Book Review & Giveaway: The Fringe Hours - Making Time For You

**Giveaway has ended**

"...if I loose sight of myself, the results are a downward emotional spiral that ultimately impacts all the other areas (and people) I work to serve."  ~ Jessica Turner, in 'The Fringe Hours'

I've been waiting for weeks to write this post, and somehow I'm still struggling to put into words how much this book has helped me to refocus my priorities and realize that self-care isn't selfish.  For the first few months after baby girls arrival, taking a shower seemed about as probable as me running a marathon.  So after too many days than I should admit, I would break down and tell Andy I just needed a few minutes.  Of course, he said of course go take a shower, take your time, etc....all those things supportive people say.  But my mind?  It told me things like...hurry up - you need to be there to help with the baby.  There are bottles to wash.  She needs to eat in an hour.  There's no time.  No time. No time for me.  But really?  I was becoming more frazzled the dirtier I got.  And not surprisingly I was shorter with my husband, had less patience for the crying baby, and just flat out didn't feel good about myself.  

Maybe your day to day situation is totally different than mine.  You're a single girl working hard, going to school, investing in relationships but keep taking on more because "we're supposed to".  The disease to please is a real thing.  Not everything good is good in each moment.  Investing in yourself is important.  Don't sacrifice it.  

The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You released this week & I am so thankful I took the time to read it.  Ten minutes here, five minutes there.  But I got it read and my life is so much better for it.  The author, Jessica Turner, is a mom of 3, works full-time outside the home, runs a super successful blog, and is a well-known speaker.  So if she can find time, what's my excuse?  She offers practical tips and talks through some of the barriers women tend to put in front of us that keep us from feeling the freedom & grace to care for ourselves.  You're biggest roadblock might be guilt and comparison.  As much as I love Pinterest, it really does bring me down sometimes....who has time to create that?  I thought when I made this it was original?  I'll never be able to organize that well, etc etc.  My biggest hold up was self-imposed pressures.  

So what am I doing differently?

  1. I talked with my husband.  He's a huge helper in so many ways, and I told him I needed to carve out time for me.  My time away at work isn't "me time".  Just like his time at work isn't "man time".  Having a little one can be intense sometimes - and it's ok to step away & refresh. 
  2. I realized I can catch up the mess from dinner the night before the next day.  I'd rather have the time after the baby is down as "couple time" than spend a weeks worth of nights doing chores and never have a conversation with the most important person in my life.  Baby girl won't remember a dirty counter in ten years, but she will remember if I was too busy to cuddle.
  3. I'm considering testing out the service Plated later this month.  I love to cook, but it seems like I've either got the time to grocery shop or cook.  Not both.  So we eat out way more than I'd like.  Plated sends all the ingredients to healthy and gourmet meals to your door in a refrigerated box ready to ENJOY the cooking process.  Take away point - accepting help is OK!
  4. I look at my calendar for the upcoming week and am trying to be deliberate in scheduling time for me.  Setting aside time to write (either in the morning or night).  Make time for a girls night dinner.  Making a hair appointment and sticking to it.  The way I spend my "me time" might change week to week, but I'm committing to do it.  

I was carrying tons of mommy guilt on my shoulders.  I haven't taken enough pics of the wee one.  No footprint ornaments at Christmas.  Not enough time left for Andy.  Deep down yearning to write.  To sew.  To read.  To do anything with two hands and eat a meal that required silverware.  But in my most overwhelmed moments trying to come up with a game plan to "do it all", I became more guilty over thinking that I didn't have a right to put "me time" above doing the dishes.  Folding the laundry.  Meal planning.  So give up sleep right?  But then I'm crankier and too tired to use that time doing anything relaxing for me.  It was a sad cycle that left me burnt out and questioning my every move.

But my eyes really were opened to freeing myself up to being a better wife & mom BECAUSE I spent time on myself.

This is one of those books I'll be gifting at every occasion possible because it's such a simple concept that I think touches EVERY. SINGLE. WOMAN today.  

Grab a copy on Amazon ($9.64, the price dropped again today!!) or get an autographed copy from Dayspring ($10.44).  

Want to win a copy for yourself?  Or maybe for a friend?  Comment here on the blog about your favorite way to spend time on yourself (doing your nails, reading, etc).  For a second chance to win, sign up at the top of the page to subscribe to email updates to the blog.  Leave another comment saying you did!  Giveaway ends at Monday Feb 23rd at 23:59.  

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