One of the hardest adjustments to motherhood is that I never get a break. Sure, you get a “break” when they are sleeping, but there is always the anticipation of when they will wake up… and that could be at ANY moment. Sure, the dad helps and can give you a break at times, but was the dad created with milk ducts? No. Did the baby have an internal 9 month vital attachment with the dad? No. And not just biologically, but emotionally and mentally, women were created to be the nurtures and to instinctively know what a baby wants and needs. It’s all part of God’s design.
So that being said, moms are always “on”. There’s not an “off” option for us when it comes to taking care of our babies.
I remember the days… just 6 months ago.. that I would wake up whenever I wanted to, eat breakfast whenever I wanted to, read as long as I wanted, meet friends, run errands, get my nails done, go out on dates spontaneously, relax, go to bed, and not worry about anyone waking me up at night.
Those were the days… but they were also days that I didn’t have my precious Lily. And now that I’m a mom, I would take Lily over my time all day long.
But let’s be real. I need my own “time”. I need some sort of outlet to relax, be inspired, and remember who I am sans Lily.
So how do I do this since I am taking care of Lily all day? A few ways…
I eat breakfast, drink coffee, and read/have time with God during her first nap. If I don’t do that then, then it won’t happen. It doesn’t matter what else I have to do or pressing on my mind, I make sure those things happen first even if it’s only for 10-15 minutes. But I drink coffee and read as long as I can during her first nap. It’s my favorite part of the day.
When I have been super busy and on the go for a few days, I protect a day of rest that I call a reading day. Today is my reading day which means I will not make plans with anyone. I will not run errands. I will not clean the house. I will use all her nap times and any time she is awake and content to read and relax. I usually have these every couple of weeks. Jim knows about this and he helps me a little bit more on these days as well :).
I didn’t say exercise because I don’t know if this would count as exercise haha. I used to exercise (run/go to the gym) when Lily was 2-3 months old but then my milk supply dropped and I have to pump all the time because of our breastfeeding struggles, so I don’t have the time or the physical ability to work-out like I’m used to right now. Instead, I try to find any opportunity to walk with Lily. Right now the weather is so pretty, so we’ve been going on a lot of long walks and I will use this time to listen to podcasts. Even if it’s not nice outside, I will go to the mall to walk around. I have been wanting to go to the museum too… anywhere you can walk with your baby and enjoy it!
This may be the “duh” one, but have someone else watch your baby and get out! Sometimes Jim will watch her so I can go out with my girl friends. Or Jimmy and I will ask someone to watch her so we can go on a date night. If family isn’t in town, do a night swap with a friend – watch their baby while they go out and vice versa. Or if that doesn’t work, Jim and I have had some fun outings when Lily falls asleep in the car. We can’t plan that, but when we are already out and then she falls asleep, we take advantage of that time!
Any other methods or tricks you’ve learned to take care of yourself as a mom? Would love to hear below!