Me Time

Posted on | February 22, 2010 | 7 Comments

Today, J is six months old. It doesn’t seem like that’s possible, but apparently it is. So I think it’s appropriate that I talk today about one of the toughest parts of being a mom. Because I’ve been a mom for six months… barely any time at all, but I have already realized how difficult it is.

Maybe I’m just being selfish, but one of the hardest things for me so far is finding what I call “me time.” You know, the thirty minutes before bed when you used to read a few chapters out of a book. Or the favorite show you always watched at 8pm. A trip to the gym (where?!), grocery shopping without J, blogging without an audience. Those things are all long gone. And I’m a person who needs her “Me Time.” I don’t function well when all of my time is taken. I start to shut down in small doses until the only actual part of me that’s working is the part that says “WHY IS THIS HOUSE SO DIRTY” and “WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT” … you know, the angry part. (See? I’m rocking my Lent resolution.)

I don’t like being angry Law Momma. Husband doesn’t like angry Law Momma. Neither J nor the dog are fans of angry Law Momma. So how do I get me back? How do I find time to do the little things alone that will keep my sanity? I certainly don’t know. For the past two weeks I haven’t had a moment to myself. I’m either holding/entertaining/feeding J at home, or following orders at work. J has been so sick that he just doesn’t want anything to do with anyone but me. So when Husband does hold him, it’s for me to do something quick like shower or shovel food in my mouth at lightening speed.

I am starting to have this chip on my shoulder about motherhood and I don’t like it. Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE my son. I mean, completely, earth-shattering, massively un-explainable love. But I am not a fan of his ability to time suck. I just want to read a book. Or enjoy a glass of wine while watching a movie. I would even settle for an hour at the gym. I just want to be ALONE.

Husband has offered to start picking J up from daycare and allowing me to do whatever I want from 5:30 until 6. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I think it could be a great rejuvenating time for me. On the other, I think I’ll miss my favorite part of the day in picking up J and for what? Thirty minutes of probable indecisiveness. Let’s face it. I’m more likely to sit and wonder what I could do for thirty minutes than to actually DO something. Or I’ll come home and try to read only to hear J crying in the background. There’s just no “off” switch to being a mom.

Example? Last night, Husband was going to put J to bed. He took him back to his bedroom and after about 10 minutes, I have a brain-frying headache from the shrieking. The child knows what he wants and how to get it. I stepped into the room and all was right with the world. He literally fell into my arms and was completely happy.

I hear about other moms who say their child will lie down in the crib and play until he/she falls asleep. My son? He will lie and play until he falls asleep but his toy of choice is my face. Seriously. Last night he had a massive breakdown if he wasn’t lying next to me grabbing my nose, my eyes, my lips and his new favorite, hitting my teeth. The good thing? He did it for about 10 minutes and then passed out cold. So at least he went to sleep.

The bad thing? I had not had dinner and had just poured a big glass of wine so I could enjoy some Olympics and blog-time after J went to sleep. I didn’t want to disturb him as soon as he fell asleep and Husband had said he’d “be right back” to take my place. So I waited. I waited until I woke up at 10:30 wondering what happened. When I came out into the living room, Husband was enjoying some “Husband time” and drinking my glass of wine. Needless to say, Angry Law Momma made an appearance.

Even when we PLAN “me time” it gets sucked up by life. But that’s got to change. I have to find some time for myself … other than the 20 minutes or so each morning when I furiously type out some crazy blog entry while J entertains (and evacuates) in the poop chair. Because lets face it, this is therapeutic, but it’s not cutting it for quality alone time.

I’m open for suggestions that don’t involve what I dreamed about last night. I was at a concert… it waffled between Jimmy Buffet and Dave Matthews, and sometimes J was with me and sometimes he wasn’t. I finally realized I didn’t know where he was and I totally freaked out. I was running around trying to find him and the concert was over and everyone was leaving and I couldn’t find him anywhere. I finally found him all swaddled up the way they did it at the hospital. He was so tiny and perfect with those big blue eyes just like when we first met. Where was he when I found him? Lying on a round, raised bar table. I hope that doesn’t say something about me….


7 Responses to “Me Time”

  1. Ms. Diva
    February 22nd, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

    That first year is so hard (My oldest is 21 and a momma herself, my youngest is 11 and I have four in between!) But, you MUST have you time. If it's not bedtime make it after daycare time!! Make sure dad is important too – he needs to be with baby without you!!! You miss more by resenting then taking time for you!!! Trust me on this!

  2. Rebekah
    February 22nd, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

    The first year of motherhood is what drives women to take up their husbands' habit of reading on the toilet. I wish I had some good advice for you. Ms time is hard as hell to find.

  3. Diana
    February 22nd, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

    I wrote you a whole thing on my Droid this morning – one handed as I nursed Bella in bed. And it deleted it all. 🙁 What I was writing was that I put a post up this morning that was similar. I know so much how you feel – last night was just about the breaking point from not having a moment alone. The only advice I have is perhaps you need to go out so you can't hear J cry, or your DH need to take him out with him. It's so hard to have a break when you are stuck in the same house and know that if you go in and take him, he'll stop crying. I'm sorry and I hope it gets better for both of us. But especially you – because you have to work and not get a break on top of it. :/

  4. Acting Balanced Mom
    February 22nd, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

    I'm sorry you are going through this – its really hard to balance everything… part of what helped me is knowing the routine so that I knew that my me time would come, not during bedtime, but maybe during bath time or after dinner…

    Another thing to do is to set aside one weekend day a month and try to do something for you- even if its just going to Starbucks with a book or your laptop and hanging out by yourself for an hour…

    it does get better 🙂

  5. Denise
    February 22nd, 2010 @ 10:26 pm

    I'm still struggling with this and I've been a mom for 6.5 years. If my hindsight could offer you any solace…MAKE YOUR TIME A REALITY. Now. Just. Do. It. If you don't, you'll be ok, you'll love your kid/s, you'll still smile. But if you do, you'll radiate happiness and be an even-more amazing mother. We all say it, but the infant times are a crazy mix of wonderful and so-darn-hard. That should motivate you even more to step into your space and breathe. Good luck!

  6. Transparent Mama
    February 23rd, 2010 @ 6:05 am

    As a mother of four boys, I say JUST RUN AWAY. It is the only way. Or pretend you are puking and just have to lay in bed and watch movies.

  7. Cybil
    February 23rd, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

    That first year is so hard! I followed that first year up with another kid (they are 16 months apart). So we had about 3 years of pure living hell! Honestly, you MUST have time to yourself. I would do the grocery shopping on the weekends, and hubby would parent by himself. We STILL do this almost 9 years later.

    I also talked to my doctor, and she prescribed a little something in those first few months to take the edge off. It made a WORLD of difference. I had never taken anything like that before, and at first I felt like I was giving up. But it really helped me settle down and focus.

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