The Feminist Times
Let's Talk: Motherhood & 'Me Time'
Updated: Aug 6, 2022
As you transition into the new phase of your life, you would be slowly trying to adapt to the changes that come with it. While a woman’s partner’s support is imperative, I strongly believe that it is her ‘me time’ that acts as her best friend. I strongly believe that a woman’s perfect best friend is her me time. She gets so busy playing all the roles and fulfilling the responsibilities, that she hardly gets the time to understand what she feels, what she wants and who she really is. As the responsibilities grow, she tries to match up to the expectations of the people around her, pursue her career, manage her job and her household. Amidst all of this, she probably loses touch with her real identity. As she steps into motherhood, she slowly starts learning about her baby, simultaneously trying to figure out each day as it comes, wishing for a good sleep of eight to 10 hours without having to worry about waking up in the middle of the night to change diapers. Her mind needs some peace and rest. The question is: ‘How can she learn to adapt to this new phase of her life without losing the woman she had been to the mother she has become?’ She needs constant support from her partner to be able to take out time for herself, unwavering understanding from her family that she might try her best to be perfect but there could be times when she can’t and constant motivation from society that she should not lose her own real identity and self-worth. Start investing in your me time right from your pregnancy. Your me time is for you to not lose touch with who you are. Continue to stay committed to yourself when it comes to having some me time, even after you give birth.
. Spare 40–60 minutes for yourself everyday. Ask your partner or family to take care of your baby—maybe when asleep—so that you can get those few minutes to yourself and indulge in things which are essential to you for your well-being.
. Keep your mobile phones away at that time. Unfortunately, as we head towards the future, our mobile phones would become our best friends instead of our me time. Practise some mindfulness techniques in your me time instead of scrolling through your phone.
. Do some stretches to relax your mind and body. You can also do some chanting or just sit down quietly and meditate.
. Pursue any hobby of yours—painting, dancing, singing, cooking, gardening, etc.—for 20 minutes.
. Watch something that you like. It can be a movie, web series, documentary, anything. It would be better if you watch something on your TV instead of your smaller gadgets.
. Take a hot shower to relax yourself. You can use essential oils for adding some aroma while you take a shower and de-stress yourself during that time.
. A quick postnatal massage would also do wonders, relaxing your body and mind. You can call a masseuse or a postnatal massage therapist daily who can help relax your muscles with some great therapeutic postnatal massages. It will help boost your oxytocin levels along with your milk supply.
. Aromatherapy not only helps in inducing relaxation, but it also helps in changing the whole aura of the place. You can use some diffuser lamps, incense sticks, candles or aroma oils and do some aromatherapy for a while. Allow the therapy to rid you of all the negative energies, and help you detox your mind and soul.
Spending time with your parents and family is also a good option. New mothers, anyway, like visiting their mothers when it comes to spending some me time. But this should not mean that the entire responsibility of the newborn comes on the woman and her mother. Always encourage sharing of parental responsibilities. Allow yourself to slowly sink into this new phase of your life. Walk towards embracing motherhood holding your partner’s hand, ensuring that you walk towards parenthood together. Take support of your partner, encourage and allow them to be involved and share responsibilities, let them learn how to take care of the baby rather than depending upon the caretakers all the time. Amidst all of this, do not forget to find the time to take care of yourself—your me time. Self-love and self-worth will always keep you charged up to take care of your baby and yourself in the same manner.
This excerpt has been taken from Empowering You Beyond Birthing by Dr. Mahima Bakshi, published by Rupa. Order your copies here.