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There is nothing wrong in factoring in some me-time as a mom. It is your right, and does not make you a bad mother, no matter what anyone says!
6 am. If you’ve slept at night, you wake up early. If not, the term ‘wake-up’ is meaningless. You just get off the bed and start the day.
Make breakfast, feed the baby, pack lunch for the husband, somehow grab a burnt toast to eat but rush to clean a pooping baby, never mind that the toast fell on the ground, pick it up and eat it, give the baby a bath, make some fresh mashed food for the baby, feed the baby, find a cup of cold tea on the dining table (remember that you had made some tea in the morning but never had it), gulp down the tasteless liquid, have some of the leftover baby food as lunch, manage to eat another cup of rice … and so the day goes on.
You don’t really know when the morning quietly slid into the afternoon and when evening sneaked in.
If that looks like your day too, it can get overwhelming, especially if you have a newborn/very young baby at home and if you don’t have any help. I have been in the exact same scenario, and I did not realize how three years passed by gulping down cold chai and running around like a fidget spinner. Tiredness written all over my face and forever sleepy, I used to be in pretty low spirits.
I can imagine a lot of us go through such phases.
However, gradually, I realized that having a ME-Time can work wonders. ‘Me-Time,’ a time only for yourself to do what you want to do. A time to nurture the person inside you who is not a wife, who is not a mom, who is not a daughter. A time without any household chores and a time without any responsibilities.
Do anything you like in your Me-Time, or just don’t do anything. Just relax for a few hours. If hours sound too much for you, make it just for 30 minutes in a day. You can just read, take a nap, sit like a zombie out in the balcony, watch people, have a quick chat with your friend, grab a hot coffee and make up for the cold chai you had in the afternoon, go out and get a new book or a new dress, get a warm bath; essentially anything that unwinds you and keeps you happy.
Just take off from all household chores for sometime, have your husband or someone trustworthy look after your child for a few hours or minutes while you take a break.
I cannot really emphasize how important this is for our own well-being. It takes our mind off the baby and the home, and restores our energy. It is essentially a way to de-stress and revitalize ourselves. No breaks and overwork sap us of our own energies and leave us extremely stressed which can make us angry, irritable, and even unfriendly.
The impact of such stress is heavily understated because we do not really understand that a hidden reason why we are often irritable is that we do not take breaks. We do not take care of our emotional health. We do not realize that the ‘me’ within us needs to be cared for.
We also do not realize that being refreshed makes us happier mothers, and that a quick break helps us come back to the family better and happier.
I know of some parents who work out a Me-Day for the mom. The mom takes an entire day off and the dad takes care of the child. Not only does she come back fresh, the child also gets enough time to bond with the father. If you can work it out, have a Me Day once a week. If that sounds difficult, try for a few minutes everyday.
On a side note, sometimes we are not vocal about the need of a break even if we feel the need for it. We may feel guilty for being away from the baby, or fear that we may be judged at and termed ‘bad mothers.’ Setting correct expectations at home and realizing that a break is only for a happier family can clear off any questionable thoughts.
Try taking a break and see how a Me-Time can put back the you in you. You will definitely come back to your baby happier and all charged up.
Image source: Flickr, for representational purposes only.