How to Not Feel Guilty Taking Time for YOU as a New Mama
You know when you’re on an airplane, and as the flight attendants are doing the demonstration over the loud speaker it always says
Put your mask on first before helping others
That has really stuck with me throughout these past five months as a new mama. You have to put your mask on first before you can put it on your baby, your husband, or anyone else. I have had mom guilt SO many times. I have been out running errands for myself and thought, oh I should probably get home they need me. But then I think, wait, they have a bottle at home, her dad is there, it’s her nap time right now - I can probably spare a few more minutes. This is not me ignoring my child or her needs or me trying to be selfish. It’s just the reality of having a new baby and also still trying to make some time for you. I hope some of these tips below help other mamas not feel the mom guilt as much.
Tips to not feel guilty taking some YOU time as a new mama
Put Your Mask on First - We all relax and unwind in different ways. You’ve seen “self-care Sunday” on social media I’m sure, but that can happen ANY day, at ANY time, when you have ANY amount of time for yourself. This simply means that you should remember that going to get your nails done for an hour, going on a solo walk, is STILL important for YOU. Essentially this tip just means that you need to remember that your mental and physical health is just as important as that of your growing baby. Don’t feel guilty for needing a moment to yourself
Stop complaining and DO - I am a chronic complainer at times and always give my all to others, but never to MYSELF. Lately, I have been trying to wake up early when Kins is still asleep and go downstairs in our gym and do a 30-45 minute workout. This makes me feel GREAT afterwards, even if I’m tired as hell. I need to workout, and giving myself some time makes me feel great. I feel guilty if I don’t do it and it’s something just for me. I’m responsible to do or not do it, and it will truly only affect me. Hold yourself accountable and just DO it
Multi-task the hell out of your day! (When you feel like it!) I’ve found that my hubby is not a good multi tasker. I can do multiple things all at once and he has trouble maintaining that - needs to focus on one thing at a time. Considering - make the most of your time and MULTI freaking task. For example, my daughter is a bit fussy, hasn’t been outside or seen anything but our room yet, and needs a nap. I quickly get her and myself ready, take her downstairs, get her in the stroller and go for a NICE long walk where she can sleep, we both get outdoors to avoid cabin fever, AND I get good exercise - all in one fell swoop. I also often put her in the stroller and walk to Home Goods, Nordstrom Rack or Whole Foods to do some shopping so that I not only get my exercise, but she gets outside and I can run errands all at once. Done and Done!
Recognize when you need down time - It’s easy as new mamas to feel like we need to do so many things at once, and per my earlier point, multi task. But, that also can mean that you’re wearing yourself super thin and are feeling down, overwhelmed, or whatever. There were multiple days when I wanted to get out of the house, but as the day rolled on, I really just wanted to snuggle my gal, do activities in the house, and then just relax when she did. It’s OK to not leave, but don’t do it ALL the time - you need to get out
Take a date night - I didn’t do this until the week before my leave! Meaning for five months, we hadn’t left our daughter at ALL! Doing this makes you feel a LOT more comfortable knowing she’ll be OK with other people besides you and your hubby. It’s SUPER hard and I nearly cried at dinner, but you can’t helicopter them forever (I’m so guilty of this) and they need to find coping strategies to be OK with others
Take outside advice with a grain of salt, don’t get down on yourself - Parenting and new motherhood is not one size fits all. What works for your friend may not work for you. People will always give their opinions on what you should do - but don’t take it all the time! Only you know yourself and your baby, and frankly, sometimes unsolicited advice just makes you feel worse! Should I be doing that too? Am I not being a good enough parent? We feel enough guilt as it is - so please remember that you are NOT a bad parent if you don’t do exactly what other moms do to unwind, etc.
At the end of the day - make sure that you’re relatively aware of what works for YOU. If you feel like you don’t have time to figure it out - TRY! Take a bath while your baby sleeps and bring the monitor in the room with you. I have had to jump out of the shower mid-shaving my legs to go get my baby as she started crying after I thought she was sound asleep, and I’ve had to run out of the bath as she spit out her pacifier and began crying - but both times I just hopped back in, laughed it off, and tried to give myself another few minutes of personal time. It’s not going to go exactly as planned - but that’s TOTALLY ok!
I hope these resonate with some of you!