I am officially en route on my first ‘real’ trip leaving Avery since she was born. I walked out the door this morning with a smile on my face, but with tears inside. As soon as I got inside the car to go to the airport, I let the tears fall down my face. I knew I needed to get them out so that I could relax and try to have a good time while I am gone.
As I sat in silence on the way to the airport, I realized that this was the first time in a long time that I have really experienced the sound of something other than kids. The sound (or lack thereof) of silence is quite eerie when you aren’t used to it. I know that these next three days that I am away from my girls is an opportunity that won’t come around often, so I need to make sure to take full advantage of it. Alone time is rare once you become a mom. As I sit here on my six hour flight, with time only to focus on myself, I knew that I need to make the best of it.
Whether you get an hour to yourself during the day, or three days like I am getting, make sure to use these tips to optimize your time alone.
Make a Plan 1 of 5If you know that you are going to have some time to yourself, try to make a plan of what you want to do so that you don't waste the time trying to figure something out when you are actually alone. Prior to my trip, I did a little bit of research about the area that I am staying in. I wrote down a list of places I wanted to make sure to visit when I have that time. This way I will come back from my trip feeling like I made the most of the time I had there.
Do Something That You Can Only Do Without the Kids Around 2 of 5A lot of the time when the girls are sleeping and I have a moment to myself, I start to check things off of my list that I haven't had a chance to do while they are awake. I'll start doing the dishes or cleaning up around the apartment. There is hardly ever a time when I truly take advantage of that time for myself. In turn, I have started to feel stressed and like I never really get a moment for just me. I made a promise to myself that I would take the hour or two during my day when the girls are sleeping to do something that I can't do when they are awake. I take a nap, catch up on my television shows, paint my nails. The cleaning and dishes can be done when they are awake and playing with one another.
Embrace the Silence 3 of 5When I was riding in the car this morning in complete silence, I was so tempted to ask my driver to turn on some music because I am used to having some sort of noise in the background at all times. Rather than asking, I took advantage of the lack of noise and did a little bit of thinking. I didn't think about my to-do list or worry about how the girls are going to do while I am gone. I thought about all of the positive things in my life and how this trip alone will be good for me. I got to the airport feeling rejuvenated and excited about my trip.
Do Something You Don’t Get to do Very Often 4 of 5The first thing that I did when I got to the airport was go to the news stand and bought four different magazines. Shortly after I became a mom, I had to cancel many of my magazine subscriptions because I could never find time to read them. They would end up sitting on my coffee table stacked up and unread. Without my weekly reads I feel a little bit out of touch in the world. I can't catch up on the latest fashions or even celebrity gossip. I know spending time with my kids is more important than any of that, but it's so nice to indulge in mindless entertainment when I am actually able to. Even if you have 15 minutes alone, do something that you don't do very often. Whether it's catching up on the latest issue of your favorite magazine or even putting together an idea you found on Pinterest, do it. You will find it fun, exciting, and completely worth every minute.
Don’t Ever Feel Guilty For Taking Time For Yourself 5 of 5As a mom, it's so easy for me to feel like I always need to be doing something for my kids or for the household. When I do actually take a nap, I wake up thinking of all of the things that I could have gotten done around the apartment. I've decided to stop feeling guilty about all of it. It's not worth it. The time that I get for myself helps me feel rejuvenated when in turn makes me a better woman, mom, and wife.
More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:
Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.
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