Kat is once again hosting Parent's University--don't forget to hop over to her site to read more ideas or add your own!
I'm really anxious to see what everyone else has to say on this subject, as I struggle with this one too. However, I do have one great tip for finding personal time, and it's free and easy to do:
Put the kids to bed early!
My kids (all three!) go to bed at 7:30 p.m. every night of the week. There are certainly exceptions, like when we have friends or family over, but we do try to get them in bed around the same time as much as possible. They do tend to get up early (6:30 a.m. most days) but they don't sleep in any later even when they do stay up late (a phenomenon that makes no sense to me!). I do tend to be a morning person, so it works out well for me.
This is the best way I have found to have time to myself. After the kids are in bed, I can do whatever I choose. Some evenings Sam and I will sit down and watch a movie or the news together, or even eat ice-cream without the kids. Other nights I'll use the time to read something fun or take a hot and relaxing bath. Still other nights I actually use the time for cleaning the house--how sad is that? But I do enjoy a clean house, and I'd rather get the house cleaning done at night and have more time during the day to play with my kids!
I do find that when I take the time to do something that I enjoy (that doesn't involve the kids!), I am a much better mom to my children.
How about you? What do you do to find personal time in this crazy, busy world of parenting?