There are days when we all need a break. Whether it’s an overbooked calendar, a pressing deadline or a chaotic household, it isn’t unheard of to feel a little more than overwhelmed. Before having children, […]
There are days when we all need a break. Whether it’s an overbooked calendar, a pressing deadline or a chaotic household, it isn’t unheard of to feel a little more than overwhelmed. Before having children, I was no stranger to day-to-day stressors. But at the end of the day, I could turn it all off and just let it go. I could call friends and head out the door to meet them for a drink or dinner or whatever else my heart desired. Or I could just take a walk and get fresh air. That’s not to say that I can’t do those things now. The difference is that it just takes a little more coordination and planning.
These days, Jesse and I are maneuvering the intricacies of self-care. It’s not always that we remember to take time out for ourselves. And I’ll be honest, there are days when I’m feeling absolutely less than stellar in the mom- and wife-realm, not to mention feeling subpar as a person in general. I wrote something on my personal blog about it that felt cathartic, but I needed to really address my need for time alone. It’s important to remember to carve out that time, you know? As moms we so often forget to do that or maybe dismiss it because we sometimes feel selfish for even needing it.
Last week, Jesse suggested I do my own thing one night and give myself a break. So for a few hours in the evening mid-week, I met with two girlfriends of mine for cocktails and chats. We hung out and talked, laughed, caught up on life and in that time, I honestly felt weirdly autonomous (in a good way, if that makes sense). It’s easy to get tangled in the routine of staying at home with an infant. The path of least resistance would have been for me to stay in my pajamas, settle into bed and turn on a Netflix show with Jesse (Master of None, anybody?) while the kids sleep. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that. In fact, that’s how I’ve been spending a lot of my evenings. But sometimes it actually feels good to get out, put some lipstick on and not worry about making sure everyone else eats before taking a bite of my own dinner. As much as I love my family, it was refreshing to be out without them.
Something we’ve found that has been working for us over the weekends is taking turns waking up with the kids, too. We are really quite lucky that our children aren’t of the ilk that gets us up at 5 a.m. On a good day, they won’t even get up until the sun is actually out. But more often than not, Anaïs is up and is ready to go. And when she’s up, Akira is up, too, cooing and smiling alongside his big sister. So Jesse and I alternate. Some Saturdays, I wake up with them. Other times, it’s him. This past weekend, he took one for the team and let me sleep in for a couple more hours. I then returned the favor the next day.
It’s all about finding that balance and making sure that we both know how much we value each other’s time. It would be a mistake for us both to keep going full speed ahead and then burn out. It’s not always going to be this cut and dry. But we are figuring it out one day at a time.