Tuesday 21 July 2015

Blog Train - Mummy's Me-Time

Since almost four years ago, having 'me-time' became something that was very foreign to me. That was when I become a mom for the first time.

We read it in books, we read it online, people who have our best interests at heart will tell us to take some time off from looking after our kids, but the thing is some of us just face that difficulty of being able to 'let go' and have some 'me-time'. We often hear that kids have separation anxiety, but in actual fact some of us moms face that separation anxiety too, and I was one of them.

For about two years, Kaitlin was my life. I woke up in the morning to her, spent the afternoons with her. Put her to bed and sometimes even fell asleep before her and only to be awaken by any sudden noise that was of course unheard by the husband (you know..men sometimes are able to sleep through the night even when the baby is crying). The noise, that was my cue to breastfeed the bub. I did that for all of 27 months straight. Having Kaitlin home with me meant that we did almost everything together - supermarket trips, post office trips etc. Even meet up with friends were mostly at my place (thank god for awesome friends!) for convenience sake. Sometimes, even my shower was with my toilet door opened and her in the room where she could see me and I could see her. Yes. I had a period where I had to take 5 minute showers. There was also the early period where she wouldn't fall asleep unless in my arms. So I had to even have my lunch with one hand carrying her, and the other eating. She wouldn't be in a carrier. She could sense the lost of body contact and would start crying away. The last thing any mom would of course want is to avoid any unnecessary crying.

Looking back now, I have no idea how I could last almost two years of that with having sporadic 'me-time' moments to myself. Back then chatting with friends while having her in my arms or sleeping on me would be a good 'me-time' (that's not really considered 'me-time' but well make do right!), logging on to Facebook was great. Being able to take more than a 5 minute shower while leaving Kaitlin in the hands of the husband was like a gift.

Then, slowly by slowly. I started to make more 'me-time' for myself without worrying too much, without feeling super guilty about it. I remembered the first time I went out in the evening in like a few years. I was on my own. I took a bus, without a toddler in my arms, without carrying the heavy diaper bag. I was out in the evening. I felt like I almost forgot what it was like to sit on the bus alone without having to check or look out for Kaitlin. I could look out the bus window. I felt lots of weird emotions. I felt free, I felt like I was able to experience what it was like to be out again like most other youths my age. At the same time, I was wondering if it was right for me to leave Kaitlin at home, then I started worrying about her. If she ate, if she showered, if she was crying, if she was going to be able to go to bed without wailing. Basically worrying and having mom guilt. After that evening, I barely went out again on my own in the evening for quite some time.

Then there was last year where I took a bigger step and stayed out for one night. I thought I really needed it. I was having the 'I'm going crazy' moment and did it. What happened that night? I cried. I cried real hard. I felt so bad to Kaitlin, I felt like a horrible mom. I felt like I did something terribly wrong and hated myself so so much. I still was angry with myself even when I got back to Kaitlin. It took a considerable amount of time for me to reason with myself that I was human and I wasn't being a horrible mom as long as I did what I had to when I was with her. I thought to myself that I would rather take a breather than to end up not being able to control my temper and lashing out at her. And slowly, I eased my way into being more comfortable with having me-time. I would go out after Kaitlin was asleep and then now moved on to recently being able to tell her that I'm heading out. She does cry sometimes, and I do feel bad, but I do what I can to assure her and she gets the drift that I will be back so she doesn't have to feel like she is losing me and it gets better.

Fast forward to now..thinking about it I am glad to have way more 'me-time' than before. Like I said, I don't know how I did it last time, but now I feel like having 'me-time' like is pretty necessary for me to stay sane. This 'me-time' sometimes includes going to the supermarket to buy fresh food for babygirl or going to the book store to select titles that I think will interest her. Well apart from that time which isn't really considered 'me-time' cos it's not really for us but for our kids..I do find time to do stuff for my ownself..and this includes

1. Shopping

I'm a typical girl that can't say no to shopping! So yes, I admit I do love to shop. I either hit the shops in town or when I'm home when the bub is asleep, I'll online shop. Most of the time though I end up browsing through the sites but don't really buy anything cos I'm more of the kind that prefers to try on what I'm buying. And at the shops, even though I can't pull of certain outfits cos I'm a mom now or there is no occasion for me to wear that outfit, I don't buy it but it's always fun to be able to try them on for awhile

2. Massage/Facial
I get backaches and shoulder aches pretty often so sometimes when I really can't take it anymore, I'll head for a massage. It's a great way to escape from everything, it even forces me to stop using my phone and just relax. Sometimes when I've a lack of sleep the previous night, I do end up falling asleep and though I wake up feeling groggy, after awhile it feels like a great pick-me-up that keeps me going on for the rest of the day.

I also go for a facial every now and then. It's more for maintaining my skin and keeping it in good condition, but since I'm going for a facial might as well enjoy the 'me-time' as pampering time (minus the part where they do extraction where it hurts so much)!

I usually go to Groupon to try out the massages at different places. It's much cheaper and most of the massage places do offer you a package option if you like the trial experience. As for facial, I've been going to the one I had my first facial at since poly days! It's been pretty good and tbh I'm pretty afraid to try new facial places cos hello! it's my face! Don't dare to risk it.

3. Manicure/Pedicure

I love getting my nails painted! Whether it be going out for a manicure/pedicure or doing it myself at home while watching videos. If you end up wanting to go for a last minute mani/pedi, Far East Plaza is a good mall to check out. Lots of nail salons around so even if you don't make an appointment you should be able to find one that can do it on the spot for you. They are decently priced too. If not, Groupon has some pretty good deals as well. If you've got more time..best option is to head to JB! It's much cheaper (sometimes half the price) to get your nails done there and it's almost as good as getting them done in Singapore!

4. Cafe Hopping

I'm a true blue Singaporean in that I love FOOD! I also think I got my love for food from my Dad hehe :D You can pretty much tell that just by looking at my Instagram.  So I do enjoy cafe hopping. Whether it be cafe hopping with friends or alone, I like them both. With friends, it's a great way to catch up in a chill environment while trying out yummy food. Alone, it's perfect for days where I just want to get away from everything and be by myself. I use that time to think about life and reflect, sometimes I read a book. Other times, I would plan my time and what I want to do for the week and make a checklist of what needs to be done or bring my laptop along so I can blog.

5. Running

Unlike the other 'me-time' options I like to do in my spare time, I also like running and this has got to be the best option in that no money is spent and it's a great way for me to stay healthy. I didn't exercise much since I gave birth. It was very rare, and in fact it was only this year that I started running a little more consistently. I don't run for long. About 20 mins. It's in fact a very short time, but well my body can't do more and for now 20 mins is just nice for me to get away from everything that's bothering me and for me to clear my mind. Of course there are times where I run just for the sake of running and to keep fit, but well I have found that it has improved my health. I've been falling sick less often this year so even though some days I'm lazy to go for a run I still try to cos I don't want to fall ill and be unable to look after Kaitlin well.

6. Watching Shows
Watching shows is one of my favourite ways to unwind. Best of all I get to do this in the comfort of home. This means I also get to be home and be there for Kaitlin if she needs me. Also, I don't have to spend time getting ready to go out or travelling back and forth. I usually catch up on my fave drama series while having my meals or after the bub has gone to bed. We rarely on the telly so I get my daily dose of local drama by catching up on Toggle TV, and for overseas shows, I will watch them over on Youtube where I also watch recipe videos and vlogs.

From one mom to another, all I can say is that no matter what you do, 'me-time' is very important. I know it may seem to be hard to do at first, to leave your child for awhile, but both you and your child will slowly get used to it. I really do think it's better than feeling annoyed and unhappy and losing temper at the child and having negative thoughts of how life would have been better without a child or comparing it to the lives your peers are having sans kids. Just do it, be it half a day away out and about, one or two hours at the mall or even taking a five minute walk downstairs. You'll feel a whole lot better. Less tense, more relaxed and sometimes find that you've more mental and physical energy to handle the kids.

This blog entry was part of a blog train titled Mummy's Me-Time by Danessa where other mommies share how they spend their 'me' time.

Mummy's 'Me-Time'

Next up is Meiling, a  mom blogger who blogs on Universal Scribbles about her parenting adventures with her two children and her personal growth as a mom, wife and business woman. Meiling firmly believes that her endeavours to be a champion parent is the key to empowering her kids, but secretly wonders what her children think of her as a parent. Check out how she spends her me-time without any kiddy interruptions...

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