I recently attended the Thriving Mom Conference in Utah County put on by Lisa Andersen of Thriving Motherhood. Lisa was joined by Jody Moore, Georgia Anderson, and Ralphie Jacobs to speak about motherhood and what we can do to feel confident and thrive in our parenting.
The conference focused on 3 Guiding Principles:
- Managing your thoughts
- Learning and applying parenting techniques and tools
- Managing your time
Here is what I have learned from Lisa Andersen:
What is time-mapping?
Lisa Andersen is a mother who encourages other mothers to find more joy and purpose in raising children. She taught about time-mapping, which is exactly what it sounds like – mapping out your time every day.
- Help you to manage the expectations you have for yourself
- Increase the likelihood of “me time” (self care)
- Help you build relationships (with your children, spouse/partner, and others)
Time-mapping gives you an hour-by-hour breakdown of when you will do the things that you need to do versus a to-do list that is a never-ending list of things that you should do.
By planning your day by the hour, or half hour, you can create a plan to get the things done that you need to do, and then filter in your wants. Things that you need to do include: spending time with your children, time to yourself (me time), and spending time with your spouse/partner. If you are a working mom, then work must be in there too.
Always having the house clean and having a “perfect” dinner on the table by 5pm are NOT needs. And sometimes we only have time for one household chore in a day. And that is perfectly fine.
When you use time-mapping, it helps you feel proud of the things you did accomplish, like the one household chore you had on the map for the day, rather than being down on yourself for the things that you didn’t get done. Time-mapping is NOT a to-do list and you can only do so much in one day. Be proud of what you do accomplish.
Understand the 3 life stages
Another thing to note is that your time-map is going to look different when you are in different stages of life. Lisa gave three stages and shared how time-mapping can help you in each stage:
- Early-Stage Moms (with all kids at home – 5 yo or under): gives you a sense of purpose and direction
- Middle-Stage/Working Moms (some kids in school and some still at home): helps you to set realistic expectations and encourages mothering while balancing multiple demands
- Late-Stage Moms (all kids in school or out of the house): gives a combination of both
Depending on which stage of life you are in will make the difference between what your time-map will look like. Everyone’s time-map will be different. We all have different things that we need and want to get done in a day.
I loved that Lisa said this:
Don’t get down on yourself if everything doesn’t go as planned. The maps that you create are there to help give you direction for your day, not to cause you to stress. Do NOT fill them up unrealistically. Make sure to give yourself time to do the tasks. And be sure to give yourself and your children some free time.
Time-mapping can be super helpful in the summer by giving you structure in your days and not try to come up with things to entertain your children last minute.
How to time-map
If you’ve decided that time-mapping is something you need, then here is what Lisa said you need to do:
- Get a planner or a plain notebook that is dedicated for planning
- She recommends the Daily Purposeful Planner by Corie Clark
- Review the entire month at the beginning of the month
- This is when you put in all of the big-ticket items already planned
- Once a week plan big things
- Such as going to the pool or splash pad, going on a hike, etc
- Have a nightly review of your next day and plan it hour-by-hour
Lisa said that as you get used to time-mapping, it will only take a couple minutes each night. I have started doing this and I challenge you to do the same. Let me know how it goes.
I hope that my sharing what I have learned will help you as a woman and mother. I hope that by learning about time-mapping and putting it into practice that you feel more empowered and confident with the choices you are making.
You are powerful. I hope this article has helped you recognize the power that you already have within, and that you will join me in spreading that recognition to everyone you know.