Women's Healthcare Topics

Making Time for “ME” after having a Baby

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

“How can I get some ME time?”

Whether you are a stay-at-home mother or a mom who works, chances are, you are very, very busy. Unless you have a nanny or relative to help you with your children, then you certainly have a lot of work to do. Raising children is very difficult, yet very rewarding. As they say, “It is the toughest job you’ll ever love!”

With that said, many women will nod their head when they hear the question, “How can I get some ME time after my baby is born?” A few women might still be asking this question as their child moves into toddler stages and throughout the child-raising years. This is perhaps one of the toughest things as a parent, and one that many parents feel guilty about even thinking!

Yet, even the best parents do need a little time to refresh their minds, bodies and souls. Children can be trying at times. There is a lot of crying, whining, pooping, spitting up, messes, bumps and bruises, inquisitions, and once the baby is able to think independently, this is another difficult stage to try to “reason” with a child who has a mind of their own. At times like these, any mother, no matter how great of a parent she is, may feel like her patience is wearing thin!

Working parents often feel guilty over wanting “ME” time, as they are already gone all day while working at their jobs, so the only time spent with their children are those hours while not at work. So, it can actually feel like a rather selfish request to want time for yourself, when children also want that time with you, especially if there is not a lot of time to go around. This can be stressful and can make you feel like a ticking time bomb!

Let’s not forget about your mate. Your husband also wants his time with you. Perhaps other people do, too. This is when many moms begin to feel most overwhelmed and wish they could find more time to themselves. How many women out there have neglected basic needs, such as taking a shower or going to the gym, or shopping and other seemingly mundane tasks? Going to the supermarket alone can feel like a giant break, especially when everyone is pulling you in all directions.

Before you check yourself into a mental hospital though, please understand that it does get easier. When the child begins going to school, you may still be very busy with extra-curricular activities, but at least you will get a good seven hour break for five days a week. However, up until that point, you really have to make a concerted effort to make time, no matter what.

Learn how to make ME time after giving birth.

Making time for you DOES make you a better parent. Sometimes just that one to three hour break, or occasional overnight trip, actually makes you happier and more joyful to spend time with your little ones. It gives you time to miss each other. It is normal and healthy, and your kids will see how important it is that you do have self-respect and value your time enough to take care of yourself. It sets a good example to them, as long as you do healthy and productive things with your time.

For example, you could sign up for a class. Think of something you always wanted to do, like painting or photography, for example. Go ahead and sign up for it! Chances are, the class is only a couple of times a week and will make you feel really good. You will be able to surround yourself with adults instead of being with your child 24/7.

Here are some other ways you could make time, just for YOU:

  • Enroll in a workshop or class, even for a hobby or special interest

  • Join an exercise class, such as aerobics, yoga or even working with a personal trainer

  • Go to the salon once a week for some self-care and pampering, whether it is your hair, nails or a massage

  • Call a friend and go to lunch at least once a week

  • Have a date night with your hubby at least twice a month

  • Go on a retreat with some church friends or through another social club

  • Join a group on meetups.com or another networking club in your area

  • Every once in a while, go dancing or shoot billiards or do something “fun” with friends. If you are too tired due to the children, start earlier and be home by midnight or so. It will be worth it!

These are just a few of countless ideas, but maybe you already know what you would like to do. Write down a few things that you always “wish” you could do if you had the time, and then don’t feel guilty about setting aside the time to do it. If you do not plan it, then the day will never arrive! You will always stay stuck in the cycle of being a parent or an employee, wife, etc. but never having your own identity. This is not healthy, so DO make time for YOU! You deserve it.,


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