I remember walking into New Baby New Paltz after first moving here about 4 months ago. I saw a little sign that said, “It’s okay to want a break” or something along those lines. A little part of me inside breathed a sigh of relief. It was comforting to hear. After all the transitions that come with moving 2000 miles, my daughter clung to me ferociously, and I had lost the support system that I would turn to for a little break.
So this alone time, I craved it. Just a little break. That’s all. Just a little me time. And it felt good to hear I shouldn’t feel guilty for that. I started to think of little ways I could have time for me. When you are in dire need of a little “you” time what do you do?
Luckily for me, I have a kind, understanding husband who will give me a break.
Most of the time I still end up doing something practical but isn’t it amazing how a trip to the grocery store ALONE feels like a vacation? Last time I shopped alone, I practically skipped through the store. I lingered longer than necessary, luxuriated over making leisurely choices – do I want the 2% fat Mango Greek Yogurt, or the 0% fat Blueberry? – as compared to snatching whatever was nearest with one hand while feeding yogurt melts to my squirming daughter with the other.
When my husband gets home from work, I definitely go to the bathroom alone. That’s a treat I never realized I would appreciate pre-child! Baths are my favorite winter way to relax alone, and in the summer I try to grab a shower by myself once in awhile. At home, alone with the baby, I get a little time alone while she naps. People say, “Sleep when the baby does,” but I find that difficult, and those of you with more than one probably have a hard time with that too. So instead, sometimes I force myself to ignore the chores and I do what I want to do – like lay on the couch and read a book. Lastly, when our budget allows, I hire someone to give me a break for a few hours a week.
Whenever I do take a break, I find that I am better able to appreciate my sweet baby girl.
As moms we give so much and often put our needs last or neglect them altogether. A little alone time, a little break, can make a big difference. For any of you like me, who feel a twinge of guilt about taking care of yourself, banish that guilt. Put that mental energy that you use to feel guilty towards thinking of creative ways to take a break. And, if you have favorite ways to sneak in some alone time, let the rest of us moms know how you do it on the New Baby New Paltz facebook page.