Yesterday was delightful. It was Mother’s Day. The sun was shining. Jon took the kids to church so I could get some quality “me-time for mom,” then we all went over to my sister’s house for a friends and family luncheon with my mom and other mothers close to us. The boys gave me a beautiful necklace, and I binged on Praline Monkey Bread. It was perfect.
Today, it’s back to reality. Back to laundry, poop in air vents (more on that later), and short-order-cook duty. Back to work, emails, and tweeting. I’m not complaining. Besides the occasional pregnancy issues and poop mishaps, I’ve got it pretty good. And I love my job. But… but… there’s very little time for ME. And with baby boy #3 making his debut this summer… it’s going to be even harder.
I’m already working on a strategy to squirrel away Me-Time minutes and hours for when this bundle of “joy” arrives. If you’re having your first or fifth kid, you’ll want to make use of this life-saving list….
5 Ways for Me-Time for Mom: When You Have an Infant
Child Watch at the Gym: I plan to use this DAILY! I mean, for one, it’s free (after you pay for that gym membership). Plus, after having a baby, a lot of moms’ goals include losing baby weight. So… here’s the deal: the child-watch at gyms generally take babies once they are six weeks old, usually for up to two hours a day. This is going to be my me-time savior! I’ll work out 2-3 times a week, and the other days, I’ll go to the lobby and read a book. Or take a really long shower in the locker room. Or find a place under a bench somewhere and sleep.
Hire a Mommy’s Helper: This is perfect if you have a middle-school or high-school aged kid in the neighborhood. Talk with their parents, and settle on a fair hourly-rate. I find this is generally between six and eight dollars an hour. Then, simply schedule two-three afternoons a week for them to come and stare at the baby so you don’t have to. Pump some extra milk so your helper can feed baby. Give them a brief tutorial in diaper management. And, as long as you are in the house, if anything goes awry, you’re there to assist. This can free you up to shower (a recurring theme in me-time with an infant), prep dinner, work in the garden (if that’s your thing), take a nap, or whatever it is you need to do to feel human.
Swap Me-Time with Your Spouse: Sleeping in is my thing. My favorite thing. And, it seems that it becomes a very elusive thing with a newborn in the house. My husband has a thing too. It’s long bike rides. So, we plan to make an exchange. He gets a long Saturday afternoon bike ride, I get to sleep in on Sundays. Strike up a barter with your partner to make sure you each get what you need during the first few months after baby.
Schedule Appointments Before You Have Baby: I think it took me a year to get back to the hair salon after having my first child. Same with getting a massage, a pedicure, and visiting the dentist. Not that I consider visiting the dentist at all in the same category as aforementioned spa treatments, but it is just as (if not more) important. So, with baby #3, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m booking all of my appointments that I want to go to after the baby is born before he arrives and I plan to make sure that babysitting is lined up too. I’ll book them when grandparents are available, when I have friend that is willing to help out, or when the hubs is around. But I will get my hair cut. And my teeth will be clean.
Do the Best with What You’ve Got: Sometimes it’s just not gonna happen. You aren’t going to get real alone time. And that’s ok. Make the most of the situation. If you find yourself in the car alone after toting a kid somewhere, turn up the music, lower the windows and sing loudly. If you end up with five loads of laundry to fold at the end of the day, at least make sure to do it in front of the TV and catch up on a favorite show. And, if you’re feeling beat at the end of the day, it’s okay to order pizza and use the time you would have spent making dinner to vent on the phone with a girlfriend.
Just remember a Happy Mom makes a Happy Family, and the only person that is going to make sure that you are happy is YOU!
I’m sharing this post as part of the Ultimate Guide to Baby’s First Year, a series that started yesterday and runs through May 20th. I along with 30 other family bloggers are sharing everything that you need, want, and never thought you’d need to know about babies! Plus, we’re giving away some serious bundles of baby and parent goodies.
For the rundown of who’s writing about what and when, visit: http://lemonlimeadventures.com/youre-invited-celebrate-babys-first-year/
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And most importantly, don’t miss our giveaway:0 Yum