With a rambunctious toddler running around all day being as loud as humanly possible and destroying everything in sight, it is beyond difficult to even think about stepping back and focusing only on myself. My daughter is the type of child who requires constant attention and interaction, while I am the type of person who requires some time to sit all by my lonesome and reflect on the day. I cannot neglect her needs, but I also cannot neglect my own. I have learned to make sure we each get what we need, and I have come up with multiple activities and plans to ensure everything goes smoothly.
The most obvious (yet wonderful) way to get some alone time is to wait until nap time. Once my daughter is asleep I am able to take time to write, work out, or just relax and watch videos from my favorite makeup artists. However, there are a couple of issues with depending on nap time to save the day. My daughter is learning to assert her independence, and fighting naps is one of her favorite ways to do so. When she refuses to nap we both end up frustrated, which means I am needing some peace and quiet more than ever.
For times like these, I have reserved some of my daughter’s favorite activities. My options at this point include allowing her to do an artistic project (painting, drawing, etc.) or watch a movie that captures her full attention. While she is occupied, I am able to step into the next room to relax for at least a few minutes at a time. Taking several breaks like this throughout the day definitely helps increase my level of patience.
Another option for those early birds is to wake up before your child and prepare yourself for the day – I am not too keen on waking up before the sun, so this is not a regular activity of mine. However, I do stay up later than her, so I usually take time before bed to read my bible and enjoy some quiet time to myself.
During my first year of parenthood, I was devoting every ounce of my time and energy to my daughter which resulted in me forgetting about myself. I became an extremely unhealthy and negative person. Slowly but surely I am learning how to manage my time so I can include activities to do on my own, just for me. My health has improved drastically, both mentally and physically. I am becoming the best mother I can possibly be for my daughter, and I am loving every minute of it!
With Love, Jeni