Things You Think You Have to Give Up as a Mom, But Really Don’t

busy mom balancing life

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Though I don’t have any k-, ki-…ahem, kids…wow, that K word was hard to say! Goodness knows I don’t want any crumb-snatchers. *bowing down to all parents for your courage* :-)

But for real, although I don’t have any kids – and don’t want any, some of my girls around me are having them and I see their lives change in an instant – as fast as the doc prompts them for that last push! And with new responsibilities and priorities, sometimes new moms neglect themselves. But with careful planning, I think the pampering time and girls night out can still be done, albeit probably not as much as before. New moms, just remember not to neglect yourselves, even though the little munchkins are running around. :-)

Note: This could just be me being selfish and trying to find ways my mommy girlfriends can still hang out! I’m just saying… LOL

So since I’m clearly not qualified to speak about this, I’ll let Sarah Rexman share some ideas to help new moms with ideas on how to continue doing some of the things they were doing prior to having kids. Hope this helps!

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Kids change your life. There is no way around that statement. The minute you have your first child your priorities shift, your schedule changes and your world turns into an entirely different one. But just because you became a mom, it doesn’t mean you have become a frump and give up all the fun. There may a short adjustment period the first few months after you have your little one, but it is important for your sanity and your family that you hold on to that identity that made you YOU before you had the baby. 

Girls Night Out

balancing kids and life as a new mom

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If you had a weekly night out before you had your baby, there is no need to give it up now. If your idea of a good time out was hitting the bar with your friends, you can still do that. Give your hubby the baby for the night and do the things you love the most. If you like to drink, remember to pump and dump if you are breastfeeding. As your children get older it may be even easier for you to slip away and spend some time with the girls without any children hanging around. This gives you a chance to talk to grown ups again. Plus you’re going to need the support of your friends when your kids turn into teenagers.

If you are a single mom, you can swap nights out with another single mom or ask your family to babysit for you once a month. There are affordable ways to get babysitting so you can still go out. You may have to bribe them, but it’s worth a shot!

Travel

Kids don’t need to stand in the way of your desire to travel. You have a few options to make it possible. First, you can take your children along with you. This is more feasible as they grow up, but you can train your young children to handle travel well too. Another option is take trips with friends or with your husband throughout the year. You can have good friends or your parents watch over the kids while you explore the area around you. There are many family friendly options that make it possible to visit local destinations. There are family friendly beach resorts that provide childcare so you can spend part of the trip doing the things you love. Another option that will help your children adjust to travel is to plan a series of day trips. My kids love our Saturday adventures and hold up better when we need to take a longer eight hour trip because we spend time driving to sites a few hours away once a month.

 A Great Sex Life

When you first have a baby you may feel like your sex life has gone down the toilet. Give yourself a few months to recover, and then jump back into it. Take time to connect with your partner every day. This means spending time alone each day just the two of you. Get your baby to bed and then enjoy the time together. You may have to become more creative about when and where to make love, but that may also add to the excitement. If you feel like things are getting boring in the bedroom, don’t be afraid to talk about it.

Pampering Yourself

This is a must. It is important that you continue to hold onto your identity so that you can be a good mom. This means taking time every day to pamper yourself. This is different for everyone. Some moms love their daily trip to the gym and the long uninterrupted showers you can take after your workout. Others love to slip on a pair of heels and dress up for no reason at all. Some moms crave a bit of solitude each day. You know what you need to feel on top of it and in control. Schedule some time in each day to make yourself feel pampered and alive. This helps you and your children be happier.

Saving Money

When you take on caring for a baby, your expenses go up, but they do not have to crimp your style or stop you from putting money towards retirement (and to do the things above). You need to focus on your retirement savings as well as start putting money towards college. One of the easiest ways I found to save money was to use store brands wipes and diapers. You can save a lot with this little step alone. Shopping with coupons at the grocery store and doing babysitting exchanges will allow you to still get at least some of the items you love, while saving money. The key is to create a budget that gives you room to save, while still allowing yourself to splurge a little bit each month or quarter or whatever interval you desire. Your budget will help you to stay on track while you do it.

As a mom to three kids I’ve learned how important it is to take time to do the things I still love. Just because I became a mom, it didn’t mean that I gave up the person I was. These ideas are things I have done to keep my identity and my sanity once I had kids. My life changed when I had my children, but not as much as I thought it would. Instead of giving things up, I ended up gaining a lot more and my life shifted to let everything in.

Sarah Rexman is the main researcher and writer for bedbugs.org. Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Florida State, with a degree in environmental science.  Her current focus for the site involves research on getting rid of bed bugs and bugs that look like bed bugs.

Over to you…

What are some ways you’ve found to help take out some “ME” time as a mom? Weigh in! Other moms (and single dads) are listening. :)

15 Comments

  • Those are the odds of being a mother. You get to think of your child’s welfare first before yourself. It’ll just take a little adjustment but eventually, everything’s going to be fine.
    Joe Hagg recently posted..Green Clean: The Eco-Friendly Laundry RoomMy Profile

  • I have three little munchkins all *UNDER* the age of three (I know, it’s crazy). I totally agree with all things mentioned above. There was a life before your children existed, and there will be a life after they are gone. If you don’t nourish yourself (and your spouse) during children, you’ll discover a self/spouse that you don’t know…WOAH! That’s a scary idea there!

    -Sarah
    familybugsblog.wordpress.com

    • Ahhh, Sarah, that’s exactly what I responded to Debbie about below and hadn’t even read your thoughts yet! :-) It’s good to hear this from a parent. I don’t want you and the hubby to look at each other 18 years from now like “Who are you and what should we do now?” LOL

      ~K

  • When you have children life changes and some of the things you do. To be a good parent the husband and children must come first. You can make time for yourself, but they may not be the same as before kids.
    Debbie recently posted..Teaching Life SkillsMy Profile

    • Right Debbie, now that kids are in the picture, yes it’s a new responsibility and things will MOS DEF change. You may not do everything you were doing before but I believe it’s imperative to still find time for you (and the hubby too). However, focusing on them first, leaves you in last place with possibly no strength to take care of yourself. I think if you thought about your needs first, you’ll be more aware, open, and responsive to that of your family.

      I’ve seen cases where parents completely focused on their kids and when they grew up, moved out, and moved on, the parent(s) didn’t know what to do with herself (since it’s most likely the mother who gave up so much) as she didn’t continue finding time to know herself, understand and rediscover herself where she could still know her value in the world.

      Just make sure you and hubby still connect and have fun without the kids so you both can be the best parents for the kiddos. :-)

      ~Kesha

  • Of course, I do all of the above and then some, It’s easy to assume that moms don’t know how to have fun or take time out for themselves, but imagine that! I’ve never had a problem making sure not only were my kids and family’s needs were met but mine were too. I never feel guilty about spending time witty myself, pampering myself with spa days, or traveling on my own without my brood. I think that’s why my kids think I’m a good mom. Because I’m happy. Therefore, they are happy. I’m less stressed and when I have time on my own, I come back more focused on them as ever :-)
    The Cubicle Chick recently posted..My Thoughts (So Far) About Fifty Shades of GreyMy Profile

    • Girl, you know I KNOW you gets it in!! LOL

      Besides, it can only strengthen your bond with them and even introduce the kiddos to new experiences when you’re refreshed, open, and well taken care of – for them.

      ~K

  • I don’t have kids either, but I’m sure moms can still have fun. These tips are even great for non moms…especially the travel. I love to travel!
    Shermika recently posted..Top 5 Places to Visit while in SavannahMy Profile

  • I guess I’ll have to come back and answer this when my crumbsnatcher finishes baking huh? I know for one I have no intentions of stopping my traveling and neither does hubby. I grew up traveling all over the world and plan to raise my child likewise.
    glamazini recently posted..How To Camouflage A Shaved SideMy Profile

    • Love it Ini and I’m glad you and the hubby will be continuing to have fun. I’m sure the crumbsnatcher will appreciate it as he grows up. Besides, you guys are gonna be such FUN parents!

      Oh and you can adopt me if you want to. I’m available…. :-)

  • Thank you oodles for this great article! For a long time, I didn’t want kids because I thought it would pretty much end my life as I knew it, and that a part of my identity would be nixed or float off into oblivion. I have a one-year old girl and realize that I make the rules, yo! If I want to continue doing certain things I mega love, then it’s my responsibility to create the time in order to be the best happiest version of myself for my spawn (my term of endearment for her ;) and everyone around me! Your tips are great for doing this!! Now see it as a lovely opportunity to evolve and grow instead of a dramatic au revoir to certain parts of myself and my life. To other moms–remember, Self-care is not like an extra-curricular optional activity! It’s a core requirement!!! Hoorah! Now go on and do somethin’ pretty or exciting for yourself! :)

    • This is the BOMB comment and I do hope other moms can have that mindset. If they don’t take the time for themselves, how can they joyfully and properly take care of the kids???

      I’m glad you found a way to still do at least some of the things you like to do to take care of YOU!

      Yahness!

      ~Kesha

      • YAY! Exactly Kesha!!! And I think it’s so important to teach this to our kiddos to, right? So they don’t get the idea that being a mommy = being lobotomized or something.

        High five :)

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