Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Making Me-Time at Naptime

Making Me-Time at Naptime
My son's asleep and I'm just going to wait until he wakes to pick them up.
Just to preface this, I am not a certified expert on parenting, time management, or really anything else that I post. If I want an expert opinion, I usually link to my reference, because when I offer advice I'm basically just spouting off my experience from my one and only case study - myself.

That being said, I have some more advice.

A week ago, I was at a playgroup and told another mom that I had to return a bunch of books to the library (one being the untouched 2nd part of the Hunger Games because I really needed the third and cannot tell them apart for the life of me, whatevs.) She was really shocked when I said it and asked me "how do you have time to read? My son keeps me so busy." At first I kind of chalked it up to being stuck in the hotel room with nothing else to do but after thinking about it, I have time to read/blog because I am constantly working to make time for myself.


Finding Time for You is EASY

I never though making time for myself as a new mom would have ever been possible until I read Tracy Hogg's The Baby Whisperer and started implementing her EASY method. In EASY, she advocates that after S (the baby goes to sleep) you take time for Y (you.) In the beginning, this meant I took a shower but over time this has evolved into a really productive 90 minute block of time for me where I usually blog, read, or do whatever the heck I want! (And really, whatever routine you use, you can make time for yourself, although I guess this is pending your child taking a nap and how many little ones you have.)


Truly Make it Yours

Somewhere in the book, she truly advocates for making the most of this "you" time: don't clean the house, don't do something for the baby - take care of YOU: give yourself a manicure, read a book or work on your nap time project.

So I've started working on maximizing this 90 minutes by getting as much non-me stuff done around the house while my son is awake, (which I wasn't fully able to attempt until about 7 months because that's when my son decided he didn't want to play with me as much anymore/he discovered our dog.)


Maximizing Strategy #1: Make chores a playtime activity.

If we are playing in the living room, I clean it. If I need to go through mail, baby plays with the magazines while I rip up credit card offers. If I'm putting away groceries, my son likes to take stuff out of bags (which hopefully will become more helpful then chip-smashing.) I'm frequently surprised by how some of his favorite toys are just everyday objects, for example if I ever need to calm him down: puffs bottle. He LOVES it. Serious love too. It's astounding. Wish I would have realized it early because it would have saved me a bundle on toys!

Regardless, I've learned to not feel guilty about moving my son room to room with me as I clean or fold laundry (which he also likes to pull out of the basket) because I feel like it's getting him accustomed to our life routine (which I hope does more for me in the long term then just sounds good.) Now I wouldn't say I get 100% of the non-me things done, but it helps, and the rest I leave for the weekends or when my husband is home to tag team.


Maximizing Strategy #2: Find your prime time.

I get up early in the morning because it's my prime time. Usually, we get up at 6am, regardless.) Whatever your most productive time of the day, morning/afternoon, plan your sleeping schedule around it.

And to be honest, this system isn't perfect. Since I started writing this post last week (and I'm finally finishing it up now) my son has been off his schedule like woah - probably because of all the travel. So I've been attempting to try a couple more productivity tips in the coming week(s) to share with you as well.

In the meantime - I would LOVE to hear how you get some me-time, especially if you have more than one! Any tips or tricks?



  1. "Me time" is so important, and all of these lessons you are talking about now I wish I had started earlier! I actually didn't get any "me time" for the first two years. Seriously. Then, in a drastic measure, a month before his second birthday I left my son and hubs alone for a weekend and took a whole weekend of my first actual alone time in two years. Obviously, this is a little extreme.
    When he turned two, I enrolled him in a pre-school program 2 mornings a week. When he first started I used the time to clean, run errands, do laundry and dishes, etc. But then I felt like I still never got a break. So now I have finally learned to do WHATEVER I WANT those mornings. And I now do a lot of cleaning during the day with my son, and like you said, he helps. So we don't always do as many fun activities, but he is turning into a great little helper.
    I think you are doing a great job of carving out your me time and it is so important. I am so glad that I am taking time to do that now, even though it took me two years to learn the lesson! :)

    1. Actually I don't think taking a trip is that extreme - I've read about it in a ton of places and after my son stops nursing...I kind of want to. I mean the longest I've ever been away from him has been three hours. I've also heard its good for the father/child to bond. When I'm around with the two of them my son cries for me, but if I leave and go into another room he's fine with my husband. (I'm not really sure what that's about...) How did the trip go?