Best Advice Ever: Be Selfish

Motherhood is HARD. This is no secret to any of us moms. There is so much advice we hear before our child is born that sounds like a no brainer, but once we are officially moms, said advice is not easy to follow.

Almost every “new mom” blog or article I read mentions how one of the most important things to do is to MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. That sounded easy. Hell, at first, I didn’t even feel like I needed time for me because I had this fresh, adorable baby that was brand new in my life. I wanted to spend every second with him and watch every breath he took.

 

We all remember that feeling of first laying our eyes on them.

 

Newborn Stage

The first thing to hit me was how tired I was. All. The. Time. But even waking up every two hours for feedings I didn’t mind because I was so in awe of my son and so happy and in love with him. After the first month though, I started becoming cranky and feeling guilty because of the unavoidable mood swings lack of sleep was bringing me. Then I went back to work. Which was a nice break sometime,  but oh how that mom guilt came back around making me miss my son. The mother in me was feeling horrible that I didn’t have the means to stay at home with him all day.

I should probably note here that we are pretty low income as a family. Not poor, but we are paying our bills with just a little extra, but no way in hell could we afford child care full time, and I make just enough to not qualify for any assistance. Luckily, my son’s dad and I work opposite schedules. I got up in the morning to feed bubble breakfast and get ready for work, go to work until around 4, and then dad is off to work for the night. Financially, it works out great. Emotionally, there just is not enough time.

We try to have a system. I tell myself I will have one day a week where dad takes over and I have a completely baby free day. Something usually gets in the way though. He will have plans, or I feel guilty and end up spending the day with bubble.

I mean, how could I not spend all my time with this beautiful creature??

 

3-4 Months In

Things started taking a toll on me. I was neglecting myself. Every day, my hair would go up in a bun after work, and makeup would get smeared or just come off from my son poking and prodding my face. I told myself I was happy; because my son was happy. But I wasn’t. I was stress eating, gaining weight, never getting dressed up, having horrible mood swings from lack of sleep (because when he napped I needed to have the perfect house or get other things done). I continued this cycle of pretending I was happy for a couple months.

A Couple Months After Working Again

And believe people when they tell you that you cannot run away from things forever, and that they will catch up to you. I became irritated almost all the time when I was home. I started getting frustrated at my son for not going to sleep. I was unhappy with how bubble’s dad was  parenting when he was doing just fine as a parent. I was trying to have control over things that didn’t matter. And the more I did all this, the MORE unhappy I became because I was ugly as a person at the time. I started remembering all those blogs I read.

Something Had to Change

So I MADE myself have time for myself, even if it meant other things getting neglected. Here’s some examples (that hopefully you can use):

  • I would leave extra early for work to go grab some coffee and sit outside, or just drive around.
  • I slept when my son slept because no matter how bad I had the urge to use that as productivity time I knew my body NEEDED SLEEP! The difference I felt just from having more sleep was amazing. I am the ultimate person that tries to multi-task and feels the need for everything to get done,  but I promise you that extra even twenty minutes does wonders.
  • If my son was crying and I was exhausted, (as long as he had everything he needed), I would set him in his crib and walk away to breathe. Like breathing exercises. Inhale for 4 seconds, exhale. Sometimes I would be so exhausted that the endless nights of crying made me SO angry. Also, I am so against crying it out (see about me section).
  • If my son is needing a little more attention that day, I would throw a yoga routine on YouTube and do some baby yoga with him. I’m still getting something for me, and he’s entertained.
  • Finally, I communicated to bubble’s dad how bad I NEEDED this me time for my own sanity and for everyone’s happiness and he started understanding that. Of course, he gets time too. We’re trying to find a balance, because you can’t plan everything as parents. Sometimes he will see that I’m stressed and tell me to just go for a drive or go to the store and walk around. I forgot what it was even like to just get in the car and go, without bring baby.

So that’s my list. Which isn’t a lot, but it’s something. And that list used to be empty. As I said, it’s all about balance and communication. I’m not blessed with a huge social circle or a big family who can watch my son whenever I’m stressed and call them. I’m working with the resources I have. And that’s all we can do. No matter how chaotic your life, who can help or not, I promise you it’s possible to save some sanity and work yourself into your own schedule. Love yourself so you can fully love others.

Xoxo

You deserve it!

32 Comments

  1. amanda

    March 12, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    This is great! I agree everyone needs to be selfish and focus on themselves sometimes. If you aren’t happy you can’t make other people happy.

  2. ang

    March 12, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    Motherhood is so hard. And the need for self care is 100% No one really talks about it…we should, but we don’t. I once went 18 months without getting a hair cut. It was a dark place. Now I HAVE to schedule my appointments just to keep up…..because it’s so easy to slip into that dark 18mos again…..

  3. stacey

    March 12, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    I would just tell new moms. Take a leisurely bath everyday to start. We can’t take care of anyone if we don;t take care of ourself.

  4. robin Rue

    March 13, 2017 at 3:49 am

    Agreed! I workout every day and that is my ME time. My kids are older and I know when I need a break, so I take one.

  5. Jessi Joachim

    March 13, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Being a new parent can be so hard. I remember having my daughter and having NO IDEA what to do. I was easily frustrated as well. Then I too learned to be a little selfish and I learned to communicate better with my husband.

  6. Ladies Pass It On

    March 13, 2017 at 8:10 am

    This is a great post full of meaningful, well intentioned and honest advice. New mums – and all mums- need more of this!

  7. Sara Normand

    March 13, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Gosh, I don’t have kids yet, but I work from home. So the hair going up in a bun, no makeup, etc., I know how that is! Imagine when I do have kids! This post is a nice reality check for me to start taking care of myself!

  8. Milton Goh

    March 13, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Yes that is true! If you are empty, you will have nothing to give back to others. Receive till you’re full and then pour it out freely to others 😄

  9. Molly

    March 13, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I totally agree with you! Me time is so important to us mother. How can you function if you don’t have time to take care of yourself too, right? Love your post, love.
    xo,
    Molly
    http://www.allaboutgoodvibes.com

  10. Megan

    March 13, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    I really applaud you for being so open, for some reason, it’s like there is still a stigma still by saying it’s not all beautiful and perfect. It is SO important to take a little extra time to take care of you!

  11. eazynazy

    March 13, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Totally Agreed. My lil one has turned 15months . So now i got some time for myself to enjoy what i am doing

  12. Richard Bivins

    March 13, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Don’t expect to go to the bathroom alone at least for the next few years. When they become toddlers, the most time you will get to yourself is when you teach them how to play hide and seek… always let them hide first.

  13. Holly

    March 13, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    I’m at the “teenage” twins stage. Most days I want to just run and assume a new identity! lol

  14. Agentszerozerosetter

    March 13, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    So true… taking care of yourself helps loving others!
    But is also true that this is so hard with a little baby❤️

  15. Krysten

    March 13, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I’ve just now started doing things for myself and I’m 18 months in. I started my blog thinking it were for myself, but then the blog became about other people. I take time to myself now, I nap when the little man is napping, I go to get coffee by myself a couple times a week, I take long showers at night when the kid is in bed.

  16. Ana De- Jesus

    March 13, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Me time is so important and it must be so tough raising a child. Ultimately though everyone needs rest in order to function and feel sane x

  17. Author Brandi Kennedy

    March 13, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    I’m glad you have someone to help relieve you when you’re feeling pressured and need a break! Definitely take advantage of that when you can, and make sure you’re returning the favor with the baby’s dad. You both need your own time – don’t let your SON become your LIFE. It’s also a good idea to implement some kind of date night, even if it’s just having a friend keep the baby for a while so you and your man can go for a walk together.

  18. David Elliott

    March 13, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    I definitely agree that you need time for yourself when being a parent. If you don’t take any time for yourself, it doesn’t help you, and it encourages codependency in the child. That is never a good thing.

  19. Leigh Anne Borders

    March 13, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    What a great article that so many mommies can relate to. I learned this later in life to love myself first and then from that I can love others. When I started giving myself time and attention, the benefits were not just for me but for everyone else. Thank you for sharing your life with others.

  20. Sondra Barker

    March 13, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    I don’t have children yet, but I can see how losing sleep could take a toll on your life. I have heard from many mommies that time for yourself is vital, but as your beautiful baby gets older I think things will get better. Enjoy and take some time to yourself!

  21. Alicia Nicole

    March 13, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    I am currently LIVING THIS. My baby is four months old. My husband has two jobs and I am a SAHM. I am constantly exhausted, in various states of sickness and this house is a mess. But I think I need to take heed to your words here and be a little selfish, for my health and sanity. Thanks for your advice 🙂

  22. Nay

    March 13, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Completely agree with this. Parenting is so hard and it’s easy to lose ourselves. Well done you for noticing and realising this so early on.

  23. Reichel

    March 13, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    My youngest just turned THREE and I’m just now making time for myself. I’ve decided to spend time exercising which I hadn’t made a priority in years. Relieves stress and improves my mood. Sometimes it’s hard to get motivated, but afterwards it’s SO worth it!

  24. The Travel Ninjas

    March 14, 2017 at 12:23 am

    This sounds like wise advice. You’re right, sometimes “being selfish” is the right choice. For you and your family.

  25. Sarah-Louise Bailey

    March 14, 2017 at 7:11 am

    I am so glad and amaze that you easily find a way to somehow fix the problem and provide things that can make yourself more useful and become a happy person again. Enjoy your baby, your family and it will give a glow on you.

  26. Elizabeth O.

    March 14, 2017 at 7:44 am

    I never valued alone time more than the time that I had my twins. It’s really demanding to have two babies at the same age all wanting the same things but at different instances. You’re going to start letting yourself go and you’ll feel bad about it too. You’re going to want some time to yourself but the minute you get it, you instantly feel guilty. I think it’s really important to set a schedule and give yourself that much needed time.

  27. Carol Cassara

    March 14, 2017 at 7:48 am

    You really need me time, especially if you’re a mother. It’s important to give yourself time to recuperate, get rid of stress and get some rest as well. I think that’s a great plan, I hope you get to do all of the things in your wishlist.

  28. Jacqui Odell

    March 14, 2017 at 9:15 am

    I kind of needed this post today. I am a mom of four. My youngest is almost 8 months. It’s hard to find time for myself but I need too!!

  29. Shobika

    March 14, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I loved this post. This information was super helpful for because I just got married in December. The talks of babies is almost talked about almost everyday haha. I definitely agree with you that time is of the essence and it’s important to have time for yourself as well. Thank you for the share 🙂

  30. Cameron

    March 14, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Great advice for new moms! Taking care of yourself is so important, even without a newborn. Even more so with one!

  31. Sauumye

    March 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    This is such a great article for new moms. It is important to take time out for yourself, just to relax & get rid of stress

  32. Lynnette Joselly

    March 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    My cousin just gave birth to baby #2 so I’ll pass this along to her! I bet it’s not easy being a mom but I do agree, it’s important to always take care of yourself as well.

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