When I was pregnant with Logan, it seemed like EVERYONE had advice about one thing another – how to hold baby, how to feed/ how often to feed, sleep training, secret remedies for this or that – it was so overwhelming at times! I just remember smiling and nodding and saying, “Yes, thank you, we’ll DEFINITELY try that and see if works for us.” Logan is now one and I really don’t remember much of what people told me, but there was one piece of advice that always stood out to me (even if I didn’t follow it until more recently). A mom of 3 said to me, “Try to take a little time for yourself every day. Even if it’s only 15 minutes.” At the time I remember thinking, I’ve had 25 years to myself! I can’t wait to dive into motherhood and completely devote myself to my new baby. And that’s exactly what I did.
My days completely revolved about my beautiful baby boy. And my nights. And everything in between. I remember running out of the shower as soon as I heard Logan make the smallest whimper even if I wasn’t done. Eating cold dinners because he just couldn’t wait another 5 minutes for me to finish eating. And so many other examples that I’m sure so many other moms can relate to. And I truly thought I was doing the right thing. And it’s not to say that I was wrong – but I certainly felt the emotional exhaustion after a while.
I remember when Logan was 7 and a half months I told my husband that I just needed an afternoon to myself. Just a few hours to be away from Logan and not worry about him and that I just needed to go out and do something for myself. He thought it was a great idea, so I packed my computer, my agenda, my cellphone (fully charged, of course), gave Logan a good nurse and headed to… the library! Yep. That was my exciting outing. And it was great! I didn’t even do anything special, and after 2.5 hours I started packing to head home (Logan was due for a nurse soon) and I was so excited to head home and also to make plans for another “mommy outing.”
I realized a couple things after doing this for a little while. 1) I needed to get out of the house by myself. I didn’t have to do anything overly special or extravagant, but I just needed to get some fresh air and be away from baby. 2) It’s okay to WANT to be away from baby/babies/kids for a little while (and it’s okay not to want it, as well). For me personally, I just needed a little time myself to not think about diaper changes, how long since I last nursed, the temperature of our home, is this a good developmental activity, and just REALX and STEP AWAY. And 3) I truly understood that “Taking care of yourself is part of taking of your kids.” It’s not selfish, it’s the complete opposite. If you are well you have more to give. More energy, more laughter and more love.
So let’s make sure to take some time for ourselves when we need it! What will you do this week?