Being a mom is a mostly thankless job. You put everything into it, but that’s what’s needed and expected of you. You wouldn’t have it any other way. But, it seems as though especially in these first few years, a lot of moms put themselves on the back burner. Whether it’s our health, our hobbies, our sanity — we just put it off, because the needs of tiny humans outweigh our wants. I am no exception.
At the same time, we’ve all heard the phrase, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” And maybe all along I found tiny ways to fill my cup a little bit so it can keep being drained, but I was not very good at putting myself first when I need to.
My summers had been pretty baby-centric all the way back to 2015. We were preparing for IVF with tests, and in August I had my egg retrieval and fresh transfer (that did not work). In 2016, I was very pregnant and then had a baby in July. In 2017, everything was just about Charlotte. Her first beach trip. Her first birthday. And well, one-year-olds are just kind of demanding.
Then Summer 2018 happened.
It started with a friend’s kid-free wedding. Tim was a groomsman. I’ll admit, I was not excited about that. We had to leave Charlotte for two nights. It the first time I ever left her overnight, and I was really sad and stressed about it. It was still a fun wedding, though. Since that wedding was out of town, I probably would have opted to leave her with my parents for the weekend, anyway. I’ll say this ended up being a good starter.
But even though it was a kid-free weekend, it wasn’t stress-free. The next Sunday was Mother’s Day, and I asked for the ultimate gift: a day off. The day before, Tim took Charlotte out to lunch, to the park, running errands, and only brought her home for nap and dinner. I spent the day resting, and it was glorious. And I still got to kiss my baby good night.
At the end of May, another friend had her Bachelorette party trip to the beach. I was gone five whole days. I missed my kid, but it was a really nice break and a nice trip. I didn’t even have to plan it! It felt a lot easier to leave Charlotte with her dad, even though I still missed her and worried about her.
In June, I signed Charlotte up for a music class on Saturday mornings. Tim took her, and I slept in. It was then that I started taking Saturday mornings very slow. During the weeks, Charlotte and I enjoyed our last summer before she started school.
In July, Tim and I celebrated our five year anniversary with a trip to Vegas! Tim’s parents flew down to watch Charlotte (and Twilight). I did a whole post on this trip here, but it was our first trip together kid-free since Charlotte was born. It was some much-needed time together.
And last minute right after Charlotte started preschool, I booked a long weekend beach trip with my best friend. That’s right! I did it! I could have felt so guilty about it, but I chose not to. It was worth it.
It was a really busy summer, but it was one of my favorite summers so far. The truth was, I just needed a lot more time that was about me! I’m happy to say, a year later, I’ve done a decent job of giving myself time off. I still take a lot of Saturdays “off”. I sleep in, Tim takes Charlotte out to lunch, and I get some things (I actually want to get) done.
It is not totally perfect, though! I am still working on myself. I still need more me time, I need more friend time, I need more sleep, and I need to spend more time on my hobbies. I am finding that as Charlotte gets older, the easier this gets, so I hope by next year I’ll find myself in an even better place!
How do you make sure you get enough time for yourself?