Finding time for yourself after becoming a mum or dad can be a challenge. However, with determination and focus, you can find time to indulge, relax and re-charge yourself.
For women who generally have great maternal instincts, it is easy to be totally caught up in the day-to-day caring for your child. But there are many good reasons why you shouldn’t forget to find time and make space for yourself.
“’Me-time’ is important to achieve some balance,” says life coach Evelyn Lim from Attraction Mind Map.
“Time spent pursuing your own interests and hobbies or just going out and connecting with your girlfriends can help you to de-stress and to be positive,” she says, “and when you are relaxed and happy that your child can pick up the happy vibes.”
It took one near breakdown episode for Huimin to realise how much she needed time away from the babies when they were two months old. “The constant feeding and fussing over the twins became overwhelming finally, when I felt like they’ve taken over my body,” she recalls.
“Even when I was sleeping at night, I would get startled and woke up thinking I heard them cry when it was all in my mind.”
Fortunately hubby was the one who understood and made it a point for them to have high tea or go window shopping every Sunday afternoon. “That couple of hours just wandering around town, getting my hair done or shopping without walking into the baby department – I always went home happier and more fulfilled,” she admits.
But sometimes Huimin wonders if her babies’ caregiver, who is her mom-in-law, feels she shouldn’t be so ‘selfish’ to take time out of the hectic routines at home.“Nurturing yourself is a loving act. It is not about being selfish. When you feel nurtured, you naturally have more love to give others (including your child or children),” explains Evelyn.
“Sometimes when I can get enough childcare help, I go for my massages, buy handbags and spoil myself with manicures,” says stay-at-home-mom Ivy Ong. If you still think your ‘me-time’ might bother someone else, do what Janaine Ong does. “Take leave from work but don’t tell your caregivers, and simply stay away from home during that time!”
Be sure that your spouse understands your need for time alone, says Jovi Seet. “‘Me-time’ for me is a night out at drinks once a month at least, with my colleagues and friends,” he says.
“Liling totally knows that I like my drinks and goofing around with my pals, and who says dads don’t need ‘me-time’ too!” he adds, with a chuckle.