The other day I went for a pedicure, which sounds so simple. I pumped a few bottles & left baby at home with hubby. After arriving at the spa I put my phone on vibrate & refused to touch it for one hour. Then I read.
I left 60 minutes later feeling refreshed in more ways than one until I arrived home to an empty house. While I was gone hubs took our 4 month old to the park, leaving me on my own in our home for the first time since Cooper was born.
For the first 5 minutes I didn’t know what to do & stood motionless in the kitchen. Then I realized that I’d spent so much time caring for baby, hubby & our home that I’d forgotten how to care for my own needs. I felt in that moment like I’d lost myself & decided in the same instant that it was time to go find her again.
So I went around the house trying all the things I never have time for, before settling in to organize my studio. It felt right at the time to be in my creative work space. But going forward I definitely don’t want to take the easy way out & use rare “me time” to work or clean when it should be spent focusing on myself, doing things to grow my passions & as a result bring out my best self for my family.
But in that moment I felt clueless, what were those things & why on earth wasn’t a single one coming to mind? I sat down with a pencil & paper, & by the time I was done had a list of a half dozen activities that i enjoyed doing on my own. And when Eric got home I was ready to share what I learned & work toward striking a better balance in our household.
As a mother it’s easy to lose yourself when so much of you goes into providing care for that sweet little bean (or beans). But it’s important that you keep growing mentally as baby grows physically & the best way to do that is acknowledging your needs & communicating them to those you love. Here are a few tips to get you started:
I don’t know about you but I feel the urge to be supermom on a daily basis & don’t always ask for help with even the simplest tasks, like hubs holding baby during witching hour while I cook dinner (isn’t 6-7pm just the scariest time EVER??). But when I do step out of the supermom zone & ask for an extra hand I’m left calmer, with a clearer outlook & a feeling of readiness to handle what’s next. Remember, DON’T assume someone doesn’t have the time or you shouldn’t impose on them if they’re busy, 9 times out of 10 people are glad to help & if they can’t it’s their responsibility to tell you so.
I invite you all to take five minutes & do a bit of meditation/soul searching to remember what you love doing. What are your passions? Art? Music? Writing? Then write those things down, post it on the fridge, share with loved ones & work toward scheduling “me time”. It may start with 10 minutes each night after baby goes to bed (I know it did with me), but fitting your needs into each day will grow organically.
Set goals, i.e. I will read one chapter of my book every night this week; or I will clean up one garden on each of the next three days. Can you tell what two of my passions are? Making goals means you’ll work harder to reach them & writing those goals down to check off as you go is even more rewarding.
I’d love to hear from you! What are your passions or how do you squeeze more time out of an already busy day?
Hi! I’m Kristina, owner of Painted by the Shore, blogger behind Loughs in Love, wife to Eric & new mom to Cooper. We live in Branford, CT with our 2 Basset Hound Mixes & Bobtail. I love all things creative & bonding with other mothers (like Jacki!!) over talk about our littles.
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