One of the best pieces of advice I was told when I became a new mom was to make sure to take time for yourself, everyday. Even just fifteen minutes. Make sure it is all for you. Take a shower, brush your teeth, do your hair, your makeup, whatever makes you feel good. It seems like such an easy thing, but some days it can seem absolutely impossible.
This “me” time is important. Especially as a stay at home mom. It’s so easy to just not do things, because, hey, the baby really doesn’t care if my hair hasn’t been styled. So why bother? I’m too busy and it’s not that important. Just don’t keep saying that about everything, because one day you’ll wonder where you have gone. Some days I just need this time to collect my thoughts, or some times just get to have some non-baby related thoughts. Not much of my day doesn’t involve the baby, which I’m okay with because I signed up for it, but it is nice (and necessary) to get a mental break once in a while.
This past weekend we decided to take this take time for yourself advice to another level and have a mini getaway. My husband’s work has been stressful, and I have been, well, with the baby non-stop, and starting to get a little edgy. It also happened to be my birthday the week before, so that’s always a good excuse. We are lucky enough to have in-town grandparents, who are also up for a challenge every once in a while. They had given us tickets for the Wine Train in Napa and it came with an overnight babysitter for the baby. My husband convinced them to extend the babysitting to two nights, and we were off to Napa for a much needed break.
I’ve never been away from the baby for two nights in a row. It was a little unnerving, but not too bad. From my perspective, I typically can’t get a drink or go to the bathroom without considering what the baby is doing or should be doing, so it’s a bit odd to be so carefree. They did send us pictures of her playing and having a good time. It was weird to see her having her day and me not being there. That hardly ever happens. That might be the blessing and the curse of the stay at home mom. I have experienced almost every minute of her life with her, so its a strange feeling when I don’t, and someone else does, even for just a small period of time. I am okay with it, but there is a tangible feeling I get that I’m not sure what to call or how to explain.
So our first night away we had dinner on the train. We both laughed when we just got to sit at the table and drink our wine without having to secure all of the plates and silverware. I had to remind myself to eat slower. I still studied my meals to figure out what the baby could eat, but I did not set the items aside or cut them into small pieces. The next day my husband treated me to a lovely spa package that included a massage, a facial, and a mani/pedi. I had four hours of complete “me” time. And it was very, very nice. It was sort of like hitting a re-set button. You have to break routine, stop, reflect, and re-enter sometimes. Don’t feel guilty for wanting or needing to get a break, whether it’s one hour, one day, or one week, because it’s actually really important. If you take time to better yourself, your family as a whole will be better off for it.
Anyways, we returned home to our smiley, happy baby girl, refreshed both mentally and physically. During dinner on our first night home, she threw her food all over the floor, and looked up at me and giggled. I smiled and thought “that’s my girl”. It’s so good to be home.