You know your life has changed when going to a grocery store by yourself is a vacation.
I'm not going to hide.
Motherhood is great and filled with lots of love and joy. However, life after being a mother is different and much more different than I'd expected. Perhaps, the additional responsibilities to upbring another being is too overpowering. Emma's such a precious gift from God and one that I've waited for years. I put in my best and commit most of my time to her and the family. While doing these, I slowly and willingly gave up bits and pieces of myself.
When this topic on "Mummy's Me Time" came up 6 months ago, I thought I'd lost it all after baby. The first 14 months were all about breastfeeding, balancing between family, studies and work while learning what's motherhood is all about. Then, I spent the next 3 months running in the new job before things finally start to settle down. In fact, I'd never gave much thought about me-time in the early motherhood.
Thankfully, Hubby took over the night duty to put Emma to bed 7 months back. He has an amazing ability to knock her off in 15-30 mins while I would fall asleep with Emma and wake up 1.5-2 hours later. So now, I get some time alone early in the morning or after I finish up the daily housework at around 10pm.
With these bonus time, I got to spare a little more attention to myself and slowly worked in small pockets of me-time and couple time back into my motherhood. It's hard to strike a really good balance among family, housework, church, work and friends but to inject some sanity and energiser, I often fight the fight Z monster for some me-time activities.
1. Pampering sessions
Long gone were the days when I could easily indulge in monthly facial and hair treatment. I know I can throw everything to Hubby if I want to head out but it's just a huge part of me that wants to spend every non-working hours with Emma while she is awake. Nevertheless, I know I still need time to rejuvenate and upkeep myself. Thus, monthly facial became bi-monthly sweet treats and I arranged for quick hair treatment during office's lunch time or Emma's nap time. Long shower and putting on face mask has also became a luxury when the little one is asleep.
I love crafting and I can do them all day long! There isn't any specific favourite craftwork but I enjoy toying with papers, markers, plastic cups, paper plates, ice cream sticks, double sized tapes, scissors and some random stuff. I'm thankful to be serving in the children ministry as I got to explore various craftwork while teaching the children. Over the years, I'd made pencil holders, photo frames, magnets, puzzles, buntings, finger puppets, lanterns, tambourines, pop-up cards, crowns, masks, bookmarks and the list continues on. With Emma coming to 2 years old, I believe crafting would become more of a family fun than me-time.
Blogging was a casual affair for me as I walked through the various stages of life - dating, working, modelling, part time studies, wedding, home renovation and travel. In fact, I'd greater preference over photos than words and I still do. However, I began to write more during my pregnancy and parenthood as they are so amazing and exciting that I want to remember as much details as I could. In addition, blogging has also brought me new experiences beyond what I can imagine and expect. It's just a joy to have my memories, thoughts and ideas penned down at a place where I could read back from time to time.
4. Late night shopping
I mean late night grocery shopping. I often head out to NTUC after Emma goes to bed. There's certainly no mummy's guilty involved and it's feels pretty relaxing to be taking a stroll after a long day at work. It's a short walk to the shopping mall and sometimes, I get to sneak in some real shopping too. If not, I'd shop online if I really need some retail therapy.
5. Quiet Time
Things can get pretty overwhelmed on some days and I breathed on many secs/mins of short prayers throughout the days. Nevertheless, I need to learn to quiet down and slow down even more, and have longer quiet time, reflect deeper and invest my time wisely. When I was younger, I love to spend hours alone at the seaside and I need to figure out how I can get away from the bustle even when I'm confined to the 4 walls. Whether is it for family or work, things are moving too fast! Can you believe that we're less than 5 months to the end of 2015.
6. Reading and Be inspired
It's not so much of reading physical books but more of the online articles. I find it encouraging to read short stories, articles or blogs or posts by fellow parents as I got to pick up new things and ideas. When I have spare time or an idea to be worked on, I love to google for more inspiration, brainstorming and tips. The boundary is endless!
I don't know if there are other mummies who are like me fighting for time with the bubs or it's just me who aren't able to let go. As I hit the "T" 2 year mark of my motherhood, I'm learning to enjoy every simple moment, take things a little lighter and be kinder to myself.
I'm thankful for a supportive hubby who helps to lighten my load in ways that he could and Emma for sleeping early. I wouldn't have survived well without these couple hours of "peace" to finish up the housework and enjoy some relaxing moments. While I long to be a better wife and mum each day, I pray that the Lord will continue to mould me as an individual and lead my path.
Thank you Danessa from Prayerfull mum for this reflective blog train. Motherhood is a lifetime journey and we certainly need to take good care of ourselves in order to fuel for more to come. Click on the badge to read how more mummies manage their me-time!