When you have a baby your world becomes completely consumed by this little tiny being, probably for way longer than you would care to admit. Self-care is one thing that new mom’s are just bad at. Learning how to be you again and finding your identity after having a baby is hard.
Let me be honest, people told me over and over that, I needed ‘me’ time. Several people offered to watch Abby so Josh and I could have a date night. But really I never took them up on it for the first 11 months because of mom guilt.
I spend 9 hours of every weekday away from Abby and giving up that precious time seemed crazy. Honestly, Abby was a little difficult as an infant. She was very much a momma’s girl and I hated to put her most difficult time of the day on someone else.
It finally dawned on me how important it was to have this me time on a night I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Most nights I spent holding Abby and watching TV because every time I tried to put her down she’d wake up. Emotionally, I had a really hard time with letting her cry it out (and eventually I decided against it). Abby went to sleep easily and I was able to immediately put her down in her crib. I ended up on the couch at a loss for what to do.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been here before, but man it was crazy. I finally decided on doing my nails and playing Just Dance. It. Was. Awesome. For the first time in a while, I had some true alone, me time. I went to work the next day feeling like I actually had some brainpower to get through my day.
Nevertheless, Abby is now 14 months and we have a groove! After some work to get it down Josh and I have been able to carve out time for each other as a couple, but also as individuals. It’s a steadfast rule for us that until Abby goes to bed it is family time. But now we’ve both started to use a couple hours in the evening right after Abby goes to sleep as a time for ourselves. Josh usually leaves for a little while to go play disc golf with his buddies or play video games and I work on blog posts or craft.
So just in case, you are going through this yourself, here are my tips for you mom to mom.
- Do not feel guilty for spending time away from your child (I am still working on this one.)
- I know you’re tired, but don’t just stay on the couch and watch tv. Unless that’s really what rejuvenates you, I’ve found if I stay on the couch I don’t really feel like the ‘me’ time has happened.
- Find a hobby that you love and make a space just for that. It can be small, but when you are in that space it is all yours.
- Make time for your spouse, and let him have nights to himself as well.
- Have nights with adults only, a true conversation can help you feel like a real person in no time.
- When you really just want to hold your baby, do it. As much as you need me time sometimes you need sweet baby time as well.
What do you like to do in your free time? Or what would your tip be? Let me know in the comments below!