Every mom, newbie or seasoned vet, knows her baby is the number one priority. At least that's what we're told. Society tells women, once they become mothers, that they are to wear their unkempt hair and blood-shot eyes as a badge of motherly pride. We're supposed to be tired, selfless angels who never complain about ceaselessly performing the monotonous tasks. But that's not reality. The reality is that yes, we get to a point where we don't care if there's a little spit up on our shirt -- but we also know that we need a break every now and then, too.
I'm not suggesting you put in earplugs and take a bubble bath while your baby cries in the other room. Instead, I say we stop pretending to be robots who don't require sleep, breaks or help. After all, even robots break down. We need to start a trend of unapologetically taking care of ourselves. Let the #NotAMomBot movement begin! Remember: you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others.
1. It Helps You Compartmentalize
Sometimes, when you're knee-deep in dirty laundry and your hands are full or stick toys, you can get overwhelmed and your to-do-list can seem insurmountable. Enjoying a nice cup of tea for a moment allows you to take a step back and look at the problem with a fresh pair of eyes. A little breather can make any to-do-list a little less like Mt. Everest and more like a pitcher's mound.
2. It Lets You See Your Child Differently
For those of us with little ones, life can become a bit tedious when you're with your baby 24/7. Feed the baby, change the baby, play with the baby, calm the baby, repeat. Did I mention life has no pause button? Even a little time apart can put your baby in a new light. All of a sudden, it's not a routine you have to keep up with; you get to watch this funny little human grow up right in front of your eyes.
3. It Reminds You Who You Are
Sometimes, when your plate is full of motherhood-related responsibilities, you can lose yourself in the chaos. You're more than just a chauffeur or a cook or a nanny, you're still the same woman you were before you had a child. For instance, if you used to take painting classes prior to being a mother, then set aside some time to draw. Don't think that just because you're a mother you're not allowed to do what makes you happy, too -- even if it means you have to modify things a little.
4. It Extinguishes Anger
We all get angry, don't lie. Whether your toddler destroyed the living room for the umpteenth time or your partner forgot to clean the bottles, the tiniest things can set you off when you're running on fumes. Stepping away from the situation can put things into perspective and calm you down. You may even laugh about whatever it was that initially got you grumpy in the first place!
5. It Can Make Your Partner Appreciate You More
You know that saying, "A pictures is worth a thousand words," right? Well, 30 minutes with a fussy baby is worth a million words. You can tell your partner a hundred different ways about what all goes into your day and that the baby isn't always a perfect little angel. Some one-on-one time will show your partner just how hard you work while taking care of the baby, and I bet you you'll be more appreciated.
It may take some trial and error to find a good balance, but never apologize for needing some "me time." You'll feel better and who doesn't want a happy mom? Use the "#NotAMomBot" tag and share what kind of things you like to do for a little break!