When I became a mom about a year ago I distinctly remember proactively trying to not lose myself in it. I didn’t want to just be a mom, just be a wife, or just be a blogger. I feel like I am so many things and I didn’t want to lose them. A big part of that is finding time for myself as a mom and for you moms, finding time for yourself as a mom. I mentioned here my word for 2018 is balance. I have never done a word of the year before and I am so glad I chose this word as it’s exactly what my body, mind, and soul have been craving. Finding time for myself is a huge part of that. Finding a balance in work, life, being a wife and mom, a friend, a daughter, etc.
Finding Time For Yourself As A Mom
I think the hardest part about finding time for yourself as a mom is the guilt. Mom guilt is real. It happens to us all. I can spend all day with Liam but if I leave to go to an event or even if Andrew and I go on a date after Liam is asleep (we always put him to bed) I still feel guilt. I have to sometimes just force myself to go even if I don’t want to. I have the list of what could happen’s running through my head and it’s hard to enjoy a glass of wine with my husband without feeling like my baby needs me. Sure, checking the camera, seeing he’s asleep and has zero clue we aren’t downstairs helps. It also helps to have family and people close by that we trust to stay with him. But I still feel guilt. I feel the same guilt if I leave to go get a manicure, go to the gym, run errands, have a phone call, let Andrew watch him so I can get work done, etc. I shouldn’t but I do. Know that if you feel this way you are not alone.
Now that we have talked about the guilt lets talk about what I do to carve out that time and how I am trying to strive for more balance.
- I schedule it in. Yes I make manicure appointments and schedule a babysitter or have Andrew home on a weekend. I schedule a barre class, or to go the the gym. I put them in our calendar so we know. I schedule dinner or brunch with girlfriends. If I don’t schedule it, it isn’t happening.
- I commit to it. Working out is a huge part of what I need for myself each day. It is something that makes me feel like me. I love it. I love the feeling I get after. So it’s important to me to carve out that time. That time is usually during a nap, before Liam wakes up, or if our sitter or Andrew are home. Or I will take him to my mom’s and she watches him. No matter what, I make it happen. I commit to that one thing every day no matter what. That is my guaranteed time for myself.
- I get up early. Yep I am up at least an hour before Liam if not more. Lately I have been using this time to meditate, do 10-20 minutes of yoga, return emails, and eat breakfast.
- I am finding time to journal. Not blog but journal. This has been immensely helpful for my stress and anxiety.
- I am unplugging more. I am not someone who can turn off work. Since I do not have a traditional 9-5 job it’s hard to put down the computer. Case and point I am writing this sentence at 7:40 on a Wednesday night (a week before it goes live). Liam is asleep, Andrew is at the grocery store because we need blueberries (#reallife) and I am writing this post because it’s on my mind and heart. But, on weekends I have been trying to NOT be on my computer a ton. At least not nearly as much. If I have free time during a nap I try to read or do something like a face mask or clean up around the house etc.
- I ask for it. Not that I need permission but I tell Andrew that I need help, I tell him I need a day for me, or a few hours for me. I ask him when we can do that. We always find the time. He knows he can do the same. As moms it can be SO easy for us to do everything for everyone and put ourselves last. But you can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to fill yours up first!
The day I am writing this I told Andrew I felt like today I failed at everything. I felt rushed all day running errands because once you’re late to one thing the whole day is off. I felt rushed to shower before Liam woke up from his nap so I didn’t wash my hair (another day of dry shampoo). I felt like a crap wife for not having laundry put away or toys cleaned up. I felt like I failed at my job because I hadn’t gotten done 3 things on my to do list yet. I just felt like I failed every which way. It’s OK to feel like this sometimes. We all are going to. But this is precisely why we have to find time for ourselves. My cup felt empty and I had nothing left to pour for anyone else.
I wanted to share these things because I feel like it’s something that all women deal with as they become first time moms and even women who aren’t moms. We take on a lot and we have to find time for ourselves.
I would love to know if you can relate to any of these struggles? Do you feel like your cup is every just empty? What do you do to find time for yourself as a mom?