The first year of motherhood is filled with wonderful moments and big milestones. Our little ones are changing quickly and it seems like each time we blink they've grown a bit bigger and become a bit less baby. The fear of missing a minute of this far too short stage can put life on hold. It's kept me up late at night when I should be getting rest. It has resulted in me backing out of events or opportunities because of guilt. It has filled me with anxiety to go somewhere solo, fearful that he would be upset or wonder where I was. For 9+ months Brody was with me every second of every day and the months that followed outside the womb, we were rarely separated. But what I've started to learn in this beautiful journey is that as precious as our time is together, a little time for myself is of equal importance.
I'm sure you've seen the interview with Jada Pinkett Smith floating around on the topic of Motherhood by now (if you haven't you can watch it here). She so boldly states, "You always have to remember to take care of you first and foremost because when you stop taking care of yourself you get out of balance and you really forget how to take care of others." Almost a year into motherhood, I am finally starting to realize this. When I set aside time for myself, I come back feeling refreshed, excited and happy. I'm ready to get on the floor and play with Brody for hours. I can handle the occasional temper-tantrum that comes my way without losing my cool. I feel like I am not losing myself in this new role of motherhood. I feel like a million bucks.
Making time for me is never easy. Sometimes I dread it because my favorite moments always involve Brody, Isla, and my husband. I'll say to myself "nah, I don't need a break this week" or make a million excuses how I don't have time for a break. But I've finally started to realize that for those favorite moments to happen, I must first take care of myself.
If you're struggling to find me time or learning to adjust to your new role in motherhood, here are 4 tips for incorporating a little me time into your day to day. Simple things you can do to to feel refreshed, while still being there for your family.
Schedule It In
Pull out your calendar and pick a date and time when you are going to take a break for yourself. Maybe you're going to stroll Target alone, maybe you are going to get a pedicure, or maybe you are going to sit on the patio with your favorite magazine. Write it on your calendar and write it on your husbands calendar. Treat it like you would treat a doctor's appointment.
Create A Retreat In Your Own Home
You don't have to leave your home to take a breather. Create a little haven in your own home where you feel relaxed and inspired. Escape there often. Perhaps instead of finishing the dishes during nap time once in a while, you allow yourself to sit in your favorite spot and zone out without feeling any guilt. My home office space has become my retreat. I can close the door and do whatever I need to do while my husband and the kids pretend that I'm not here. Some days, like today, I try to be productive and work on blog posts or catch up on emails. Other days, I turn on my favorite jams, grab a handful of dark chocolate chips and spend an hour reading Teen Mom gossip (my embarrassing guilty pleasure these days). Wherever you happy place is, go there often.
Use Your Baby Monitor
It can be tough to justify taking me time when it seems like time with our little ones is limited as it is. Remind yourself that the relationship your little one is forming with your parter is just as important. Brody and my husband bond like crazy when I give them the space to do so. When I'm working away in my office, I often grab our VTech baby monitor and set it on my desk or even bring it out on the patio with me. I love that I can pan and tilt the camera around the room remotely to capture sweet moments like this. Watching these two interact and form that bond that will last a lifetime is precious. The digital transmission on this monitor is so clear that I'll even turn up the volume sometimes to listen to the sweet conversations my husband has with Brody. Seeing these special moments makes my heart so happy and is often the best reminder that the me time I am taking is the best thing for all of us.
Make It a Habit
Making time for yourself is so much more powerful when it happens on a regular basis. Consider signing up for that weekly yoga class or maybe setting Sunday evenings aside for a trip to the local coffee shop to plan out your week. The more routine you make it, the less stressful it becomes.
Do you struggle with finding me time? What is your favorite retreat?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.