Making Time for Mom {Series} – Francesca’s Version

{Over the next few week, we will be running a series on how moms make time for themselves during their busy days, and what they do with that precious time. We hope you enjoy it, and join us in the conversation by telling us what you do when you manage to carve time out for yourself!}

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We all know that being a mom is a 24/7/365 job. Once you become a mother, you’re forever changed: it’s part of your soul, your essence, your reason for being. You’re always thinking about your little one(s), day after day planning meals, scheduling play dates and zoo trips, and doctor’s appointments; you’re rearranging your schedule to accommodate their needs, putting them first. And there’s a beauty in the selflessness that accompanies motherhood.

But, you’re also human and need time for yourself.

I did not fully understand this need when I first became a mom. I thought that being all-in, literally meant that. No time away from baby that wasn’t totally necessary. I had had my time to be selfish; I had traveled, studied, worked, and had fun. Now was the time to dedicate myself to the little human I so desired.

A shower? That could wait until he took his 20 minute nap. Time with hubby? That could wait until he was asleep for the night. Time to work out? What? Exercise was just not going to happen…well, maybe it would once he started kindergarten. And I fully justified my reasoning: he’s a newborn for only so long; what if I missed his first roll-over or his first smile? What if he wanted to nurse, and I wasn’t there for him?

I wanted to be what I thought was the perfect mom: with him all the time, attending to his every need. I did not know differently and I did not want to make any mistakes.

Boy was I wrong.

In order to be the best mom I could be, I {eventually} realized that I needed to take care of myself and let go of the mommy-guilt that came with doing so. And while that did not mean putting my needs in front of his {hello, sleepless nights!}, I learned to compromise and began carving out time in my busy days. At first, I’d take a quick walk around our neighborhood stopping to say hello to a neighbor, I’d pick up the phone to call a friend, I’d peruse the new products at Trader Joe’s, and eventually, I returned to the gym.

That was a BIG step for me. Before baby I spent a lot of my free time working out. I’d go early in the morning before heading into the office, sometimes returning after work; I’d excitedly plan out my running routes the night before, and enjoyed shopping for the cutest and brightest workout clothes. I loved working out and missed it so. Sweating was a release I yearned for after a long day of work; when my dad was dying of cancer, kickboxing class was one of the few ways in which I was able to release the anger I felt towards the disease I knew would take his life. A long weekend run along the beach provided the quiet and space and peace I yearned for after a busy week. This time allowed me to re-focus on my life’s goals and attaining them.

And most importantly it made me happy. There truly is a link between happiness, exercise and endorphins.

It was that realization, that pushed me return to the gym after my son was born, and even after my daughter’s birth. It’s not always easy to find time to work out, but I know that it is as important for me, as it is for my family. I am a happier, more relaxed person when I have time to exercise, when I have some time to dedicate to my mental and physical well-being. Making time for the gym goes far beyond the physical benefits of exercise, and that’s powerful. And with a little schedule rearranging and flexibility, it can become a reality.

Being a mom is all-encompassing. We know that very well. We live it and breathe it day in and day out. So being able to find time for yourself is incredibly important.

How do you make time for yourself and what do you do during that time ? I’d love to hear about it!

 

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4 Responses to Making Time for Mom {Series} – Francesca’s Version

  1. Katie July 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    Good job, Francesca!!

  2. Jennifer
    Jennifer July 17, 2014 at 7:41 am #

    I’m so glad you found something that gives you that well-deserved mommy break! I’m excited to read more of this series since making time for myself is something I need to work on.

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