Ever since my daughter was born two years ago, everyone told me that I should make time for some ‘mommy time’. This meant time alone away from the baby. As I tried to juggle being a new mom, wife to my husband, and keeping my house intact, I felt guilty that I wasn’t following their advice. I thought that was what all moms are doing and if I wanted to be a supermom, I had to keep up. So I tried my hardest to instill a few routines in my week to have that mommy time. I didn’t do it often since life always got in the way. There were days where I could not even remember if I had showered let alone even want to make time for myself.
When I finally got around to mommy time, I went out with my girlfriends for my birthday. At this point, my daughter was four months old. I felt confident that she and my husband could have a decent night without me there. So I pumped some milk, put the bottles in the fridge, put on some makeup, and went out for drinks. I felt a little lost and panicky about being away from them. I kept my cell on the table beside me. The night ended with a frantic call from my husband to come home quickly and a screaming baby in the background. As I drove home with tears streaming down my face and mascara running, I vowed that I would never to do that again to the two most important people in my life. It just wasn’t worth being away from them if all I did was think about them, worry and feel guilty. It’s a good thing that I took that vow since my husband shoved an irate baby at me upon entering the house and he told me never to do that again. Sigh. So I decided from that moment on, mommy time would consist of going to the bathroom solo and having a shower, when I could remember to take one. Hubby would just have to suck it up and watch our daughter for those quick ten minutes it took me to wash the baby vomit out my hair, towel off, and grab a clean enough t-shirt and yoga pants.
Well, two years later, I find myself with a five-month-old baby boy. As post-partum depression threatened to rear it’s ugly head, my Obstetrician and General Practitioner told me that I should be making time for mommy time. Suggestions were to take a walk alone outside, do some jogging, meditate in the backyard, or grab a coffee with a friend. Since I learned from my previous child, mommy time isn’t something that I can do easily. It was even harder now since I had two kids to leave alone with my husband. He told me that he didn’t feel ready for that yet. I don’t blame him. Juggling each one of those kids alone can be difficult. Watching them both at the end of the day is even harder. So again I was feeling guilty about not taking care of myself and disregarding my own needs.
I had girlfriends trying to nudge me out of the house to grab some face time with them. Offers of coffee and fun drinks with umbrellas in them were sent my way. I kept declining them as I knew I couldn’t leave my two babies alone at home with my husband and we did not have a sitter we could trust. And in any case, I didn’t want to! I realize now, two kids later, that I have the rest of my life to find that elusive mommy time. There will be a time when my kids won’t want to spend time with me. I’ll have all the time in the world for myself then. Right now, my kids need me as much as I need them. I love caring for them. They are on my mind 24 hours a day as it is. When I’m away from them physically, I have a hard time separating myself emotionally and mentally. I can’t relax when I’m away from them, and isn’t that the point of mommy time? If I can’t relax and rejuvenate, then mommy time just becomes stressful time and I really don’t need that. So at this point in my life, maybe I’m just a little more mature and learned, but mommy time to me includes that warm shower (I can take longer than ten minutes now!), a bubble bath when both kids are asleep, reading a few pages of a book with no pictures in it, or even a chance to sit with my laptop and write this blog with a cup of hot tea beside me. I’m no longer feeling guilty about this mythical mommy time. I don’t have time nor the desire to do it. I know I have friends who leave their kids at the grandparents’ house for a weekend so they can have date night. I know some friends who go out for girls only weekends. I’m not ready to do that and I don’t care. I find small snippets of time for myself whenever I can in a day. It might not be optimal to the outsider, but it suits me perfectly. In any case, who has time for mommy time anyway?
About the Author:
Randi has two little ones at home. When she’s not giving out hugs, kissing boo boos or trying to get her youngest to sleep, she enjoys reading, cross-stitching, learning how to sew, and spending time with her husband. Randi is also a full-time primary teacher with York Region.