Before my husband and I became parents, we spent two years traveling and seeing all the places we wanted to as just a couple. We talked about the day we would bring life into this world and how much it would change us. It was inevitable, everyone told us this, and although we believed them, we couldn’t truly understand what they meant until we became parents ourselves.
Becoming mama and daddy did change us, but for the better. It changed ME, for the better, because I never forgot that it was okay to be selfish. Don’t re-read that sentence, you read it correctly! I remembered it was okay to be selfish after having my son. I remember at about 6 months pregnant making a parenting plan. This was a schedule to follow of what we needed to do, responsibilities we needed to share as parents, and time we needed with each other as a couple. For the most part, we were able to stick to the schedule once my son was born. We had some great help the first months of Logan’s life that we were incredibly grateful for. We had our babysitter and date nights were often enough, they still are thankfully!
But, I never forgot to be selfish. This is important, and I know what it sounds like, but seriously, do it.
The magic number. 24. My new favorite number since becoming a mama. 24. This is the amount of hours a month Morgan gets to be selfish. I get 24 hours, a full day, to just be me. To not be mama, to not be babe, just to be me. To remember what I loved to do before responsibility and “adult-ing” took over. My husband and I agreed to 24 hours. After my son was born I knew I needed more time. I had time with my husband alone and that was wonderful, but I didn’t have much time alone to myself. Do I love my son? Of course, I am quite obsessed with him, but being a mama is a full time job with little to no breaks…and I needed a break. I needed time to breathe, to relax, to sleep, to re-focus, to get some personal work done, and to focus on my businesses.
So, it’s 24 hours a month, one full day to myself to do whatever I choose. This can be just closing our bedroom door while dad is on Logan duty and binge watching shows, ordering pizza, drinking wine, and having no responsibility all day. This can be heading to a local hotel for the day and night, ordering room service and working away on my computer for hours, taking a nice bath, and sleeping in. This could be a spa day and girls night out. It can be simple or one month it could be extravagant. But no matter what I do, it’s up to me! I have the 24 hours to decide how I will spend it. We aren’t spending money on a babysitter, my husband is in charge and he and my son have a great time bonding and hanging out. My husband gets a new perspective into what I do all day with Logan, and Logan will remember the times he got to spend hanging with dad all day long.
It works for us. I come home a better wife and a more relaxed mom after each 24 hours. The funny thing is, I usually don’t even make it that long. I miss my tribe too much and decide, “They need me I must go home.” I usually walk in to a fun-fest, stuff everywhere; Logan loaded up with sugar, and lots of laughter. They probably didn’t miss me much, but I sure missed them. It isn’t really about the time. I know that I get the 24 hours; I look forward to them every month. But whether I take 5 hours, 12 hours, 16 hours, or 1 hour, I have the choice, I take what I need to be better that month. I take what I need to relax my brain, relax my body, and renew my appreciation for my family and myself.
Maybe you can’t take 24 hours. Maybe your spouse works a lot and cannot give you this time. Maybe you are a single mama and don’t really get a break at all. Maybe you work a ton and can’t take any breaks. But I encourage all of you mamas out there to try to be selfish a little bit. Maybe it is once a month like me, maybe you can get away once a week. Whatever time you can find to be a little selfish and take care of you, I encourage you to do so. Swap with a fellow mom friend, she takes the kids one week and you take them the next. Ask a relative for an hour of their time. If it is hard for you to trust anyone with your child/children, plan an at home spa night for yourself. Buy a new bubble bath soap, download a new book or album, buy a new nail polish and face mask, and after the little ones are asleep, enjoy thirty minutes or an hour alone.
Whatever time you can spend, whatever moments you can create, take them. I promise you won’t regret it. I promise you will love yourself more, you will love and embrace your tribe harder than ever, you will experience hearing your own thoughts again, you will be a greater partner and appreciate your loved ones for the sacrifice of their time too.
Be a little selfish, be a lot greater!