I’m a new mom. Although I feel a little guilty, I desperately need some time alone. I don’t know if it’s ever going to be possible.
- Anonymous, Rhode Island
The good news is, you’re not alone. And the bad news is, you’re not alone. The physical and emotional demands placed on new mothers (all moms, actually) can be downright overwhelming. And the need for occasional ME time is absolutely necessary. It actually helps you be a better mom.
Many mothers come to this realization mere weeks after bringing baby home from the hospital. Although you’ve embraced newborn baby bliss, it’s important that you take a break when you can. You should never feel guilty about wanting some “me” time. It means doing something without involving your baby, husband or a group of friends or family members. Unfortunately, not everyone understands this until they become a mother. But it can be incredibly healthy for you and your baby.
Tips to help you find more ME time:
1. Walk it off. Hand the baby to your husband (or a close friend or relative) and go for a walk BY YOURSELF. Being around nature does wonders for boosting your mood, regardless of how little sleep you’ve had since you brought your bundle home. If you can escape for an hour, take a Pilates or Yoga class.
2. Say Yes. Don’t be afraid to say yes to free babysitting offers. When your baby is old enough to be cared for by an eager relative or close friend, it’s OK to take advantage and take some time for yourself. There will be plenty of time in the future to go back to the office, grab brunch with the girls or dinner with your husband.
3. If you can’t find a sitter, start searching. You’re probably not the only mom on your street who needs some me-time and can't find a sitter! Join a mommy’s group. Ask a close friend to help. Ask people you trust for referrals.
4. Take a moment to reflect. If possible, whether early in the morning or late at night, after everyone else is asleep, take a moment for yourself to meditate. Even lock yourself in the bathroom! You’ll want no one to bother you, for even two minutes, so you can collect your thoughts.
5. Don’t be afraid to say NO. Re-schedule brunches and lunch dates with the girls for another week or so. Give yourself time to get balanced. They’ll understand.
6. Do nothing but laugh. Turn on a comedy show and laugh a little.
7. Treat yourself. Think mani and pedi without the girls. Although it’s great to get together with friends, sometimes it’s nice to take in a relaxing massage or manicure/pedicure solo. It’s worth the sitter and oh so therapeutic!
8. Slow cookin’. To help make dinner less of a hassle, invest in a slow-cooker. Make a healthy stew or easy meal once or twice a week and use the “cooking time” to your advantage.
9. Calgon, take it away. When your husband is home, hand the baby to him, set out some candles and take a warm bath. Throw in some baking soda or lavender bath salts to help ease your stress away. It won’t be long before your baby becomes a toddler and these types of moments will be very hard to come by.
10. Read when you can. When and if you can find time to yourself, take a book or magazine with you. Even reading a magazine article in the doctor’s office has helped me in the past!
Jackie is a local writer and pr professional who blogs about her take on motherhood at www.ventingsessions.com and writes about it in her book, How to Spread Sanity on a Cracker.