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Having just had a new tiny baby a mere three weeks ago has meant that Tall Dad and I have been spending a great deal of time at home with our two kids. Our home is a bit louder and messier than normal, but our hearts are full of love and our bellies full of laughter.
In addition to our regular chores, and now the added responsibilities of taking care of our newborn daughter, Tall Dad and I have been trying to carve out tiny "me moments" throughout the day. I'm not going to lie, it's sometimes hard to carve out these moments - but they are well worth it. Finding ways to kick back and relax help us from burning out during the week!
It's important for parents to find time to do activities that they find enjoyable. "Me Moments" allow new parents the ability to slow down, and breathe for a moment or two. They also help you feel less overwhelmed, and unload any stress you may have gathered throughout the day.
Most of my moments to myself, or my "Mommy's Time Out" as I refer to them, actually have me wearing my newborn baby. I am hands free, and she takes a deliciously long nap whenever I have her in a carrier. Most of her naps are spent putting away laundry, picking up after my toddler, or making various phone calls.
But every once in a while, I find a span of time that I can dedicate to myself. It is then when I find my "me moments." I spend these times generally in one of the following ways:
Going for a walk
It may be basic, but getting in a little bit of exercise really helps me feel grounded and recharged. Plus, after being sick for so much of my pregnancy, I love that I feel well enough to be active again.
My favorite place to walk in Providence is Blackstone Boulevard.
Sitting down, listening to an audiobook or podcast
When I get these moments to myself, I often have a baby asleep in my arms, which makes it difficult for me to hold a book. This is why I LOVE audiobooks and podcasts. I am currently re-listening to Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander) Dragonfly in Amber, the second book in the Outlander series. As for podcasts, I am catching up on all of the Game of Thrones finale related discussions. By listening, I am able to close my eyes, hold my baby near to my chest, and drift off to a different time and place.
Learning a new song to sing to my children
In case you didn't know, my degree is actually in Music Education. I've been in love with music ever since I can remember, and I hope to instill this passion in my children. I have a plethora of instruments in my house, but find the most convenient one to play with kids nearby is my ukulele. Sometimes while my children are napping, I head online and find uke tab for new lullabies or songs that I can sing my little lass and lad. Right now, my son has been on a big "Skye Boat Song" kick, because Tall Dad and I have been listening to the Outlander soundtrack (beautifully scored by the ever talented Bear McCreary.) I have been singing the song a cappella so far, but I think I'll see how the Scottish folksong fares accompanied by the ukulele this weekend! Keep your eyes peeled on my instagram feed for the results!
Tall Dad also has some time out moments to himself. He likes to spend them:
Doing something creative and artistic
Before we had kids, Tall Dad used to take art classes in a nearby art school. Since having our son, Tall Dad has found ways to be creative at home. He created a replica of Paradise Falls for our son's room, and today spent some time painting letters for our children's doors.
We are hoping he can get back into the art classes this fall, but until then, he will continue being creative during his "me moments."
Editing one of our podcasts
Tall Dad and I host three podcasts together (you can find them all here,) and he throghoughly enjoys spending time in our podcast studio creating the finished product.He spends many evenings, with his headphones on, making his audio masterpieces. I think he really enjoys this time because he can't hear any two year old whines, or newborn baby cries. After our son having colic for seven months, we joke that Tall Dad has baby PTSD, and sometimes need an audio time out from the kids!
Me Moments, Together
One of the ways that Tall Dad and I enjoy a time out together is by being in our new backyard, sometimes with friends, sometimes just the two of us. We fire up the grill, and enjoy some dinner al fresco! We recently got a patio set, so we spend many of our meals and moments outdoors. Tall Dad throws on some music from his iPhone, and I bring out a couple of refreshing bottles of Snapple. We spend the time laughing about something our toddler did earlier in the day, or other times just sit in silence, soaking up the breeze and listening to the birds.
Oftentimes we get to have these quiet moments to ourselves while our toddler naps. Sometimes we need a mental break while he is awake. We do this by giving our son time to play by himself as well, even though he is just two years old. His quiet activities that he can do by himself are:
Playing with his trains
Playing with playdoh
These are just a few ways that our family finds time and space to be quiet and do activities that we each enjoy. I love them because we are able to unwind without having our eyes glued to the television screen. They allow us to tall take a mental break, regroup, and do something we find fun and fulfilling, which I think is super important when you're a parent.
How do you spend your "me moments" or "mommy time outs?"
You can find a variety of Snapple flavors at our local Walmart - just like I did. While you are there, keep your eyes out for the flavor - Lady LiberTEA. Lady LiberTEA contains a blend of delicious black tea with RED raspberry, WHITE peach and BLUEberry flavors. This flavor is available in stores between May 1st through July 4th in 16oz singles and 6 packs. Get it while it lasts! 18.5 oz Straight Up Tea and Premium Glass items will be on Rollback for $1.00 in-store at Walmart starting on June 3rd.
Find more info about the flavor on Snapple.com.