How to Take Your Time and Energy Back and Stop Giving So You Can Rest

When you exercise superb self-care you’ll exercise more caution when giving time and energy to others.  You’ll also take what is yours when you need it.  After all, life is all about the give and take, right?  But when you become a new mom you tend to give more than you take.  You’re taking care of a newborn after all.  You want to give them your all.

But when you become a new mom you tend to give more than you take.  You’re taking care of a newborn after all.  You want to give them your all!  The problem is we tend to get stuck in this giving pattern.  It spills over into giving your time and energy to not only your children, but then your husband, home, and your work.  Sometimes you feel like you’ll never stop.  You are so stuck you feel like you can’t stop giving away your time and energy even if you tried your hardest.

Let’s flip the coin.  How often do you take time and energy for yourself?  For example, have you taken a minute to sit and do nothing?  Or have you let other people take care of something for you?  Yes, it’s not easy to take the back seat when you have felt the sense of control.  We like to be in control because, well, we get use to it!  Sadly, it feels comfortable in a strange way.  Because of our “giving history” we know the right way to do things.  This is your responsibility.  You OWN that.  But eventually, you’re going to run out of energy and time.

So how do you stop giving so much and start taking what is rightfully yours?  Here are five ways to take so that you can continue to give to the best of your ability.

Give Yourself Permission to Take a Break

Sit down and take that break.  No excuses.  Don’t explain your actions as if you’re asking them for permission.  Give yourself permission and just take the break.  It’s not normal for you to be running around constantly and you don’t want to set the expectation that that’s all mommy does.  If someone asks something of you while you are taking a break, say no!  If it’s your kids say, “Mommy is sitting.  I need a break.  Mommy can’t get that for you right now.”  Disappointment is a part of life, right?  If it’s a co-worker, say something like “I’ll get to that when I can and at the moment I’m unsure when that will be.  I’ll get back to you.”

Do Not Suffer From Relaxation Remorse

Allow yourself to take the time to sit in front of the TV without feeling guilty.  Remember all the hard work you’ve done, even the little things add up!  While you’re at it, give yourself some kudos for a job well-done.  Go to the spa and don’t think about what you should be doing with your time.  Go out with extended family, without your children, so you can hold a conversation without kids tugging at you for attention. Mama, you deserve a life outside of your home and work.  Go make one!

Tell People When You Need a Break

When you need constant control over things others may not know when they should step in and give you help.  Also, you don’t want to be taken advantage of.  If your hell bent on doing it all yourself, others won’t want to pipe in and try to help.  They may think, “Who am I to go in there and help her? Besides, she’s got it under control.”

Newsflash!  You don’t.  You need help and deserve to get it.  Ask for help, especially when you feel that your personal energy is low.  Figure out your 5W’s and then ask.

  • Who do you need to help you out?
  • What, specifically, do you need help with?
  • When during the hour, day, week, or month will you need the help and how often?
  • Where do you need help?  Home? Office?  What location in the building?
  • Why do you need the help?  What else is taking up your time and energy?  What have been your priorities?

Teach Your Children What “Give and Take” is About

It’s important to teach your children what the term “give and take” is about.  It will help explain why you do not wait on them hand and foot.  They may then understand that sometimes you can’t do “it” all, all the time.  Explain to your child what you are doing when you have given them your time and energy like, “Mommy just gave you this, this and this, now Mommy is going to take a break.”

Take Your Time and Energy Back by Mentally Checking In

You give your time and energy but you should take some back by spending time in quiet reflection.  Promise, it’ll only take a few minutes.  Try checking in with your emotions.  How are you feeling?  Are you happy?  Why or why not?  How are you doing with your goals?  Don’t forget that you have dreams and ambitions! Mentally checking in with yourself will help you get into a better state of mind so that you can continue giving to the best of your abilities.

How useful will you be for others if you are spent? It’s OK to take. That is how the world goes around.

Have you ever felt like you can’t stop giving your time and energy away?  How do you think you’ll stop this crazy cycle and take back your time and energy?  Leave your insights below!


Life is about "give and take" but as a working mom you give more than you take. Here's how you can take your time and energy back so you can give better.


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Liz McGrory

Liz is a work/life sway strategist helping stressed out working mom better manage their quadruple workload of self, family, home and career. You can also check her out on as their working mom expert and on The Maven Clinic as one of their career coaches.

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