When baby is breastfeeding exclusively mother’s can feel like it is literally a full time job. Mothers during this phase rarely get time for themselves, even just an hour alone to do things other than chores. Breastfeeding mothers are normally running quick errands while the baby is asleep or watching Netflix marathons. Of course breastfeeding is an amazing time for the mother and baby, but having some time for herself is just as important, especially for her sanity.
Self care is essential when it comes to moms as it is a way for them to stay emotionally healthy. This can sometimes be a struggle for mothers to get that alone time, but there are ways a mom can make time for herself that don’t require much effort. Mothers taking alone time is good for their children and not just something ‘selfish.’ It is a way to feel refreshed and refueled so that she can take better care of both her children and herself. Taking time for oneself is essential in allowing mothers to be strong for their family. That is why a mother taking time for herself, especially when baby breastfeeding, is important.
Yes, you heard right. Take advantage of the naps your baby takes. You have likely already heard the saying ‘sleep when the baby sleeps.’ Taking naps can help squeeze in some of those missed hours from the previous night. Instead of doing chores every time the baby naps, go take a nap as well. Day time naps help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle life, as well as caring for your baby. This is a great way for a mother to get some time for herself. Everyone loves naps!
Pump That Milk!
Pumping breastmilk is great for times when you want to leave for an hour or two (or more) and leave the baby with the father/significant other, grandparent or babysitter. This gives the you the freedom you need for a couple hours. This is also a great alternative so that you can leave for longer periods of time when baby is breastfeeding. That way you are not rushing home because you are ‘on call.’
Embrace Those Baby Breastfeeding Moments
When a mother breastfeeds her baby, it’s no question that it is relaxing. The bond between a mother and baby while breastfeeding tends to make the world stop and both enjoy this time. Embrace it. Relax with baby and breathe in this calming and wonderful thing, because one day, it will come to an end.
Oh, Those Lovely Partners
Seriously, they have a purpose too. What are significant others there for? Yes, you hopefully guessed right, to help. Even though they cannot and are not able to breastfeed, they can still be there and care for the baby. Let them take the baby a few hours a day. Even just once a week so that you can have a little break and time for yourself.
Bedtime, the Savior!
Once a baby is on somewhat of a night schedule, you can run out during this time. Go run some of those errands you need to such as grocery shopping, gym time, heck, even Target! Retail therapy is always a winner when it comes to taking some time for one self. But even a walk in the park for some fresh air and a clear mind is an amazing thing. Take serious advantage when the baby is asleep for the night!
Don’t Feed Into Mom Guilt
Seriously, there is no such thing as mom guilt. Yes, it feels like there is, but it’s not selfish for a mother to take time for herself. We are all human beings and need some time for ourselves once in a while. It is the only way to feel alive and human again when we are so drained. Think of this as bettering yourself for your children and significant other.
Make You-Time A Priority
Want to be able to care for your family effectively? Then take time for yourself as well. This is considered self care and is healthy for a mother to do every once in a while. After all, how can you care for your family if you can’t even care for yourself? Schedule an outing for an hour with friends at Starbucks or maybe a lunch date. But remember, caring for yourself is important when it comes to caring for your family.
Hopefully the above has helped knocked some sense into taking that time alone. Exclusively baby breastfeeding is a serious commitment and a gift to both mother and baby, but unfortunately, sometimes it becomes overwhelming and encroaches on a mother’s personal time and space. This is the exact reason why it is crucial that a mother takes some time for herself. It helps her remember who she was pre-baby and this is not something she should forget. It is also good for kids when the mother takes time for herself. Regular mom time is healthy and will help stop her from having potential meltdowns and anxiety.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on 7 WAYS TO HANDLE BREASTFEEDING CHALLENGES.