Time for yourself used to come so easily. Forget getting a massage or a manicure, just having the spare time to read a book or take a bath might seem like the height of luxury now. As a new parent, it might seem like spare time is gone for good, but it’s not. Making time for yourself is good for you and your family, and there are plenty of reasons to make that time a priority.
It’s good for your health
Seriously. If you don’t take time away from Baby to take care of yourself, you can become tired, stressed, anxious, you name it. Having time to yourself is part of parenting because it allows you to be at your best when you’re with your little one. You’ll feel better mentally and emotionally, and it’s amazing what a couple hours of sleep and a good meal can do for your physical health.
It gives you time to work on your relationship with your partner
Your relationship with Baby is important, but so is your relationship with your partner. It’s easy for relationships to fall by the wayside when there’s a newborn in the house, so consider devoting some time to giving your relationship some TLC.
You were busy before Baby
Remember how you never had a ton of free time before your little one was born? There were always little things on your to-do list that were pushed to the bottom because you couldn’t quite make time for them. Now that Baby has arrived, more urgent tasks might start to fall by the wayside. Taking some time away from your little one to make sure you do your taxes might not be the most exciting way to spend a Saturday night, but it is important.
It lets you see the big picture
Whether you’re working or a stay-at-home parent, your little one is still a full-time job. You wake up thinking about her, and you go to sleep thinking about her. Your whole world revolves around Baby in a sense, and it’s easy to lose yourself a little bit. Time for yourself gives you the opportunity to see yourself as something other than a parent. Maybe you’re also a musician, a hiker, or a baker, and you could use a little extra time every now and then to explore and encourage that.
And the little pictures
If you take some of this free time to go to lunch and show people hundreds of pictures of baby Baby, who are we to judge? It’s kind of cheating, but it lets you reflect on the things you love about being a parent while maintaining your relationships with your partner, friends, and family. It also gives you dedicated time to get out of the house, participate in non-baby activities, catch up with loved ones, and maybe even recruit some potential babysitters. It’s a win-win-win-win.
If you can set aside some regular time for yourself every week or so, you’ll definitely find a productive and beneficial way to use it. And yes, naps are both productive and beneficial.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Infant and toddler health: newborn care.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic. September 29. 2015. Web.