Dear Mom, It's Okay to Take Time for You
First and foremost, you’re doing a great job! It’s no easy feat caring for tiny humans. They require an enormous amount of your time, energy and attention and often it feels like a thankless job. Sometimes, moms can get so caught up in feedings, pumping, potty training, babies climbing out of cribs, playdates, grocery shopping, teething, etc that we often forget to take care of the one person that’s keeping the boat afloat day-in and day-out. And that’s you, mom. There’s a very important message you need to hear. It’s okay to take time for yourself.
Yes, there are a lot of responsibilities on your plate - so many that maybe you sometimes feel like you can’t do it all. That’s completely normal. Nonetheless, you need to make yourself a priority too. Even if it means dropping something non-essential from your to-do list in order to make that happen. Everyone - you, your kids, your partner - will be better off in the long run if you allow yourself to take some time for YOU.
It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. The important message here is that you need to allow yourself the space to step away and recharge. Do something that helps restore your energy levels and focus. Think of it as a Mommy time-out, except not so much as a punishment and more as a time to clear your head and focus on you.
What do you do with that time? There’s no right or wrong answer. It could be a mani-pedi, a day at the beach, a girls night out or a staycation with the babysitter watching the kids while you and the hubby rent a room and hit the town (or sleep). Give it a bit of thought to determine what works best for you. What are the types of things that you love to do? All of us moms have one or two things that we wish we could spend more time doing “if only we didn’t have kids.” What do you miss doing?
Often motherhood can be extremely lonely, especially for new moms. If you’re someone who could use more adult interaction then consider group activities that don’t revolve around kids. Such as taking an art, cooking or fitness class. These are fun, healthy and structured options for low-stress adult interactions. If the thought of peopling zaps your energy even further, then consider a strong dose of solitude - read, meditate or pray, watch a movie, go for a run, or take a nap.
It may be hard at first to give yourself permission to take some time away from your family and focus on you, but in the long-run you and your family will be better off. Think of yourself as a car and these breaks as your way of filling up with gas. Just like a car can’t run on an empty tank, you cannot function when completely exhausted and depleted of energy. Taking care of yourself is critical to the health and happiness of you AND your family. Think about it this way: one of your biggest responsibilities as a parent is to lead by example. What better way to do that than by demonstrating to your children the importance of self-care?
A Little Love,
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