Life changes completely when you become a parent. Your priorities do too. Regardless of what age your children are, your main role becomes dedication to them, to the home and focus on yourself shrinks.
It’s important, especially if you are a full-time mom, to remember that you are important too, not to step too far away from your social life. Retaining some of your former life can be hard, but it really does matter that you don’t lose yourself and become a 24-hour mom machine.
When babies arrive, everything becomes unpredictable and it is difficult to plan. There are routines you can get yourself into such as the two, six, ten feeding routine. Your days seem to shorten, whereas most have a 24 hour day, yours becomes 4 hours. Wake up, feed, burp, change, play, feed, nap, the cycle goes on. Most moms use baby naps as an opportunity to either grab some sleep themselves or to rush around cleaning and organizing. A visit from a friend disturbs this routine and whilst we are desperate for a catch-up, we can’t quite get out of our head the list of things mounting up.
The beauty of having newborns is that most of your friends and family are really coming to see them! So a really great idea is to make the most of this. Ask a family member or a friend to come and give you an hour. This should be at the tail end of a cycle, before bedtime. Use them being there as a chance to stop everything. A long relaxing bath can change your outlook on the day. Then join your friend for babies feed and put her to bed. You can then enjoy a quick catch up and some gossip without interruptions. You’ll be amazed at how positive a break to the routine can make you feel. Best for mom and better for baby.
As toddlers arrive the routine flies out the window. They are always hungry, except when you want them to eat. You sit them down, turn your back for a second and then they are gone. Toys end up everywhere, in the washing machine, under your chair, down the loo. Being a mom to a toddler means there is no plan, no routine. It’s just brace up and go. Two things should be implemented in a toddler household. Firstly, try to create a toddler-free zone. Somewhere that is toy free and mess free. With a few new home additions you can create a small space to regain some peace and clarity. Next, time to consider a few hours of daycare. Nothing major, even if it is only once or twice a week. Find a brilliant nursery or childminder and arrange a few hours of fun for your child and a few hours of mommy time for you. Use this time to relax, visit a friend, read a book. Don’t waste it on sleep, clear your mind and remember who you are.
Being you is just as important as being mom. Remember that.