Your Sanity Matters: Taking Time for You

Having a baby takes time. For some people, it takes time to conceive. Then, of course, there is the 9 month baking period. To top it off, once the baby arrives, it literally takes your time. This isn’t news to anyone who has kids, but for new moms, it can be an eye-opener. It was for me!

I was very accustomed to waking up, going to work, coming home, working out, eating dinner, having a warm bath with a good book and a glass of wine, and then catching some rest before starting all over again the next day. On weekends I would see my friends and family, maybe do a little shopping, and take my time getting groceries. I was an avid movie-goer and I loved going to new restaurants to try new things. I also loved getting pedicures and massages on a whim. However, this lifestyle is a thing of the past.

I don’t want to scare you! For me, being a mom is so much better than my impromptu outings. But, it is a really big change and it is hard to climatize to. Overnight you go from having all the time for yourself in the world to having none at all. Read on if you want to maintain hope.

The first month postpartum is a write-off. This isn’t actually the end of the world because chances are you don’t have the energy to do anything other than survive anyways. Month two is when it hit me that I missed being alone and having my own schedule. I remember it clearly. I wanted to go to the mall. I didn’t even want to shop. I merely wanted to get a fancy coffee and walk around. Naturally, I had to bring my baby with me and that was okay! Pushing a stroller around would help me torch a few extra calories and she would probably sleep the entire time. You can probably already guess that it didn’t happen that seamlessly. It took us an hour to get out of the house with multiple diaper changes. It took me a good ten minutes to figure out the stroller once we got to the mall. I did get my fancy coffee, and just as I was about to enjoy it, my kiddo woke up hungry and mad. I booked it to the “mothers’ room” in the mall’s food court and fed her. My coffee turned cold. I became frustrated, and we went home. What I hoped to be a relaxing outing for me to have some “me time” turned stressful. This is the reality of being a mother.

After my mall experience, I learned that getting adequate “me time” would mean spending time BY MYSELF. This means nobody but me, myself, and I. No husband. No baby. New mommies, you will figure out quickly that it is really hard to get time completely by yourself, especially if you are breastfeeding. Nobody else can lend your baby their boob. Well, they could but that might be weird. Yes, finding alone time is difficult, but it is not impossible. Below are some of my tips for taking care of yourself.

  1. Take advantage of nap time. “But my baby doesn’t nap” you might say. It’s true that babies take a little while to get into a napping routine. However, babies spend the first couple months sleeping most of the time even if it is not regimented. Now that my baby has a relatively good routine, I use her first nap of the day to do my workout. I need this time. I come up from the basement feeling invigorated and energetic. I shower. I make myself a second cup of coffee. I don’t talk to anyone. It’s bliss. During her second nap of the day, I usually work on my blog. Nap number 2 is not always a super long one. That’s okay. I typically get an hour. That is 60 minutes for me to do as I please. Whether it means sweeping the floor, or painting my toenails, I do something that will make me feel better. Use your baby’s sleeping times to benefit you.

  2. Take advantage of your partner. Okay, get your head out of the gutter. What I mean is if you are lucky enough to have a partner or spouse, have them sit with the baby for a bit. It isn’t babysitting when it is your own child. When my husband is finished work for the day, he looks forward to spending time with our daughter. This means that I can either go out to run errands, I can read a book, I can have a bath, or I can pretty much do whatever I want. It’s a win-win-win for all three of us.

  3. Say “no”. I cannot stress this enough. Our family and friends have our best interests at heart. They are excited to see baby, and they want to help. That being said, there might be times when having people over all the time is overwhelming. When the thought of people coming over gives you anxiety, rather than making you feel happy, that’s when you say “no”. Be polite. Tell your loved ones that you are appreciative of their help and of their visits, but you just need some time to yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be alone.

  4. Don’t view yourself as unimportant. Of course, your baby comes first. Of course, he or she is your number one priority. That is a given. But, this does not mean that you need to forget yourself. Taking time to have a shower is not selfish. Nor is sitting down to eat a meal, or reading a book. You as a mother are vital to your child’s life. You will not be able to be a good mother if you become resentful. Don’t let it come to that.

I love spending time with my little one. It is my favourite pastime by far. But I value my sanity. Taking time for myself greatly improves the time that I spend with my daughter. You will find that you feel the same. If you have not yet had your baby, I urge you to think of a game plan of how you will take care of yourself when he or she arrives. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Most importantly, don’t feel bad about not wanting to spend every second with your adorable little butterball. It’s okay!

#babies #healthandwellness #Motherhood #newmoms #parenthood #selfcare

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