Blog #11: Me Time: A Mommy's Best Friend!

Ever since the birth of my daughter, I have seen what true sacrifice looks like. I've sacrificed my body, mind, spirit energy and especially my time. I'm not saying the sacrifices aren't worth it... the blessing of my baby girl far surpasses anything I've had to give up, but that doesn't mean that it's easy! 

New mommy
New mommy
My baby girl
My baby girl

When I am asked about how I feel being a mom and what it's like, I feel obligated to say that it's so amazing and fulfilling and worthwhile (which it is), but if I'm honest, it's tough! It's really, really hard In so many ways! I really appreciate the moms who were blunt and honest about the not-so-glamorous aspects of being a parent. 

The biggest lesson I have learned over this past 14 months is how important 'me time' is. I think I went a year without taking care of myself, and only focusing on my baby, but it definitely took its toll on me, mentally, physically & emotionally. As a full time stay-at-home mom I think I fell into a slight depression. I wouldn't even do the basics like brushing my teeth or showering.

Now, whether the depression was postpartum or solely due to neglecting myself, I don't know; But I do know that I didn't want anyone to know. Given my history of mental illness, I didn't want to worry anyone, and maybe I was a little in denial myself. Either way, it was not healthy. I now see that if I don't put myself first, I am of no use to anyone, especially my child. Being pregnant again with my second, I know how important self-care is, and how critical it is to be aware of any and all signs of depression. I need to be open and honest with myself, my husband and loved ones around me. 

Thankfully I have started my journey of healing. A big part of this journey has been my husband helping me and motivating me to pamper myself. I know it seems crazy that I would need someone to encourage me to do this, but it took baby steps. Now I fully see the benefits of 'me time' and I look forward to those few moments a day where I just focus solely on me. I now see it's not selfish to want a moment away from the baby, it's necessary!

It doesn't mean I need a full spa day 3 times a week. No, its just a simple bath with soothing music playing, a nice clay face mask, doing my nails, etc... And I feel so much better afterwards! I now tell my partner when I need a break, and he gladly takes over when he can. I can tell you what a difference it has made in my mood, personality and overall disposition. I pulled myself out of a dark place, and am a better mom for it!

So ladies (and gentlemen), take care of yourself! Trust me, I know it can be hard to get a moment away when you are taking care of a baby... even using the bathroom can be a challenge! But ask for help! It's not a weakness, but rather a strength! Have hubby or grandma or anyone you trust take over for a bit, and do something for yourself, something that makes you feel good! And that can be different for everyone; Your idea of me-time might be fishing, or surfing, or watching a movie. Whatever it is, do it! The benefits are not only yours, your entire family will be better for it!

How do you take time for yourself? What are your favorite 'me time' moments? Let me know in the comments! 

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