Yes, I’m a Mum! Yes, I have the Time
Let’s debunk the myth of not having Time for the things we value the most
“I don’t have the time”. I don’t have the time to wash my hairs, do my nails, read that article, go for a walk, and the list goes on and on. Bullshit. I had the time if I wanted to, but I simply decided to not prioritize my wellbeing. The shame of asking for help and the guilt of leaving my baby behind was just too much to handle. When I woke up 6 months later, feeling exhausted and anxious, I looked back and wished I looked after myself from the very beginning.
Based on Wikipedia, Time is “ the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, to the future. Time is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them”.
Time can also be a subjective variable, as some people may describe the same event in the following way: “It went so fast” and “It lasted forever”. Time is not your enemy, and it can be a mum’s best friend.
These are some tips you can implement now to use time at your own advantage and to feel so much greater in the long run:
Get organised. If you want time out, you need to schedule it in. Full stop. If you hope it will magically appear, you are wrong. If you wait for friends to come over and help you out, think again. No one really wants to deal with a screaming and pooping infant, and if they do it, they do it to help you. This brings me to my next point.
How To Manage your Energy instead of Managing Your Time
To Increase Productivity and Obliterate Stress
Just ask! I used to complain so hard about not having any support, until I started asking, and accepted the help. It is really hard to delegate as a new mother, and the sense of guilt of leaving your precious bundle behind can be overwhelming. But feeling stuck, exhausted and scared can be even more overwhelming. Prioritize your wellbeing, as no juice comes out from an already squeezed lemon.
Find help. If you aren’t comfortable to go through your rubric to get some “ME” time, you may need to know there are organisations and people that are there to help. You can simply find occasional child care, or a part-time nanny, or a gym with a creche. I did hire a fabulous babysitter when my moonlight was only 3 months old; she would arrive at my place at 9am and leave at 12pm. Those 3 hours were a gold mine, on top of it, I had someone to talk to whenever I had a burning question about nappy rash, formula, and sleep routine. She was gold for me, for my daughter, and for the relationship with my husband. Although I got judge quite a lot for hiring her, and although she was on the expensive side, it has been the best decision for my family, as I’m not completely convinced I would have remained sane without those 3 hours of help.
Claudia Vidor (@nourishedbyclaudia) * Instagram photos and videos
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Be realistic. setting high expectations is counterproductive and anxiety provoking. You have become a mother, and no matter what you do, you won’t have all the free time you used to have when backpacking solo through Europe. A new study has shown that mothers only have 17 minutes of “me” time per day; you can surely implement that number, but you also need to accept that some days you will find yourself in a bowl of tears because your bub has skipped all the day naps, or your nanny has called in sick last minute (right when you were getting excited about that swim in the ocean). It is ok, nothing lasts forever.