Alone time is something I’ve always enjoyed and needed. Growing up as an only child I am used to some quiet time to do solitary things (reading, writing…) and I thought I was prepared for that time being shared by two. I was not.
The first few months babies do nap a lot. A half an hour here, an hour there, so there were always a few stolen minutes to do necessary things. Now that we are down to two naps a day (and I think one very shortly) my alone time has shrunk. I should admit that Gage and I co-nap so not much gets done there but a re-charge and a shower.
I appreciate when Jason comes home at 6:15 and ‘takes over’ until 8:30, but that time is not mine because we still eat dinner together, I still help with the bath and we take a family walk in that time. I take over again once Gage hits the crib around 9:30 or 10 with the baby monitor.
It takes its toll after months of the same routine with little time taken for yourself. Being a stay-at-home mom is great but it isn’t easy to maintain your adult identity. I heard myself mention a Gage bowel movement to a friend and knew that I had lost it. So, I have to find ways to carve out a little time for myself.
Our community center offers babysitting for $2 an hour (the best bargain ever!) and the only requirement is that I have to stay at the center. So far this has meant a half an hour of cardio and 15-30 minutes of reading time for me. The first week we did this a few months ago I started to feel some sense of calm return. We go a few times a week.
We also started going to My Gym, a rec center for babies and kids. Last week Gage got bumped up the next age level and this one is 2 classes a week, one on Saturday mornings. Jason has committed to this hour for guy time and I already have big, fancy plans for that one hour break. These pics are from yesterday. Yes, I went for the first one, just so I could take pictures!
I just met with a neighbor girl who is going to start babysitting for us. I’ve asked her to come for 2-4 hours during the week so that I might get some appointments made and shopping done, quickly sans baby.
Even these few hours a week are a huge help for my peace of mind and I know I am a better mom for it. I never had plans to be a stay-at-home mom, but it is an adventure I’m glad I decided to sign up for. I have less alone time, but I appreciate the hours I do get all that much more. And I’m pretty sure that Gage enjoys the change of scenery too 🙂