Wait, what is “me time”? Ha! Just kidding…. but in all seriousness, as mommas we tend to focus solely on our babes and sometimes neglect ourselves. I know for me, it often feels selfish to do something for myself now that I am caring for my daughter, but it is important to remember that self-care is what enables us to care for our children. If we don’t take care of ourselves then how will we have the energy to take care of the littles (think about the signs on airplanes that instruct the adult to put the mask on before trying to help a child)? There is nothing wrong with a little “me time” and I really encourage you to find something that makes you feel like a human being every once in a while, and treat yourself! I Like most, I am a momma on a budget, so these 5 ideas are all inexpensive and don’t take up too much time!
- Mini Spa: I have never appreciated a hot shower like I do now that I am a mom. So, let’s start with that. Literally lock your bathroom door… your man can handle the babe for 45 min. Or even better, wait until the kids are in bed! I like to start with a simple face mask. My favorite is bentonite clay mixed with equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. I put it all over my face and leave that on for about 15-20 minutes. During that time, I often sit in the bath and read a magazine. Once the mask is dry, I shower, wash the mask off and lather up with lavender shower gel. Take your time in the shower and then slip into your robe and relax for the night. I always sleep better after a hot shower! What you need: face mask (doesn’t have to be fancy, there are thousands of diy masks on Pinterest that use common household products!), shower gel, and something YOU like to read (not the same book you read to your child 20 times a day) – think magazine, romance novel or even scrolling Instagram if that helps you relax!
- Coffee: I realize that not everyone likes coffee, so whether its tea, a smoothie, or chocolate milk…. find something that you can look forward to drinking every morning. Breakfast time can be stressful with kiddos and I know I often forget to even eat myself! I try to make a point of having something in the house that makes me excited for breakfast time. My favorite is iced coffee – if you don’t get a chance to drink it right away, you don’t have to microwave it! I prefer not to spend a lot on coffee, so when I get groceries, I grab a jug of premade cold brew (my favorite is “Stok – Not Too Sweet”) and then add cream when I have it in the morning. I love to drink it out of a cute little mason jar. It takes hardly any time at all and a little caffeine never hurt a tired momma either! What you need: your breakfast beverage of choice and a fun mug, jar, or thermos.
- Get your heart rate up/get your body moving: I know exercise sounds intimidating, but I have never regretted getting some fresh air and getting my body moving! After having my daughter, I noticed that my body didn’t feel like my own anymore. It felt foreign, things didn’t look the same and didn’t work the same. I definitely feel weaker than I used to (ironic considering how STRONG we are for carrying and birthing babes!). But I absolutely feel more connected to my body and feel refreshed if I get a little bit of exercise. It doesn’t have to be a 5-mile run or even going to the gym…. a few of my favorite activities to get my body moving are: mowing the lawn, yoga in my living room, and walking with my dog and daughter. The hardest part is starting, but once you feel your blood pumping and those endorphins rushing in, you will be glad you decided to do it! I realize that time is much more restricted with a babe and the thought of getting changed, working out, showering, and getting ready seems so intimidating! My solution for those days when you don’t have the capacity to do all of that is: yoga. I often find 15-minute videos on YouTube that don’t get me all sweaty, but still make me feel like I made an effort. I have even found a few that specifically incorporate my daughter, which makes it even more fun/challenging. Again, I am not an exercise junkie by any means, but getting up and moving always makes me feel better.
- Friendships: It is so easy to find yourself feeling isolated after having a baby. It can be challenging to reach out to others, but it is so important to have a support system. I try to surround myself with both “mom” friends and friends without babies as well. Mom friends are wonderful because they are in the same season of life as you are, and nothing makes me feel better than to know that someone else is experiencing similar things and going through the “parenting wringer” along with me! Friendships with ladies that aren’t moms are important as well, because it can bring you back to reality and remind you that while you are primarily a mom, you have other roles as well. I remember feeling like my whole entire world had shifted and I would never be a person outside of my home ever again, but once I began to connect with others I realized that sitting in my rocking chair all day long wasn’t healthy for myself or for my daughter. Find some friends that have children of similar ages as yours and maybe reconnect with some girls that don’t have babes and see what they are up to as well. Don’t be afraid to get a sitter and go out without your baby and also find a spot where you can interact with moms while your kids play together! Friendships are important, and they bring different perspectives to what can feel like a lonely season.
- A TV show, podcast, or book: A few months after having my daughter I realized that I hadn’t read a book, listened to music or a podcast or even watched much Netflix by myself since she had been born. I used to have specific shows that I would watch, and I loved sitting down with a book on my porch, but those things just took a backseat to parenting. While this is totally normal, I think it is important to remember to feed your brain as well. As moms, we spend a lot of time singing lullaby’s, reciting “this little piggy” and reading children’s books but we often forget to read/watch/listen to things that we enjoy too. Like I stated earlier, I know that time is hard to come by but there are moments that I try to carve out during the day to indulge in things like this. When I am washing dishes or preparing dinner, I send my husband to the living room to play with our daughter and I listen to a podcast. If I have laundry to fold (I ALWAYS have laundry to fold), I wait until nap time and find something on Netflix while I fold burp cloth after burp cloth. When we have finished dinner and are playing, my husband and I take turns playing songs on our phones. Think about something that would interest you and be creative about finding some time to indulge in listening to, reading, or watching it.
There will always be things that I wish I had time for and being a mom will always feel like a balancing act, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t ever take any time for yourself. Find someone to help you out for a few hours a week and do some things that make you happy. Remember that in order to take care of others, you must take care of yourself. Now, grab a glass of wine and get in a bubble bath Momma!
The Authentic Nest