I’ve been kind of struggling to find out who I am these days… because – quite frankly – after only having been a mom for 7 months, I already do feel as though I’ve lost myself a little.
Honestly, I had always said it wouldn’t happen to me. I guess maybe I was a little naïve going into motherhood, or maybe I hadn’t realized just how difficult it would be to make time for myself once my bundle of joy arrived. I thought I’d make the time. I really did.
Because it was important to me!
But I can’t remember the last time that I had a couple of hours to myself. Well, except for grocery shopping. And quite frankly, I’m so desperate for me-time that grocery shopping really does almost cut it. Hey, I’m alone with my thoughts and I’m surrounded by food… It’s kind of like a mom’s night out, while getting errands done.
The funny thing is that I didn’t realize, until recently, that my lack of personal time was causing issues. Mainly it’s because I do love being a mom. No matter how exhausted I am, my baby Brady makes it all worth it. I love that I’m his whole world and that he needs me for everything. I love it so much that sometimes I forget I need time to recharge.
Maybe it even feels selfish at first… I feel that, as a wife and a mother, I should be giving my all. And ultimately, I want to.
I realized, however, just how badly I needed a recharge, when my hubby Nate injured his back last week. Nate has an annular tear in his back, and he had a flare-up that caused such pain he couldn’t walk. Suddenly, I wasn’t going to have to just take care of the baby, but I also was going to have to take care of a bed-ridden husband.
I tried to be sweet and nurturing, but this rush of emotions burst up through me. I’d already felt stretched too thin as it is. I knew it wasn’t fair, but I felt frustrated with Nate because he got to sit down all day (and even nap) while I cared for a very energetic seven month old. (I didn’t envy his pain, but – man – what I wouldn’t give for a nap). 😉 I felt as though I was drowning, and I needed a gulp of fresh air. I was depleted, and I needed a recharge.
I was tired. Exhausted. Overwhelmed.
I mourned my old self a little. I don’t have time to really take care of myself the way I used to (to pick out cute outfits, to do my hair, or to spend more than a couple of minutes on makeup). I haven’t yet been able to figure in a workout schedule. I’ve had to put on weight in order to keep up my breastmilk supply, and so none of my clothes fit right (while none fit at all). I missed the annual Mom and Daughter shopping trip that I usually go on with my mom and sister, because Brady wouldn’t have been able to last such a busy day. (So my mom and sister went without me for the first time… ever). For the first time in about 18 years, I’m not playing an instrument for church (as I love to do), and I’m instead working in nursery. I’ve love to read a book, to take a hot bath, to sit down to lunch with a friend, to go for a quiet walk, or to window shop at the mall.
And, oh, how I would love to have time to blog.
Such is the journey of a new mom. It hits you at one point that life has changed and that – even though you love your baby so much – it’s still a little hard. Okay, fine, some days it’s really hard. It’s human nature to need a little bit of time for yourself.
And I’m finding, it’s not even wrong. It’s not wrong to make time for yourself, so that you still feel like you. You don’t have to let go of yourself completely!
One of my best friends called me the other day, and I admitted to her where I was in this struggle. I ended with, “I know this sounds selfish… But sometimes, I wish I had time to even just do my nails.”
“But it’s not selfish,” she assured me.
Balance isn’t easy when you’re a mom, because – as I said before – we want to be everything for our family. But I was reminded recently that even supermoms need time to recharge a bit. We need time to be refreshed, so that we can be there for our families emotionally.
It’s Biblical even. God created a day of rest, because He knew that humans need time to remove themselves from the fast pace of every day and to rest ourselves physically and mentally. But as a mom, can you remember the last time you took a day of rest? How about a few hours?
And, no, using the bathroom alone does not count!
I want to be nurturing and loving to my baby and husband. I want to be the best wife that I could possibly be. But I’m learning that to do so, I also need to make some time for myself. Or maybe I already knew that… I’m just realizing that the time will never come, so I need to make the time.
Tomorrow starts a brand new week, and I plan to be much more conscious about mommy time. ME time! 🙂 I am going to do my best to make sure it happens once in awhile. I know it won’t be easy… But this is a challenge that I am going to try my best at!! 🙂
Do any of you moms out there have tips as to how to make mommy time happen?