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Between changing dirty diapers, drinking lukewarm coffee and burping fussy babies, it can feel impossible to find a few quick moments to yourself. For those who stay home with their newborn (or newborns – can’t forget the moms of multiples), it can be exhausting just to think about the preparation it takes to run to the store or grab a quick latte.
Even the idea of a quick latte can be humorous to a new mom.
If a friend, family member or your partner is available to watch the baby for 15 minutes, it is critical to your mental and emotional well-being to take them up on that offer. Some new moms think it makes them a horrible parent to want to get away from their little one for even a few minutes. It does not make you a horrible parent because you want to focus on yourself. It means you care about your personal well-being and if you are not happy or comfortable mentally, your child can sense that.
Since your mind is typically flooded with a million thoughts all jumbled together at once, you may overlook the easy, go-to options that can help you unwind before returning to face a teething baby or your partner covered in spit-up. You do not need a detailed plan when it comes to finding a quick few minutes for yourself. There are three very simple options that allow you to focus on yourself and your happiness before continuing on with the chaos that is motherhood.
- Coffee Whether you have your Mommee Coffee with you in a to-go cup or you are ordering coffee at a nearby shop, cafes are known to be soothing, sensory-filled spaces. Though the smell of coffee can be relaxing even in your own kitchen, it is important to get out of the house and find a place where you don’t have to any expectations for yourself. Even if this means going through the nearest drive-thru, you are still taking time for yourself and that is what counts.
- Gas station stop. Before becoming a parent, you may never have expected yourself to get excited over driving to the nearest gas station to fill up the tank. The thing is, that drive can be filled with loud music, rolled-down windows and some snacks from inside the gas station. Again, you probably never really looked forward to gas station snacks before either. That short drive gives you the chance to listen to music with the wind in your face before returning home with a few extra snacks to help get you through the rest of your diaper-filled night.
- Walking (the dog). When you have a new baby in the household, the family pet can often be pushed to the side. This doesn’t mean you love them any less, it just means you now have to share your focus with a small human as well as your furry friend. Finding time to go for a short walk with your dog can give you not only a few minutes to regroup your frantic thoughts, but also give you one-on-one time with your pet. Even if you are someone who does not have a dog to walk, getting some fresh air can always relieve some stress.
- Weekly video chat sessions. When you become a mom, you spend more time getting to know your beautiful children, but less time seeing your friends. By scheduling weekly phone call or Skype, FaceTime or Tango sessions with your friends, you will be able to discuss topics outside of diaper rashes and when the last time your baby pooped was (we all know that conversation happens often). Weekly, scheduled calls with close friends keeps your friendships alive and healthy even with you not seeing them as much as you used to. It also gives you a few, quiet minutes to yourself while your partner or family member watches the baby.
- Taking a bath. Once the baby has fallen asleep, pouring yourself a glass of wine (or decaf Mommee Coffee) and taking a bubble bath can be just what you need before ending the day. Many people look at this idea as cliché, but once those lavender bubbles hit your skin, you will be extremely thankful you gave the cliché scene a try. If you are not a fan of baths, taking a hot shower can be just as satisfying – since you often have little time to take a long shower during the day without the interruption of cries or screams.
Jennifer Aline is a coffee addict, new mom of twins and a passionate freelance writer and author. She has had articles in publications such as the NY Daily News, NY Post, Rochester Magazine and In Good Health Magazine as well as others. Aline received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies from Keuka College and worked in the Human Services field before her two little girls entered her life. Aline now focuses primarily on writing, teaching aerial arts classes in the evenings and, of course, caring for her twin daughters – all while continuously chugging coffee, of course.