“Me” Time after Baby

Being pregnant is hard work. Delivering a baby is hard work. Taking care of a baby is hard work. None of that is news to anyone who’s experienced it.

I’ve always heard women say things like “Well you won’t be able to do that once you have a baby!” or “You stop caring about what you look like after having a baby!”. In all fairness, they’re mildly true. The last thing you want to do when you’ve not slept more than 2 straight hours because you have a newborn is put on makeup, let alone brush your hair. It’s so easy to stop taking care of yourself when you’re taking care of this perfect little baby. It’s so easy to get lost in the chaos.

I was there. When Avery was 3 weeks old, we had a cookout at my parents’ house. I remember telling my mom ahead of time that I wasn’t bringing food (even though it was a pitch-in) because showering was going to be a task that day. I actually got dressed, brushed my hair, and put on makeup. It was the first time I had done that in over 3 weeks. I felt like a new woman. Even more than that, I was exhausted because I did “more” that day than just take care of a baby. The makeup covered the dark circles, mostly. It was the first time that I mildly felt like myself again.

I am a huge makeup lover. It might sound superficial, but I love it. Mike has an office/game room, but I have an office/glam room. It’s much less of an office now that I’m not lesson planning and grading papers.

Makeup is my thing. I’ve had a diamond rewards membership at Ulta since I began shopping there. I have always loved turning on Netflix or YouTube videos and getting ready. I got my niece hooked on YouTube beauty videos at the age of 4. She would critique anyone’s eyeshadow blending. On the morning of my wedding, I had hired a makeup artist and hair stylist to come over and get all the girls ready. We all hung out in this glam room and got ready.

When Avery was about 2 months old, I was over not feeling like myself. I decided that I would spend more time taking care of myself. I started doing a small workout at home (although I could definitely be more consistent at accomplishing it) & getting myself ready again.

By no means do I really sit down and do my makeup every day, but I try to get some “me” time every day. Sometimes it’s putting on makeup and doing my hair before she wakes up in the morning. Sometimes it’s scrolling through social media, playing games on my phone, watching a TV show, taking a nap, or playing with the dogs while she naps. Sometimes it’s handing Avery to Mike the moment he comes home from work just so I can fold laundry. Sometimes it doesn’t happen until 11 at night when I can finally take a hot bath. Sometimes it doesn’t happen at all.

A few years ago I heard a woman talking on a talk show (so long ago that I can’t remember who the woman was or what show it was on) talk about the “rule” in her house. The rule was that she’s #1. She prioritizes her own well being and needs first. Second comes her marriage and husband. Third comes her children. Her reasoning was that her husband said she couldn’t be a great mom unless she was a happy, healthy woman.

While I understand the rationale behind her “rule”, I don’t take it that far & don’t know any other woman who does. Every woman I know prioritizes herself last, behind her children, partner, and marriage. I’ve got the same mindset. However, in my incredibly wise opinion after 5 months of being a mom, I think it’s imperative that you take care of yourself as a mom. There might be 1-2 days each week that I don’t get any “me” time, but I do make it a priority. That me time comes after the baby is napping, the house is straightened up, the dogs are fed, and dinner is planned out or cooked. The point is, that time happens.

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