‘Me’ Time 

As a new mom I often received advice from other moms to take some ‘me’ time. I had a hard time understanding what that meant. And I still do sometimes. So here is a list of things I have compiled that should not be considered as ‘me’ time. 

1. Going to the bathroom

This is a necessary body function, not ‘me’ time. I am not sure how this got lumped into ‘me’ time. Maybe because when the baby went down for a nap and you realized that you needed to pee so badly and that release felt like ‘me’ time. 

2. Taking a shower

I remember in the early days of being a new mom, taking a 10 min shower felt like heaven! I also remember going for days without a shower, because you did not have the energy to wash your hair. But momma taking a shower is not ‘me’ time. It’s part of your personal hygiene routine. 

3. Grocery shopping

This one is terrible ‘me’ time. You have a list. You are walking around Costco looking for things on the list. You have to hurry so you can be home in time before your baby wakes up from his/her nap ( Don’t worry you left Dad at home so he can ‘watch’ the baby). Going to the grocery store by yourself is not ‘me’ time. It’s a chore.

4. Cleaning

If you are wondering how this even made the list, you will be surprised to know that some people find cleaning relaxing. I am not one of those people. 

To really understand what ‘me’ time is, I took a full day (8 hours to be exact) and did things for ME that do not fall into the above categories. Here is what I did:

1. I got a haircut! After 9 months! This felt liberating! It made me feel beautiful. 

2. I got my eyebrows threaded. After 3 months! That is a long time for someone who had a unibrow to go without threading. Getting my eyebrows done changed the way I looked and felt. I felt pretty.

3. I got a manicure and a pedicure. I forgot when was the last time I got this done. Ever since Zara was born my nails have been brittle and soft. I usually hide my hands. I have to say that I enjoyed this the most. It made me feel like my old self. 

4. I went to a coffee shop, grabbed my favorite mocha and read a book. For an hour!! Reading a book at a cafe takes relaxing to whole new level. 

At the end of the 8 hours I picked up my baby girl from daycare and I felt like a new person. I couldn’t stop smiling. I felt rejuvenated.

And that’s when it hit me, what ‘me’ time means. It means doing things that makes me happy, makes me feel beautiful, makes me feel like my old self and makes me feel rejuvenated.  

So mommas next time you take some ‘me’ time and end up doing the things on my what not to do list, ask yourself does it make you feel rejuvenated? Does it make you feel like your old self? And does it make you happy? If it doesn’t stop calling it ‘me’ time and do something that is truly for yourself. Be selfish! You deserve it. 

I would love to hear what you do for ‘me’ time. Feel free to comment below and share with other mommas who need some motivation to take some ‘me’ time. 

5 tips to a stress free road trip with a baby

It’s that time of the year when the urge to get in a car and drive out to ‘sunny’ destinations is high! Last weekend we drove out to Kamloops. We have done road trips in the past with Zara when she was younger and they have gone well. This year we were a little concerned about her willingness to sit in a car for a long period. Here are some tips I have learned along the way to make road trips fun for the entire family.

1. You know how they say the journey is more important than the destination? Well I was never a big believer in this. I was always in a hurry to get to the destination. With a baby, you just have to slow down and expect that a 4 hour drive will take 5 or 6. Once I trained my mind to except this as a fact it was a lot better. 

2. Timing is important! We left about 2 hours or so before her nap time. Zara likes to sleep during car rides, so we wanted to use that to our advantage. How ever we knew the drive was longer than her nap, hence we left a couple of hours before. She also had some play time prior so she would get tired. It worked like a charm both ways! 

3. Plan something fun for the stops. We stopped at a rest stop on the way, to Kamloops. We were surrounded by mountains, and the view was breathtaking. There was a little grassy area and Zara loved running in it. On the way back we stopped at Castle Fun Park, which has a couple of baby rides that Zara enjoyed. 

4. When booking a hotel, pick one with a restaurant and an indoor pool. Having a restaurant in the hotel made things easy and convenient. Weather in BC can be pretty finicky, so incase of rain we had an indoor pool to spend time at.

5. When booking a hotel room, opt for a suite. We did not stay at a super fancy hotel. Instead we stayed at a good 3 star hotel so we could afford to upgrade to a suite. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Suites and it was great! This way Zara could go to bed at her normal time, and we could still have some alone time. 

I know sometimes it can be scary to travel with a baby. To me vacation time is important family bonding time. Rj and I travelled quite a bit before we had Zara. And we don’t want to stop. Our trips are different now. They are fewer and simpler. But the memories are forever.

Postpartum Dad syndrome 

No one talks about the dads. Us moms get a lot of credit, and we deserve it, but what about the dads?

Yes moms our lives change when we see the pink lines on the pregnancy test. Then our bodies change and keep changing for 9 or 10 months ( feels more like a year). And then the day comes, the baby is born. You are now responsible for this little life and your world is turned upside down!

Dad, I want to give you credit. You deserve it too. Your body did not change ( there is the ‘dad bod’) but you did not give birth, but you were there through it all. You where there holding your wife’s hand when she took the pregnancy test. You were there when her body changed. You rubbed her back. Made her breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rubbed her sore feet. Helped her tie her shoes when she could no longer see her feet. You were there in the room to hold her hand when the contractions came. And you were there when your baby came into this world. And your world changed. You also felt an overwhelming sense of love and need to protect this little person.

Your life changed. Maybe not exactly the same way as your wife/partner. But it definitely changed. You have given up things too. Your time that was spent tinkering around the garage or washing your car, is now spent running after a little one in the park. When she falls and calls for ‘dada’, you scoop her up, kiss her ‘ouchie’ and promise to never let her fall again. Dads, do you wish sometimes you could go back to your old life? Of course you do. You are only human. But then you hear her call you ‘dada’ and your heart melts. I know you would choose this over spending time going to the gym or going fishing. And, it’s ok to miss it and feel the ‘daddy blues’. I know you think you have to be strong for the family, but sometimes showing vulnerability is a sign of strength. Only the strongest of men have the ability to show emotions. So, go ahead, shed a tear for the loss of your old life. Us moms do. I will not you judge you for it. It does not mean you love your baby less. You have the right to feel the way you do. You are a great dad regardless!  

My baby hates me

Yes! It’s true. Well not entirely true. My little Z is now 19 months and her personality is shining through. She is pretty opinionated, stubborn and doesn’t give up on what she wants (I wonder where she gets that from). 

Since I have gone back to work, I have noticed a change in her attitude towards me. During the week when I am in the office, I drop her at daycare but my husband picks her up. He then, has an hour to hour and a half with her. Initially I felt this was great as he gets to bond with her. But now I am going to admit I am slightly jealous of it. When I come home, Zara does not want anything to do with me. She runs to Dada and cuddles with him and gives him kisses, while momma gets a  ‘NO WAY’!! At first, it was funny, then it got annoying and now it hurts! I know I should not take it personally, but I can’t help it. I want the cuddles and the kisses! 

Going back to work, even though it is part time (4 days) has been an adjustment for me. I am just starting to feel a sense of balance. Between, getting the cold shoulder from my Zara and feeling the pressure of balancing home and work, it has been a tough road. But that got me thinking. I felt overwhelmed by this change. And I am an adult who has gone through changes before and had to adapt. I thought, because Zara was already going to daycare prior to me working, she would not feel the difference. But she does. I dropped her and picked her up before. We had more alone time together. And then, it dawned on me, my baby doesn’t hate me. My baby misses me. She also needs time to adjust to this change. 

So, every Friday we spend some quality mother and daughter time. Some days we go out to the library or the acquarium. Some days we just have coffee (I have coffee, Zara has a banana bread). Some days we stay in our pjs. Some days we plan things, some days we don’t. And yes come, Monday or Tuesday she goes back to ‘Dada Dada’ everything. But I think back to our Fridays. It will take time for Zara to adjust. It did for me. I try not to take it personally or feel guilty about it. Instead, I plan our next ‘Friday mother daughter day’.