Our guest blogger this week is Nicole Avery (aka Planning With Kids ). With five children aged 12, 10, 7 (only girl!), 5 and two, Nicole has managed to turn her blog into her job, thanks to phenomenal organisation skills. Fortunately for the rest of us, she shares her secrets in her book Planning With Kids, showing working parents how to become more organised - and leave more time for parenting. (Check it out here.) Today, Nicole talks about how to make more time for friends.
During July 2011, 671 women across Australia aged between 25-49 took part in a survey conducted by Ipsos Marketing. It looked at how women were spending their time and how they felt about their division of time. The survey was commissioned by Baileys and the report has some interesting findings: Only 5% of an Australian woman's week is spent with friends; 59% of women would go to the female friends for support; 70% of women would like to spend more time with their friends.
Of late I haven’t spent as much time as I would like with some of my closest friends. It isn’t because I don’t think my family can’t cope without me, but because I haven’t prioritised very well. Something a couple of friends and I have done recently to make sure we see each other more regularly is to book in a regular morning each month. Blocking it out in the calendar makes sure it will happen.
Every time I catch up with my girlfriends I feel recharged, connected and calmer. I have known them for so many years (one since when I was in kinder!) and they make me feel grounded no matter how crazy everything might be at the time. Love them lots – just need to see them more!
I did a quick calculation to work out what percentage of time I spend on my own interests. If you don’t include blogging, then it is about 7%, but I love blogging and spend some of my “work” time reading blogs etc so it is hard to determine if that is not part of personal interest too??? But in our house I think Mr A would only spend about the same amount of time on his personal interests as well. That is when he is not training for a really ridiculously long bike race, of course!
I know many women who feel this stress, but I have always had the support of my husband to make sure I take time out for myself. This time for me is at the gym and it has been the best way for me to manage the stress – because I do get stressed when I have looming deadlines, sick kids, personal commitments all happening at the same time.
Do you have the balance in your life that allows you to spend enough time with your friends?