Remember how you used to relax before your baby was born? No? Me neither. But I do have vague recollections of going out for dinner or to the movies or for a spa day. These things are much tougher to manage with a young baby and you begin to worry that you will never get a moment to yourself again.
Well, probably not. Sorry. But fear not, fellow Mom! That doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze a little relaxation into your day if you get a bit creative. Here are five ways I have used to find my Zen:
1) Hang out in the bathroom
Who needs a spa when you have your very own oasis at home? Leave the baby with your partner or put your baby in their crib/pack-n-play and sneak quietly away. Spray some air freshener (for ambiance), wash your face – hell! Go all out and have a shower! Wash your hair with wild abandon, you crazy kid.
I know what some of you are thinking: But I use the bathroom every day, what am I missing? Ah, but do you close the door? That’s the key to this. Shower with the door open = STRESS, but close the door and you might as well be at a spa weekend in the Alps. You will not even notice the difference. Especially if you close your eyes. (This has the added bonus of making the neglected bathroom feel much cleaner.)
While I am not someone who feared the dentist, I never really enjoyed it either. For the record, I have had 15 teeth pulled, 2 dental surgeries, a gum graft, 4 years of orthodontia and a history of extremely sensitive teeth. That cold water rinse during the cleaning alone would be enough to make me stressed.
And then I had the baby. While my poor brother pushed the baby around in a stroller, I discovered just how relaxing the dentist can be. I was lying down, with dark glasses on and soft music playing. No one was screaming. It was magical. How many times does my health plan cover this per year? Oh, just once. It should be weekly. Maybe this one is just for special occasions, like my birthday.
3) Folding laundry
There is something soothing about a repetitive task like folding laundry that can melt away the stress. (As long as you don’t look at the giant pile of laundry waiting to be washed.) It smells nice, the clothes are soft and warm. It makes you want to curl up in a pile of clean laundry and have a snooze. (This is optional, but encouraged.)
You can distract your baby with brightly coloured socks as you let your mind wander. Put on some music and you will never want to stop. Luckily you never will because the laundry multiplies overnight. Look at it as more opportunities to relax.
4) A bikini wax
Feeling extra tired? This will perk you up! Okay, so this is painful, but so is motherhood in general, so you are used to it. Besides, after going through labour, having your hair pulled out by the roots is far less painful than you remember. You also get to lie down, and have an adult conversation. Who cares if they are getting paid to converse with you while covering your nether regions in wax? Still more relaxing than bedtime.
5) Hair Cut
First, you get to leave the house and you don’t have to worry about how your hair looks. This alone is worth it. You can go into the hair dresser with super greasy hair (and I did!) and they will wash it for you. They can’t even say anything about it so really let it get rank.
They will throw in a scalp massage too! At my first haircut post-baby, I actually fell asleep during this stage. That 3 minutes was the best nap I have had in a while! Again, you get to have an adult conversation, and someone will make your hair look good again. If you are like me, most of your hair care lately has been pulling your hair out of your baby’s little fists or cleaning all your lost hair out of the drain, so this is appreciated.
Okay, you will still have to put it in a ponytail when you get home so your baby doesn’t pull out whatever hair is left, but boy on the way home you will be fierce. I suggest drawing that part out as long as you can. Get a coffee, meet a friend for lunch or even pass by a dance studio to look in the mirrors. Bonus points for finding ways to flip your hair seductively. It’s your day – go nuts, you hot mamma!
Liz Parker-Cook is a new mom to a five month old son. She lives in Toronto, with her husband, son and dog. In her other life, she is a high school teacher. She is also new to the world of blogging and hopes you enjoy the posts.
Enjoy more posts about being a new mom at: www.newbiemomsite.com