A Life Beyond Baby

coffee with the girls

You really needn’t feel guilty about wanting me-time. and why it can make you a better mum.

Right now, you’re so immersed in looking after your infant, you feel that you have no time for yourself. Of course you love him and want to be the best mum possible, but you haven’t forgotten your old life. You miss the days when you socialised with your friends, when you and Hubby could catch the latest blockbuster movie at the cinema, and when you had time for spa treatments and manicures. But there is no reason you can’t make them happen again.

You shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting to carve out time for yourself. A parent who feels trapped and tired will soon experience burnout – that definitively won’t be in Baby’s best interests. He needs a dynamic and alert mum who loves him and cares for him effectively.

Breaking away from your routine allows you to recharge your mind, restore your enthusiasm and boost your energy. In other words, taking care of your own needs and wants should be viewed as an important aspect of positive parenting.
You may have friends and relatives who disapprove of you spending a whole afternoon at the spa, especially if you have a full-time job. They feel strongly that after-work hours should be spent entirely with your kid. While that may be their opinion, don’t forget that you are your baby’s mum. You are the one who makes decisions about what’s best for him.
You’ll find that this works best when you plan. Chat with your husband and explain that you would like some occasional hours to yourself; listen to his responses. It helps when you both understand each other’s needs and feelings. Chances are, he wants to take time for himself, as well as reconnect with you. Both will help your marriage. Then start to make short term arrangements. For example, pick a day later this week when you would like to meet your friend for a babyfree coffee break, and make it

Perhaps this could be when your husband has a day off
from work. Or you could ask Grandma or a trusted friend to look after your little one for an hour or so. Don’t be  too ambitious to start with. Likewise, your husband may want to make similar arrangements to spend time with his pals.
Then enjoy the experience without guilt, knowing that this will rejuvenate you and that Baby is in good hands. You’ll be more confident about planning the next one. There is no “right” amount of me-time that suits every parent with a baby. Few are able to find a chunk of time for themselves every day, but most are able to set aside me-time at least once a week.

Aim to achieve a balance that leaves you feeling refreshed
and happy.

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