Basil is almost 7 months old now (wow!) and I just barely (this weekend) left the house completely by myself for the first time since before he was born. Yes, you read that right: I have not left the house by myself in almost 7 months. This wasn’t even a glamorous outing, or something for myself – it was post-skiing, and we forgot to pick up a can of formula on the way home, and it was glorious. That 20 minutes I got to myself was so needed I didn’t even realize it until I got back home to a fussy baby. I was tempted to take a lap around the store to browse baby-free, but felt guilty and rushed in and out to get home to my family.
That being said, taking time for yourself can be hard – especially as a mom! Day in and day out I take care of Basil, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Everything I do, I have to keep in mind that I may have to stop at the drop of a pin to help Basil. It makes getting a little time for myself a lot more complicated, but I also appreciate it more when I do. I spend my days playing with Basil and doing chores around the house when he’s either napping or too busy to notice I’m gone, so I don’t get much time on the side to do things for myself.
The last few weeks have been a little overwhelming, and some self care time has been VERY needed. When I get the chance to relax for a minute when he’s napping or occupied, I take it!
Here are a few things I keep in mind when I’m feeling little burned out and like I need to take a minute for a little self car:
1. Make yourself a priority
I know this can be hard whether you have kids or not, but it’s so necessary. You’re not going to be the best you for your family or even for yourself unless you make yourself a priority too. It’s hard living everyday doing the same things over and over again, so why not spice it up and enjoy your short time on this beautiful planet of ours?
2. Happy mom = happy baby
If you’re not happy, your baby will know, and likely not be happy as a result. I’ve noticed on the days that Basil is super fussy, if I get frustrated that only makes matters worse. Frustrated mom = frustrated baby. If you don’t have it in you to be happy for yourself, at least try to be happy for baby!
3. Pamper yourself
Whether pampering yourself means taking a nice long bath with a glass of wine, or painting your nails and wearing a face mask, you need time for yourself. There have been a few nights that Basil was asleep and Michael stayed late at work, so I did my nails, did some yoga, and poured myself a nice glass of wine. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes in your mood when you take even a few minutes to do something for yourself!
4. Put taking care of your health on the calendar
How many of us have put off going to the doctor, dentist, etc., because we “don’t have time”? *raises hand* I’m guilty of it too guys! In fact, I hate to admit this, but I hadn’t been to the dentist in 4 years up until just a couple of weeks ago! I had braces put on 3 years ago, taken off a year and a half ago, and I haven’t had my wisdom teeth taken out yet, but I’m finally starting to get my teeth taken care of! I look back to me just out of high school, and my diet consisted of fast food, crappy frozen meals, and whatever I wanted. Now, I make an effort to eat better and I definitely feel better when I do! We have to take care of our bodies! Self care isn’t always pampering yourself, sometimes it can be taking care of yourself the way you should have been all along.
5. Go to sleep!
Okay, I haven’t even mastered this one myself yet, but it’s so necessary!! Basil is almost 7 months old and has been waking up more throughout the night (ugh!) again which in turn makes me feel like a zombie when he’s ready to be up in the morning. One way I can work on this (whether he wakes up in the night or not), is trying to put my thoughts to sleep as soon as I hit the pillow. I have such a hard time falling asleep at night that most nights I end up staying awake until the first time he wakes up anyway, and then I’m just irritated with myself when I’m not able to get the sleep I need. In fact, I just gave Basil a bottle and am waiting for him to go back to sleep as I type/edit this post and it’s 2:19am!! If you don’t have a good reason to be awake, GO TO SLEEP!
6. Stop being a people-pleaser
Seriously, just stop it. I’m pretty bad with this too, but if you’re constantly putting everyone else’s needs ahead of your own, you’re never going to have a minute to think about or even do something for you. You can’t make everyone happy, so stop trying! Just make yourself happy, and in turn that will help in making sure your family is happy too.
7. Do something you used to love before having kids (or other time consuming thing came up)
Another tough one, but also another very necessary one. I used to love to read, yet I haven’t cracked open a book since the week Basil was born – and I still haven’t finished that book!! I was teaching myself to play the ukulele, yet I haven’t picked it up since I was 30 weeks pregnant. Life gets in the way of a lot of things, so you have to make the time for things that are important to you. How can I expect Basil to like reading if I never read? (Don’t hate on me, I read to him every night!) It’s hard to put your wants and needs first, but it’ll be worth it in the end!
Sometimes it’s hard to remember to take care of yourself too; we take care of our families, our jobs, and our pets, so why is it so hard to take care of ourselves? Maybe some of these things seem trivial or stupid, but I think they’re important and even if they don’t help you, they’re a good reminder to myself to take a break sometimes.
I hope these helped someone out there!
Thank you so much for reading and, for the love of god, GO TO SLEEP!