I’m tired more often than I’m not. I’ve come to accept that this is my new life. More than accept it, I’m learning to thrive in my new role as “Norah’s mom”. I’m balancing spending time with my baby, hubby, cleaning my house, (slowly) going back to work, and still hanging out with friends a couple hours here and there.
But, even though my life is going great, there is one aspect of my old pre-mama life that I miss.
I miss my me time.
So, I’ve decided to start making me a priority again. Here’s what I’m doing to get mama some much needed me time!
First Thing’s First
Moms (or parents in general!!) need “me time.” It’s a fact. If you’re a mom, you know exactly what I mean. Yes, you love your little one(s). You love taking care of your family and embracing the responsibility of loving, protecting, and raising your baby. But, at the end of the day, it’s still that: a responsibility. And responsibilities can be taxing. They can take a lot out of you. They can consume you.
The joke in my home since my baby was born has been, “you’re going to lose your identity. You’re now going to be known as ‘Norah’s mom’.”
In so many ways, that warms my heart. I want to be Norah’s mom. I want that to be such a huge part of who I am. But, it’s not everything that I am. And that’s okay!
So, before I get too far along with this post, I want to take a moment to talk to all the mamas (and daddies) out there looking for some me time: do not for a second feel guilty about wanting to take a little break from your kids. Your babies need you and they need you at your best. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be fully equipped to take care of them. Yes, you are their mom. But, you’re still you. Taking the time to check in with yourself isn’t wrong. It’s necessary!
Ways I Get My Me Time
When trying to prioritize my me time, I had to decide what was important to me. There are a handful of things that I love to do: read, sleep, and write. So, these are the things I really wanted to work into my daily routine again. Yes, I’m including “sleep” on this list. All new parents out there will understand why.
I go to bed extra early
Norah’s bedtime is 8:00. That means mama’s bed time is 8:00. She doesn’t always go to sleep right away. But, from 8:00pm until 12:30am, my husband is on baby patrol. He keeps the monitor with him (she sleeps in her crib during this time so I can be sure to get sleep even if she starts fussing), and calms her when she wakes up, gives her her paci, loves on her, or does whatever it is he can to ensure that she starts her night out with a good amount of sleep. Meaning, mama starts her night with a good amount of sleep.
I go to bed early- I don’t necessarily sleep
I had a routine while I was pregnant: I went to bed early (around 9:00) and laid in bed, watching Netflix and reading/ relaxing for an hour. I loved that hour. I’ve missed that hour.
Yes, sleep is a huge priority for me right now. And, I should sleep every chance I get. But, I need to do this. I need to have some time to dive into social media, or laugh along with an episode of Friends, or read a chapter of a book. I don’t sit in bed doing these things for an hour anymore, but 20 minutes of me time can do amazing things for my mental state.
When she sleeps, I… do whatever I want!
That’s usually cleaning, to be honest. I can’t stand having a messy home. But, I’ve been learning to deal with it because those precious couple hours during the day that Norah is napping are the perfect time for me to do what I want to do for me and me alone.
These are the times I usually blog. Blogging has become such an amazing outlet for me. It’s my safe place, really.
If you’re a parent struggling to get some me time, I recommend doing something like this. Maybe blogging isn’t for you, but what about a journal? Having a place to escape with your thoughts is so helpful. If you’re not into that kind of thing, there are plenty of other options out there to help ease your mind and give you an escape from your hectic life for a little bit. Drawing, coloring, reading, cooking… Whatever it is, find something that calms you and do it. Make it a priority to assign one nap time a day to that activity. Even if you only end up getting 15 minutes, you’ll love those 15 minutes. They’re your 15 minutes, and no one can take them from you!
Showers are amazing things!
This isn’t reading, writing, or sleeping, but this is an amazing thing for de-stressing and taking some time for you and you alone.
If I’m having a day–like, really having a day–I wait until my hubby gets home and I hand him the baby. “I need 30 minutes,” I’ll tell him as I march towards the bathroom.
I take the longest shower in the history of showers. It’s not just a shower, though. I turn on the fan and play some of my favorite music. I make it an experience. The noise encases me in a cone of punk-rock bliss, with no hope of baby’s cries ripping me out of my much needed escape. When I emerge, I’m relaxed, refreshed, and ready to step back into my beloved role as “Norah’s mom.”
If I can’t can’t stop, I make my me time part of my busy day
Some days, I just can’t take a long shower. Some days, Norah will not nap, and any hope of blogging or reading is non-existent. What do I do then?
I make my me time part of my busy day! As I’m soothing her for the twentieth time, I’m thinking about a blog post I can write. Mental escapes can be as good as physical ones! When she just won’t let me put her down, I turn up the music and dance with her to some of my favorite songs. If I need to escape, I escape with her. I strap her into the carrier, and we go for a walk. I pop in my headphones, blast some Panic! at the Disco, and we wander around together. She usually ends up napping, and I kiss the top of her head and soak up the moment, which is usually perfect.
It’s a start!
These are the things I’m doing at the moment to get some me time. This list may change. I’m going back to work full-time soon, so I’ll have to re-assess my schedule again. But, no matter what, I’m going to continue making me a priority. My baby deserves my best. And to give her that, I have to be at my best. It only takes 20 minutes here and there, and it makes a huge difference!
I recognize that I am very lucky. I have a husband who is home a lot. Not only that, he’s more than willing to cook, clean, and take care of Norah while I escape for a short time to do whatever it is I need. Believe me, I know how fortunate I am since this isn’t a reality or possibility for all families.
If you’re a single parent or a stay at home parent who is taking on a big part of the baby watching, what do you do to get some me time? Even if you’re co-parenting like a pro, you still need to take the time to focus on yourself. How do you do it? I really think this is a conversation that should be had! I think it should be encouraged and embraced!