It’s amazing how quickly a baby can take over your life. Don’t get me wrong: it’s a wonderful experience and the change was welcome, but wow… One day you are your own person with interests, hobbies, and social engagements; the next you are at the beck-and-call of a helpless little nugget.
After a few months of serving (for lack of a better word) someone else (let alone years), it’s tough to let go of that mentality. We have all heard stories about parents who struggle letting go when their kids are grown: they continue to parent their child long after parenting is necessary, often to the detriment of both parties and the relationship.
You Are Not Superwoman
Superwoman could balance a robust social life, a healthy diet and exercise schedule, and a powerful career, all while raising a bright, happy, loved child. But there’s a reason the comics bestow incredible gifts on their characters: those people are the ideal, not the reality.
Women embark on their journey of motherhood with the expectation that they are going to do it better than everyone else. That’s a noble goal, and raising kids better than our mothers and their mothers is part of parenthood, but striving to be the perfect mother is just plain silly. You are going to feel stress, anxiety, and need some space.
Don’t Forget Yourself
Caring for yourself is a big part of caring for your child. That sounds a bit circular, and honestly it is, but it’s the truth. A relaxed mom is better than a stressed mom, even if the stressed mom devotes more time and attention to her child.
Don’t feel guilty about an evening with the girls, a date night with your spouse, or a movie alone. You’ll return to your motherly duties with a renewed spirit and sense of purpose. Plus, you’ll teach your kids valuable lessons about understanding oneself.
Furthermore, while motherhood is permanent, providing full time care is not. You’ll always be “mom,” but there will come a day when that little nugget is your size or larger and running his or her own life. You’ll get to bring out all those interests and qualities you had set aside.
Indulge in Yourself
Give yourself permission to step away from motherhood from time to time and remember who you are aside from someone’s caregiver. Schedule the break at regular intervals so you have something to look forward to. Leave the kids with your partner, invite grandma and grandpa over, or call the sitter for the evening.
If you can only squeeze out fifteen minutes at a time, go with it. If you have the support to take a whole day, that’s great too. Here’s the kicker: No one will think less of you for it. Every mom gets it.
I started this blog post with the intention of offering some ideas as to how you can truly exploit that “me” time, but I decided that wasn’t helpful. Everyone is different, which means I can’t tell you how to enjoy your time away. Perhaps you’re into book clubs or winetasting, or maybe you prefer rock concerts and go-kart racing. You’ll have to decide what brings the inner you out.
Guest Blog by Laura Gravett, Inventor of PunkinWrap
Laura, a mom of two, is the inventor of PunkinWrap, a multi-use car seat cover and baby wrap. PunkinWrap is the only wrap purposely designed to multi-task as a blanket, car seat cover, sunshade, changing pad, tummy time mat, and nursing cover. The 7-in-one baby solution can be placed over baby while nursing, over the car seat, or over the stroller to keep baby protected from the sun at all times. The wrap is lightweight and breathable so baby is always comfy. Plus, it also gives baby privacy while sleeping and protects him from the other elements like rain and wind.
More so, Laura is a former nanny with a degree in psychology who formerly worked at Yale University doing research. As an Atlanta native and currently residing in the best suburb of Atlanta: Roswell, Laura and her husband love their community. Laura volunteers on various committees in their city to help give back in any way she can. Laura and her husband spent several years taking care of rescue dogs – transport, intakes, fostering, etc. and had to step away a bit once they had their first child. The Gravetts now have two children (girls ages 3 and 10 months) and three rescue dogs.
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