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Thread: When is there time for ME?????

  1. #1
    FellowTraveller Guest

    Question When is there time for ME?????

    Hi... I am wondering how other mums manage their time. I have a nearly 10 mth old DD. On the whole she is a good baby but I just feel like I have lost myself. I have no time to undertake any hobbies anymore, I gave up work, I gave up my studies (i was doing my Phd), I no longer can go shopping for 'me' with ease, I am forever cleaning, forever doing things for others (washing, folding clothes, wiping things, putting things away blah blah blah - you get the picture!). When she sleeps in the afternoon I am often catching up on phone calls or emails - or other things that are difficult to get done when she is awake. After she goes to bed would be ok if I wasn't so tired. On weekends when I could unload on to my husband - he has to study! So I am back to square one.
    I am really struggling. It was suggested to me that maybe putting my DD in creche for 1 day a week may relieve that stress....but you know - I'd feel so guilty doing this! I think I'd feel like I was unloading her - like she was a burden. My life is one big routine in which I am always fighting to get time in for me. What do others do????


  2. #2

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    I'm hearing ya! this is what is going through my mind this week.. The only time I get ME time is when all the kids are in bed but by then I am to tired to enjoy it

    During the day when dd is asleep I get the boys to have a rest and I take 30 mins to just sit and do nothing..

    Maybe when your DD is asleep just sit and don't think about housework ect.. Take that time for yourself

  3. #3
    paradise lost Guest

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    I run.

    I put her in her jogger buggy, i put all my stresses and worries and frustrations directly at my heels and then i get out in the park and i run away. If i do it 4 times a week i stay *just* ahead of them.

    I'm a single mum, i know how it feels when it's all on your plate and your plate is spilling all over the table and onto the floor and you know it's you who'll have to clean it up...

    Put her in the creche hun. It doesn't have to be for a full day. Find a gym or leisure centre with a creche, check out the staff and make sure you're comfortable with it all, then book her in for an hour or two and go for a sauna, or a swim, or hit the gym or whatever. Sit in the cafe and read a book!

    She is NOT your burden, she is your JOY and you have a right to that joy. Taking a break is not an option it is a NECESSITY. If DH can't take a turn to give you time off then you pay for your break if you have to but you TAKE YOUR BREAK.

    Your DD is too small to tell you that she would prefer a happy mummy to a 24/7-non-stop-even-when-it's-killing-her mummy, so i'm telling you instead.

    and loves

    Bx

  4. #4

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    I agree. We all know that in theory if we have some 'me' time, it's good for us and it's good for our baby/child/children.

    In practice, it's a bit harder to coordinate or to achieve without feeling guilty.

    But when I've gone off to a cafe for an hour with a (semi)trashy mag, I am SO much more refreshed when I come back. I've had time to read articles, time to think about them and after a glass of wine time to rewrite them in my head and imagine telling my friends about them. I'm a different person when I get home and I have stuff to share with DP either about what I've read or what I've had to eat, what the service was like, who was in there etc.

    It sounds trivial but life is made up of little things like this.

    Last night I went to the pub and caught up with people I hadn't seen for ages. Today, I feel lighter. I can reflect on what we talked about, funny things I said, funny things they said. It makes bottles and nappies seem much more do-able because today they aren't my sole focus.

    So I think do try the creche option and just see how you go. Unfortunately, it's up to us to create that 'me' time which just adds to things we have to do but no-one is going to create that time for us so we have to do it ourselves.

  5. #5

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    I agree, you need to make that time for yourself, no one else is going to do it for you.

    I've been much better about it this time around because (a) life is more hectic with 2 little ones and (b) I learnt last time that if you don't, you start to lose yourself.

    You'll be amazed at how much difference even an hour can make. I am very lucky that my DH works long hours during the week but he's home on weekends, so I make the best of that time. I am breastfeeding so I can't be away for a long ime, but if I plan it right, I can be away from one feed till he's due for the next, so about 2.5-3 hours. Today I'm going to get my hair done and I can't wait!!

    If I didn't have DH around I would put them in a creche or care of some sort, just to get a break. And like Bec said, it doesn't have to be all day.

    You're a mum first and foremost but you're still a person and deserve some time to yourself to do something you enjoy! It's cliche but it's true - healthy, happy mum = healthy, happy baby!

  6. #6

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    When DS was 11m old I told DH to take him out on the afternoon. That was the first break I had, aside from DH watching DS for 15 minutes so I could shower once a month (the other times DS was in with me and he HATES the shower). The only reason I did this was because I was going back to work and DH was going to have DS one afternoon a week so I could work.

    Now I see work as my "me" time! I can sit down with a hot drink, have a laugh with the other lass in my office and not think about my DS, or how to keep him entertained. I also have book club once a month, two hours where DS is asleep and DH has him. But that has only been in the last two months.

    I will be honest, nursery has been good for DS. Really good. He's walking more, interacting with other children more... he's not over-keen on it but he will be. And I need to work (money, not sanity!). If I'd had my way he'd be at home with me full-time still, but nursery has been good for him. Knowing this, I'd be at home full time with DS in a good nursery two mornings a week. NOT the volunteer-provided creche for an hour, because I want him to be (a) out my hair for more time than that and (b) properly cared for and stimulated. There's nothing wrong with needing me-time. Maybe you could swap with a friend once a week - you have her baby for a morning, so two together, and she has yours on a different morning. Free me-time and great social time for your baby!

    HTH.

  7. #7

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    Don't underestimate the importance of "me time".
    I find I start getting cranky when I need time out and when I do I'm a whole lot better. More fun and patient.
    Some days i just think stuff the housework and I'll just do what really needs to be done and thats it. When DD is having her nap i make sure I take some time to sit down eat something watch TV put my feet up.
    If you can afford to put your DD creche for a day I'd say go for it. I think it will be good for you.

  8. #8

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    And you know what? this particular "lack of time" issue will only last for a season (ie until you feel comfortable leaving her in creche etc, or until she goes to kindy) so if you can't see any way of having substantial down-time at the moment, why don't you encourage yourself by planning ahead for next year or the following one... you know, maybe say ok at the end of next year I want to get back into studies, or by Christmas I want to be able to leave my DD with a close friend for an hour a week so I can go to the gym/go shopping etc. Sometimes we create more frustration and discouragement by fighting against something when it just isn't our time to fight that particular battle IYKWIM. keep going, you'll get through this.

  9. #9

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    That's a great point too Christine - it's pointless for me to think about or try to have say a whole morning or afternoon to myself. It's just not going to happen at the moment when DS is so little. So I take advantage of the hour or two I get a week and honestly, that's really enough to recharge!

    I know that by the end of the year I'll be back at work 2 days and that's plenty of me time/time away.
    Last edited by Willow; March 16th, 2008 at 11:29 AM.

  10. #10
    ~Belinda~ Guest

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    I go for long walks with my little one, she loves the stroller and goes to sleep in it, it really clears my mind.

    My DP really helps though when he is not at work and I really believe you need that support. He'll even feed her and take her out of my hands so I can have a sleep in. He'll also do heaps of housework without being asked to do it. Can your hubby do that on weekends to give you a break? Also, can your hubby study when she is asleep at all and then when she is awake, take her out of your hands?

    Support is the key, do you have relatives/friends around you that can babysit for half a day or something? Maybe then you can go and have some "YOU" time because that's so important in all of this and ensures a HAPPY MUMMY!

    Best of luck.

  11. #11

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    I agree with what everyone has said...I am a mum to 19 month old twin girls and one of the first things my OB said to me after the birth was to make sure I get a bit of "me" time its so important..
    Once a month I would catch up with a few girls from work and have a chat and gossip at our fave cafe for dinner...even if it was to duck to the shops for half an hour to grab some stuff for dinner while DH was with the girls..It was still some time for me..
    i look at the big picture..this isnt going to be forever...

  12. #12

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    My DD1 was 9 months old when she started family day care - one afternoon a week...initially I felt an enormous wrench every time I left her, but to be honest we'd chosen a great carer and every time I left her and came back and found her happy, and with my energy boosted, it became easier and easier. I also believe it takes a village to raise a child, my FDC lady and her family were part of that village and DD thrived in her care.

    I'm now in the throes of finding a FDC mum for DD2, who is 6 months old...in a few weeks, and given the right carer, I will be ready to leave her for a couple of hours at a time. This is part of a longer term plan since my DH often works away and may be absent for longer periods later this year. I recognise the need to recharge for my own mental health, so I'm not just surviving, but actually enjoying life. I hope you can find a solution that you are comfortable with.

  13. #13

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    I know this is an old thread, but I am reviving it because tonight I am feeling this question SO keenly.

    I have a unique situation- DH and I run our business from home and the idea was that we would share child-care and work responsibilities. In reality at the moment, he does more office work and I do more child/home work. But it seems like his job ends and mine never does- NEVER. I feel like I am constantly "on call" for either my child or work. In the tiny amount of spare head space that I have, I try to maintain a marriage and its being put under a lot of strain. There is no time for me. No time when I am not thinking about someone or something else, always kind of 'on edge' waiting for the next thing I need do.

    I just want to cry and cry and it feels like there is no-one to cry to. I know my DH is finding things hard too. He is working really hard and has very little time as well. I am so used to him being my support, being able to talk about things with him. Now it feels like he has nothing left to give me, and I feel like I have nothing left to give him. I miss him. I miss myself! I feel like I am very often emotional and I think my DH is sick of me bleating to him. I feel guilty adding more to his burdens.

    Its really hard to afford a babysitter to try to get time together or time alone. How the hell do I do this? Will it get better? Part of the problem is that I seriously don't see how its going to change....its years before Peter goes to school and I'm not coping after 9 weeks!!! I know its still a time of adjustment, I am just having so much trouble with it and I feel very alone. Thankfully, my mothers group is starting soon and I am really looking forward to emotional and practical support there.

    I know my situation is nothing new! Just after some words of encouragement and support!

  14. #14

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    Hi Jess. I really hear you. I am doing my PhD and my husband is finishing his undergrad and we have a 16 month old who we share care. We had him in daycare one day a week which he really enjoyed but pulled him out because when we had to move and his new one hasn't worked out. It isn't for everyone but our DS really loves it (or did when we had a great one) and even just one day helps to stay ahead. He gets exposed to lots of things that we don't really do at home. We started about 6 months though.
    You also have to find something that is just yours. I am going to start painting because sometimes I am just mentally exhausted and I need something creative to absorb myself in. Exercise and proper nutrition is also really important for keeping up with the day to day - but is often the first thing to go unfortunately.
    I can definitely say it gets a lot easier with time. As they get older it gets easier to go out, go to playgroups etc. Plus the whole adjustment to parenthood takes time in itself.
    Make sure you get enough sleep and take time when you can to do something you enjoy. And keep an eye on how you are feeling as you may benefit from seeing a counselor or similar. I think many of us struggle with loss of self after having a child.
    Big hugs. I hope this helps.

  15. #15

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    fellow traveller -- I wish I had found BB 5 years ago. This time around it has been a huge support for me.
    It is a huge adjustment 1st time around. Do what is right for you -- you will know what that is. But definately take some you time whatever that means for you!

    Sue

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