Since the hubs has finished school and started his new job, we have done a lot of adjusting and settling into our new family schedule. I have also done some assessment of my activities and time obligations. We lead busy lives, both working full time, me teaching classes, and us both tending to two energetic little bambinos. My goal is always to maximize my time with the babies, but I also feel that making time for my workouts, and adult social time is important for my mental health and well-being. Which ultimately helps me on the Mom front as well.
Since becoming a momma, I have really struggled with momma guilt and taking time for myself. For a long time, I was really hesitant to do anything that I felt unnecessarily took me away (workout, go see friends, date nights) unless it was after the babies were in bed for the night or was planned for during their nap time. I still try to plan workouts and activities when they are asleep if I can, but I have come up with a few strategies that have helped me feel less guilty about taking time for myself. These techniques have really helped me to feel better about my me time and have improved my life balance.
I am by no means an expert, nor will I pretend I have it all figured out. I have days where everything else falls to the side because a baby needs my attention (or I need my baby snuggles). I also have plenty of moments where I feel overwhelmed or feel like there are a lot of other things that need my attention. For example, the huge basket of laundry that is currently staring at me as I type. However, I do my best to prioritize fitness for my health, and adult activities for my overall well-being (and because I love my friends and family!).
These are a few things that have helped me. If you have any tips to share, I would love to hear them!
1. Schedule your me time activities – I am very much the type that if it is on my calendar or to-do list, it will get done. If I am just thinking about it, not so much. When I want to take a class or grab a bite with a friend, I schedule it. I also check in with the hubs about it and we come up with a plan. For example, I have a Zumba and yoga class that I like to catch each week. They are evening classes, that start after my little miss is asleep, but require the hubs to put our son to bed. I put them on our family calendar so they stay in both our minds.
(Photo credit: Laraloveinme)
2. Emphasize quality time – I used to be pretty bad about having my nose in my phone all the time. Recently, I have been trying to break that. when I am with the babies, I try to really focus on being with them by putting the phone away and enjoying my interactions with them. I am not perfect at this and sometimes the smart phone siren song catches me, but I try.
I also try to make chores or routine things a time to connect. We chat and sing in the car. Both the babies love playing sous chef and hanging out with me as I cook. They are also starting to help out as they get bigger, which is so sweet to see.
3. Stress reduction – Working out and socializing is a huge stress reliever for me. I definitely feel like I am more patient and just generally at my best if I have been getting my workouts in. A dinner date or brunch with friends is also a mood booster for me.
4. Consider how important hobbies or passions can be in your life. A few months ago, I was marveling at my babies unfolding personalities and interests (little dude’s passion for cars cannot be matched). It is amazing to see and I would hate for them to give up on their passions or interests. It occurred to me that my mom probably felt the same way about me and my siblings and that it would not be the best example if I gave up on my interests because I felt guilty taking a little time for myself.
Friends, what are your go to self-care or stress relieving activities? Mommas out there, how do you fight the mom guilt beast?