Spending time with your baby is wonderful. It’s one of the most rewarding and special parts of motherhood. But it’s also important to spend time on YOU, de-stressing and taking care of yourself. And not just running out to get a haircut or to pick up groceries. We’re talking about the bubble bath, getting lost in a new book, and working out until you feel good type of “me” time.
We get it. At the end of the day, coming up with the time to take care of yourself while also caring for a new baby can seem impossible. But trust us, it is possible, and it is crucial to maintaining a cool, calm, and level-headed demeanor, and to keeping your identity as a woman who has hobbies, passions, and interests beyond motherhood. Whether it’s 10 completely-uninterrupted minutes in the shower or spending an entire evening out with your friends, a little “me” time goes a long way.
So where do you start? Try these 6 tips to carve out that time for yourself.
- Rely on Your Partner. One of the only ways to make these little indulgences possible is by handing off baby duty to your partner (or your mom, in-laws, or a friend you trust). It can be helpful to set up a designated schedule with your partner so you are guaranteed that time – maybe every Monday evening you take a half hour to take a bath, every Saturday morning you take an hour to go to your favorite workout class, and once a month you have an afternoon where you go to book club.
- Use Nap Time Wisely. Many moms use the time their babies are napping to catch up on household chores. But if you wait until you’re done with all your chores, you’ll hardly ever get time to relax. Instead, use this nap time to do something you enjoy for a little bit, then you can start in on that lengthy to-do list.
- Create a Mom Team. If you have friends or neighbors with kids around your age, try teaming up with these other mothers to share responsibility for caring for your little ones. You might want to schedule play dates or outings with the mom team, or pick a certain date for each mom to watch all of the children, thereby giving the other moms a day (or night) off.
- Adjust Your Sleep Schedule. If your baby is already a pretty regular sleeper, make sure your own sleep schedule is slightly different. Whether you get up before baby, or stay up later, this is the perfect time to reserve for yourself. Have a late-night movie date with your partner, go for an early morning walk, or just take a long, hot shower.
- Research Baby-Friendly Alternatives. Does your grocery store have a free daycare available? Could you switch gyms to one that offers child care while you work out? Spend a little time researching stores and services that let you leave your little one in good hands while you do what you need to do to feel like yourself, not just like a mom.
- Include Baby. For some moms, including your little one in the things you like to do IS the best way to spend time for yourself. Is running or walking your thing? Invest in a jogging stroller and bring baby with. Love gardening? Set up a space close to you in the shade and let nature be your baby’s entertainment. Whatever it is you’re passionate about, let your baby join in.
We know making time for yourself is easier said than done when you have a new baby. But finding a little “me” time in the middle of the hustle and bustle of new motherhood can feel like a breath of fresh air.
Yes, you are an amazing mom. But remember, you’re also an incredible woman who has interesting hobbies, unique points of view, and a whole world of exciting opportunities at her fingertips. And the best part? You can be both an amazing mom and an amazing woman at the same time.