Making Time for You

A few of my favorite bloggers, Kelly, Jennifer, Courtney and Erin, are doing a great series on encouraging moms who are in the season of little ones. I’m certainly there and could use a little encouragement. I bet lots of you could too.
I wanted to join in and share a bit this week on remembering you and taking time to keep your own identity even after you become Mom.
This can be so hard when you’re at home with a newborn, especially as a first time mom. I remember those first three months after Andrew was born as mostly a big blur of hormones and worrying about sleep and nursing and quite a few tears from both of us.
The very last thing I had on my mind was getting out and doing something fun for myself.
And then when Caroline was born…whoa. It took  me almost six months to get my feet back under me. Being at home with a non-napping toddler and a newborn left me feeling so exhausted and run-down that I didn’t have much left in my tank for me.

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Oh, those new baby lips.

But the fog lifted….they did not stay tiny forever. And eventually they slept, kind of. And eventually I found the energy to leave the house again. :)

One of my favorite ways to spend a “me” day is with my mom and my sister. We love to shop together, try on shoes and lipstick and sunglasses, have a long lunch and laugh a lot. I wouldn’t say any of us are expert shoppers, but we really love to spend an afternoon at the mall together.

Awesome new lipstick makes me happy. #febphotoaday
New lipstick makes me happy.

Mom and Kelsey are two of my very favorite people in the world. They fill me up and restore me. Throw in a little retail therapy, and I’m recharged for weeks.

And I don’t feel guilty leaving Andrew and Caroline at home with Brian. They love their daddy to pieces, and it’s great for them to spend time together without me every once in a while.
I spend a lot of time studying and practicing my photography. I had barely even picked up a camera before Andrew was born, but when I held that dSLR for the first time everything changed. It was like I had found something just for me and it was so very exciting.
I had to work really hard to learn something completely new. (Heck, I’m still working really hard to learn new techniques all the time. That’s one of the best things about photography. You can never know it all.) It brings me so much joy. And I guard my photo time. Sure, it ebbs and flows with how busy we are in a certain season, but I always make time to read new blog posts or flip through the latest Click magazine.
And sometimes that means Andrew watches a movie while Caroline naps so I have time to do some editing. I think this is okay. Again, I don’t feel guilty about it. We all need that time to reenergize ourselves and photography is it for me.
I’ve also talked before about how much a family dance party in the living room means to me. It’s silly, and I’m not on my own or buying new lipstick, but a good get-it-all-out after dinner dance session with my family makes me feel like a new person. We could have had a terrible awful no-good day, but a little dance party makes bedtime easier and puts us all in a happy mood. I mean, who doesn’t love boogying down to a little Raffi? :)

Dance, dance baby.

Find what makes you happy, what restores you and fills you up and brings you great joy and make time for it. Because no one else will guard that time for you. And it’s totally worth it.

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