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.
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?