Lindsay Gill: MomME time

Monday, September 2, 2013

MomME time

I was nursing Luke the other morning.  When we finished, I couldn't believe I heard his tummy rumbling!  Poor little guy was starving!  I made him a bottle but he refused.  I still heard the rumbling.  I made him some oatmeal with fruit and he refused.  I still heard the rumbling.  Then I was my tummy rumbling.   I was so focused on Luke that I hadn't eaten dinner the night before or anything for breakfast.  I was hungry!

Now Luke is the cutest little guy.  And he's a good baby!  He's easy to read and is happy.  He wakes up and sings to himself most mornings.  But he still requires most of our time and energy, and we only have one child!  A friend of my husband put it in basketball terms: they were on man-to-man defense, but with more than two kids, you switch to zone defense.  We are on 2 to 1 defense!

The trick that we haven't mastered (has anyone?) is balancing kids, with self, with our marriage, and with work.  It's easy to go into survival mode in the early months when nobody is sleeping.  You begin to ignore anything that doesn't involve sleeping.  The dirty dishes, the laundry, the vacuuming.  Date night goes to the sidelines, right next to "me" time and friend time. 

Brain Rules for Baby notes that doctors can tell which babies are in stressful households by their urine analysis.  This means that even if a baby is in a family that meets their every need, they can still sense tension or parental arguments going on around them, and their health is actually compromised by it!  

There are only so many hours in a day, so there will be some prioritizing, but be cognizant that putting the baby before everything every time is not necessarily a winning strategy.  A happy marriage takes effort and communication, and everyone needs some "me" time and friend time.  Date night, "me" time, and friend time are great investments for a happy family.  "Me" time is even recommended for the baby too (in moderation and in a safe place)!  It builds independence.  

It is definitely a learning process but I would highly suggest getting a trusted babysitter or family member to help.  Set aside time to work on certain aspects of the family, including yourself!  A mother's helper provides the perfect opportunity to get the house in order and take a relaxing shower.  


This concept reminds me of something said by Randy Pausch in his last lecture.  He reminds his listeners of the airplane warnings of putting on your air mask before assisting with the air masks of others.  Yes, you created an infant that is helpless and depends on you for everything.  But you are certainly not going to be healthy enough, strong enough, or happy enough to be of any use to anyone if you don't take care of yourself and your relationships with others.

Retail therapy should definitely be used in moderation, but sometimes a nice new product can be a mommy-time treat.  My most recent "taking care of Mom" product?  Peter Thomas Roth's Firm X Peeling Gel from Sephora.  I don't claim to know what it is doing, but I love it.  I use it about once per week and it makes me feel like I have a fresh start to the day and my make up applies easier after using it.  It is expensive, so start with a free sample from Sephora to make sure it's right for you.   It got a "Good Housekeeping" seal of approval, too.  Sephora tells me that the Peter Roth products are safe to use while nursing, but check with your doctor first.

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