Turning We-Time Into Me-Time: An Experiment

Last week I wrote about “The Myth of Me-Time” and the importance of finding refreshment within the context of family. I received a lot of amazing comments from various Mamas about how they find refreshment. While reading through everyone’s comments, it occurred to me that my problem with “Me Time” isn’t the “Me Time” at all, it’s my attitude regarding it. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a cup of coffee with a girlfriend, going to the gym, or getting pedicures… What’s wrong is my state when I don’t get to do those things. My lifestyle makes me DEPENDENT on getting “Me-Time” which is something I can’t always control. I cant’ always control whether or not someone will be able to watch Luca so I can get away. Or sometimes “life” just happens and I’m too busy to get any “Me Time.”

It’s time to take matters into my own hands. I’m going to find ways to refresh throughout my day so that I don’t use “Me Time” as a crutch. I will still go to the gym and get away but I’m not going to live in such a way that my happiness depends on those outings. I want to enjoy each day fully without having to hope that I can get out.

So, I decided to run a little experiment to see if I could truly find ways to be refreshed while at home with Luca. Here’s my hypothesis: IF I find ways to refresh throughout the day with Luca THEN I won’t feel resentful about not getting a break from him every day.

Round One: Redecorate Living Room. I LOVE crafts and changing our house around. It just makes the house seem to come alive. So I decided to redecorate the living room last week, thinking that would be refreshing. FAIL. Major fail. I already wrote about this in my post “Reclaiming Jaclyn, Part 3” so I won’t get too much into it here. Let’s just say, the day ended with a cranky Mama and a cranky baby because I neglected relationship with Luca the entire time. I wasn’t finding refreshment WITH him, I was trying to find refreshment in SPITE of him.

Luca during one of his "Happy Hours."
Luca during one of his “Happy Hours.”

Round Two: Find Joy in the Little Things. I’m sorry, I tried to think of something not so cliché to write but I couldn’t. Round Two of the experiment was a major success because of not just one thing, but many little things throughout the day. Here’s how it went down:

Little Thing #1: Play. Luca’s “Happy Hour” is right when he wakes-up. He is giggly and smiley and just amazing to be around. I decided that instead of pumping milk like usual, I was going to spend this time playing with Luca. I tickled his feet, mimicked his noises, gave him plane rides, and just enjoyed his reactions. It was better than any latte.

Little Thing #2: Bath time. My baby was stinky. I wasn’t smelling so hot either (What is it? Is it breast feeding? I can’t figure-out why I sweat so much now!). We both needed baths so I thought, why not take one together? Some of my Mama friends said that they’ve done it so I gave it a whirl. It was AMAZING. Luca loved kicking his legs in the water and floating. It made me laugh and it was relaxing to be in the warm water. And his soft baby skin?! Ugh! Glorious! (The exit from the bath wasn’t fun, Luca was over-tired, but the amount of fun that happened in the bath gave me the energy to deal with his meltdown)

Little Thing #3: Moby Dance Party. This is sort of like the Jelly Belly Dance Party only this one included strapping Luca to my chest in the Moby wrap. Let me tell you, it was a blast! I was super nervous because I knew Luca was kind of sleepy and normally I would just play some white noise or something for him. But, in the pursuit of knowledge, I decided to throw on the Michael Jackson Pandora station, and let me tell you, it totally worked! He had so much fun and then just fell asleep while I was dancing with him to “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder. It was a really special moment.

 

All in all, I will say the experiment was a success. I’m going to continue to find ways to make We-Time refreshing. I’ll still get out and do the things I love (I’m giving Zumba another try tonight, wish me luck!) but I hope I won’t feel as desperate for them. I’m curious what things you Mamas love to do with your babies that brings you refreshment?

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10 thoughts on “Turning We-Time Into Me-Time: An Experiment

  1. I guess I was ‘lucky’ I got my wake up call a little early in Darcy’s life. My mom was finally coming when Darcy was 2 weeks old, and I had a great plan! I made an awesome poster to greet my mom with at the bottom of the airport escalator, I picked out the most adorable outfit Darcy had, AND I showered and got ready. It was going to be a spectacular first meeting! Ha! My mom text and said that she was landing early. Hurry get into the car, lets go!! Just as I said that Darcy threw up all over herself, A LOT. I hurried and found the 2nd best outfit. Hurry lets go again!! Nope. Darcy was crying and hungry. I got her back out of her car seat, stomped over to the couch, plopped down and just sobbed. I sobbed! Like a huge baby. Cory thought I was completely nuts. “Darcy is ruining everything!!” I literally said that out loud through tears. That is when my logical husband gave it to me straight. “Lindsey you need to realize that from now on all of your plans will almost always not be perfect. You need to let that go and realize what Darcy needs is now your #1 priority.”
    Wow. I totally needed that. I am so thankful that Cory said that. Who knew that something so simple was really so hard to see.
    So I’ve kind of let ‘Me Time’ go a little, at least the BIG ones. The little ones that I took for granted are the big ones now. A shower, Cory taking her in the morning and I can sleep in, watching a TV show while she naps, or even walking to the mailbox alone!
    Whenever something isn’t going how I want or I start to feel like Darcy is imposing into my ‘me time’ I try to think WHATEVER! She will only be this little once so just go with it! All the things that I would love to do will still be there when I’ll actually have the time to do it. But the time I spend with her is precious. I will never get it again and I need to soak up those toothless grins. 🙂

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  2. I really liked Little Thing number one. I feel I’m so busy pumping and cooking and trying to balance everything with the cloth diapers and geting a 30 minute nap in, that I’m not getting to enjoy her this little. (She’s 2 months old.) I think about it all the time. And though I’ve let many things go—like the dusting and the cleaning and well, life in general really, a part of me feels I’m doing it all wrong. And I’ll kick myself years from now.
    Thanks for the reminder. And the inspiration! 🙂

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  3. I found out that me time at home works really well. It’s a state of mind. I used to complain to my husband about not getting a break until I realized I might not be asking for what I really need. A mental break, I think. I like to take pictures with my cell phone, for example to get a moment of “break.”
    Thanks for writing this.
    Much peace,
    Laurie

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