos. Maybe you escape from the daily grind by reading a good novel or watching a movie. Do it in the evening. Perhaps you can have family reading or movie time, depending on how old your children are. Or wait till the young ones are in bed. If you crave social interaction, find a well-recommended baby-sitter and get out with your spouse or friends. The more you do it, the easier it is. If this is not an option, arrange for family outings with friends and their families or invite them to your house for a potluck.
So how do you get the dreaded cleaning and cooking done? Make or plan out a few large meals (homemade or otherwise) for the coming week on Sunday. The cleaning can wait. If you can’t wait, engage those youngsters and your spouse so it gets done faster and gives you more time to relax on the weekend. Above all, take care of yourself and your needs, because no one knows you as well as you do and only you can make yourself truly happy.