Finding Time to Enjoy Our “Mommy Moments”
By Renee Sullivan, parent coach, fellow mom and director & founder of babybites support groups
What do you miss from your pre baby days – Sleeping in? Impromptu evenings out? Relaxing vacations? Making sure we get our much-needed breaks to do something nice for ourselves is of utmost importance in order to be a happy and well-balanced parent. Raising a child is one of the hardest (and most rewarding!) things we will ever do. Our “time-outs” are even more important than our little ones time-outs. Carving out some “me-time” to relax away from the childcare duties is the fuel that keeps us moving. The precious time we spend away from our little ones make us enjoy and appreciate the moments with them that much more. However you build in your “mommy-time” whether getting a sitter once or twice a week to take care of things, or leaving the little one with dad to go to the gym, grab a cup of coffee or relax, doesn’t matter. What does matter is making space for it, even if it’s just a few minutes to escape to Starbucks for a cup of java. It’s amazing how such short breaks can really do wonders!
Some helpful tips:
· Miss spontaneity? To increase spontaneity, have a set date night (once a month, twice a month, once a week), which you don’t plan ahead what you actually are going to do – just the time frame is set. You and your partner can look forward to the time together, and then decide in the moment what your whims are for the evening…..catch a Broadway show, go to comedy club, take a walk down at the Seaport, catch a movie, grab some dinner. It will be refreshing to be able to decide in the moment:)
· Miss having chats? To work on your relationship with your partner – every Sunday evening or Monday morning have a quick chat where you each get to ask one small thing of the other – this begins to make a set time for communication and gives us the space to be heard, as well as feel validated that we are being listened to. The key is not to ask for the world – just something that is doable, and would make you feel good. Some examples could be – take out the garbage, dry cleaning, recyclables, etc without being asked, let me sleep in for thirty minutes in the morning, make the coffee before you leave for work. Your partner also gets to ask a small thing of you that will also relieve his stress – some examples mentioned in previous groups – call the office no more than three (or two or one) times a day, have some dinner ready one night a week (can be takeout:), watch favorite program (uninterrupted). It can be anything for each of you – just start small, and most importantly honor each other’s one request for that week.
· Miss sleeping in with your partner? To enjoy lounging around again some moms will get a sitter specifically on a Saturday or Sunday morning – 6am – 12pm, or 8am – 12pm so that you and your partner can lounge around and not have to tend to the baby in the morning. Some moms in our support groups have rented a hotel room for the day and had the sitter stay at home. Its not silly to pay someone for you to rest and lounge, it is so important for your well – being to unplug from tending round the clock to your little one. It’s also a great way for you and your partner to stay connected. Priceline.com has some great deals on hotels, so it doesn’t have to be expensive – the key is just making time away from the day to day without the baby.
Wishing you all wonderful “mommy moments” in the coming days! What will you do nice for yourself this week?