Posts Tagged ‘personal time’

Free Time

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
I spent last weekend sharing some quality time with high school girl friends at the beach to celebrate our 20th high school reunion. We had our toes in the sand and talked about our high school memories. We all keep in touch through social media and texting and we visit each other occasionally, whenever our busy schedules allow. We were all thankful our schedules aligned for a few days, and we could all catch up. We were also thankful for the husbands and grandparents that watched our kids and gave us the opportunity. 

I got home from the beach, just in time to say goodbye to Jack and Tate, again. Their paternal grandparents arrived to pick up the boys for few days of “Lake Camp.” Jack and Tate always look forward to “Lake Camp” and all the fun activities they get to do with their grandparents. I can’t wait to hear all about it.

As a stay at home mom, I rarely get a chance to get away by myself. I love the time I spend with my kids, but I can always use a break. I am thankful for supportive grandparents who are happy to help watch my kids. I miss my boys a lot, but sleeping in a few extra minutes and having some time to myself really help recharge my batteries. Once we are all back together, I will have more energy and a better perspective on how awesome my family is. 

Mom Fashion

Monday, November 21st, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Mothers, particularly housewives, take a lot of heat for the way they dress. I think this is ridiculous. If we can concede that doing all of the things that mothers do each day to take care of their families is a demanding, strenuous task, they should at least be comfortable doing so. Taking them out of their hoodies and yoga pants is–dare I say it—a little sexist? The message I hear is: no matter what you’re doing, you need to look good doing it. Nope! I reject that notion all day long.

I have some mom friends who always dress smartly and wear make-up. You won’t see them with a messy bun or without a statement necklace any time soon. Honestly I think that’s great too. A nice outfit can go along way in improving one’s mood. I always dress a little nicer when I’m under the weather. It’s mind over matter.

I’m firmly in the leggings-and-comfy-top camp, but I also try to exercise most days, so it’s a matter of necessity as well. I think it mostly comes down to what you have time to do. The other day, I went to a networking event and dusted off my “work clothes.” I had make-up on, jewelry, even put on a little perfume. So many people commented on how nice I look! It made me laugh about how I usually must look—yikes!

Wearing a “proper outfit” was nice, but when it comes down to it, it’s not a priority for me. Like most moms, I have a million things going on at a time. I often hear from friends that return to work after kids, how nice it is to have an excuse to dress up. It’s not that working moms have less to worry about—dare I say, they have more—but basketball shorts are frowned upon in corporate settings, so you gotta do what you gotta do.

Appearances have little to do with what’s going on with someone on the inside. So let’s try to put off judgment and assume we’re all doing what works for us. What’s your parent-dressing philosophy?

Weekend Away

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Last weekend, my husband and I went to Boston for a friend’s wedding. We were looking forward to spending time together. Although the weather was cold and grey for this time of year, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

We also got tickets to a Red Sox baseball game. I’m a long time Sox fan, so attending a home game at Fenway was a real experience. We had excellent seats only a few rows behind home plate. It wasn’t cheap, but seeing “Papi” Ortiz hit a home run made it worth the money.

Time away from our kids is always a refreshing break. Maybe our kids feel the same way. I’m very thankful for our parents/grandparents who are willing to watch our kids, especially when there are challenging moment(s) involved. I am excited to start the week with my boys, feeling revived after some “me” time and extra sleep.



Monday, May 9th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I recently joined an online writers’ group. I thought that this group would be just perfect for me. I am always trying to improve my writing, and I love the accountability and great feedback you get from other writers. Meeting in person can be tricky with two little ones to care for, but a virtual connection provides the network without the hassle. After “introducing” myself to the other moms of our online group, I felt confident about this new enterprise.

However, it hasn’t been so simple. I’ve already missed a lot of soft deadlines to submit work and critique others’ work. Theoretically, there’s always time to work on your computer. After all, you can always go to bed an hour later or wake up an hour earlier. But that’s easier said than done! More often than not I’m wiped from the day after I get the kids down. And Hudson’s six AM wake-up call is the earliest I intend to rise, thank you very much.

But I made a commitment, and I intend to stick with it. Yesterday, I spent a little Mother’s Day free time reading over some pieces, providing feedback and working on some pieces of my own. The irony of this process, I’m finding, is that sometimes it’s actually easier when you make plans to leave the house. You line up childcare and say, “I’m doing this!” When a mom postpones something she wants to do for herself to when she “has free time”, she’ll never do it. The key is to know your needs and make them a priority. A mom who has her needs fulfilled is happy. And a happy mom means happy kids.

Girls’ Trip

Monday, November 9th, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
For the first time since becoming a mom, I took an adults-only trip with some girlfriends this past weekend. I’m not going to lie- it was awesome! These are girls I don’t see very often, as we’re spread throughout the country. But when we get together, we don’t miss a beat. They are friends I can be completely myself around. It was so comforting to spend some time with them. And the fact that I wasn’t distracted and consumed by the tasks of parenthood made the weekend all the more enjoyable.

Obviously I missed Haley and Hudson. But I knew they were well taken care of and having a blast ignoring Mommy’s usual rules. I told Haley I would be gone two days. Well, she thought two days meant Friday and Saturday. When she got home from school on Friday, she cried when she discovered I was coming back Sunday, not the next day. When I heard this, I wanted to turn around and head back home! Of course the next day she was fine. I can understand her confusion. I will be sure to provide a four year-old level of clarity in the future.

Hudson cried when I left, but then was utterly fine the rest of the weekend. I felt like he changed so much in the two days I was gone. It may have been imperceptible to most, but I could see that he was moving and playing slightly more confidently than he was before. That’s how fast they change in early toddlerhood.

It made me feel a little sad to miss out on the kids for a few days, but not so sad that I won’t go on another girls’ trip! In order to fully appreciate their antics, I need to recharge every now and then. Every mom deserves a break. I’m so glad I got one.

Break Time

Monday, April 27th, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Last week, I wrote about how nervous I was to leave Hudson overnight for the first time. Luckily he did great. He took bottles of formula easily. He went to sleep without a problem. He played happily and did not cry at all. Getting updates that he was doing fine helped me relax and have a great trip with my friends.

I was glad that Haley had a good time too, and it’s no wonder. When I called my mom for an update one afternoon, she told me that Haley was at the park with her uncle. I later learned that he promised her ice cream. On the way to the shop, they passed by a toy store Haley knows—which is why there’s a new My Little Pony staring at me from the coffee table right now.

Despite her weekend of fun, Haley did have her moments of melancholy. She was sniffling and feeling under the weather one morning, so my mom had to deal with a chorus of “I want moooommy” for a little while. But that didn’t last long. Overall she had a wonderful time and I did too.

I’m so lucky to have my parents, with assistance from my brother, to help out with my kids. Many of the friends I saw this weekend had their kids with them, and while they were able to socialize, it wasn’t the same thing. I really appreciated having the time to unwind without them. And I really loved being reunited with them.


Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
It is hard for me to find time to spend with my friends. I used to have regular plans with several small groups. We would play games, meet for military spouse outings, or enjoy a glass of wine. Our time together was something I looked forward to. I love my children tremendously, but socializing with friends (sans children) really helps my sanity. Now that my husband started his new job and is often out of town, I’m having a hard time getting out on my own.

I see some of my friends when we drop off our children at school. However, the conversation is fleeting, and there is usually another child, event or appointment that is pulling us away. Oftentimes, when it’s convenient for me to schedule a time to meet up, it isn’t always the best timing for someone else. Everyone has busy schedules and unfortunately, that’s life.

So, when my friend invited me to lunch the other day, I couldn’t have been happier. The timing was perfect. I needed to socialize with a pal without any interruptions. My friend’s boys are the same ages as mine, our husbands work out of town a lot, and our extended families live far, far away. We have a lot in common, and it’s refreshing to listen to one another and learn how to be a better mom and a wife. It is nice to know that somebody else is going through the same challenges I am. Spending just an hour chatting with a friend made the world of a difference. I left the restaurant with a positive attitude and a smile on my face.


Making Connections

Friday, February 6th, 2015

From Friday Mom – Erin:
One of the most difficult things about being on maternity leave is finding other women to commiserate with. There are only a select few people who actually want to hear/can relate to your trials and tribulations with feeding, sleep schedules, post-partum recovery, etc. Sure, my mother and my best friends are happy to listen and may have some helpful advice, but there is something nice about being able to trouble-shoot in real time with someone who is confronting the very same things. As I mentioned when Rory was only a few months old, I participated in a new-moms’ group geared at providing guidance on a range of topics. This group also proved to be a tremendous forum for venting about all things newborn. It was a lifesaver.

As luck would have it, I have stayed in touch with most of the other no-longer “new” mommas, and four other women from that prior group have had second children over the past few months. We met up earlier this week to meet the newest additions and to catch up. The general consensus was that we had all learned (largely by necessity) to relax our type-A personalities with the second kiddo and that our tiny newborns seem loads easier than our active toddlers. It was a pleasure to chat with other women who are dealing with the same toddler-parent power struggles and struggling with the same frustration stemming from the lack of “me” time due to the newest addition.

Because the timing of our collective leave didn’t line up perfectly, I’ve also signed up for a “second-time-around” group with the same organization. The group is focused on the various trials and tribulations of juggling two kiddos, and, once-again, aimed at providing a forum for discussion on the issues facing each newly-grown family. I’m looking forward to sharing my most recent parenting trials during this week’s session, and am hopeful that some of the friendships forged during those discussions will remain as lasting as those from my prior group. If nothing else, I am thankful to have a place to vent, to cry, to share, to learn, and to engage in adult conversation at least once a week (even if that conversation is heavily baby-focused).

Mom Friends

Monday, November 10th, 2014

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I couldn’t be happier with my decision to be a stay-at-home mom. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. One of the most difficult aspects of the vocation—at least for me—is the feeling of isolation I experience daily. Since my main tasks are caring for a young baby and taking care of the house, I’m home a lot. Sometimes many hours go by without my interacting with another adult. I have no co-workers. So other mothers sort of serve as my colleagues.

No matter what you do, it helps to have others to commiserate with. Such kinship is crucial when your business is children. There are days when you feel overwhelmed or even downright clueless, just like we all sometimes do at 9 to 5 jobs. It really helps to talk things out with others who are going through the same thing.

I haven’t made close friends by just chatting up other moms at the playground—that’s not really my style. But through a local parents’ group and other random connections, I have a small base of other moms I rely on. And I’m excited that I’ve recently struck up a friendship through another source—Haley’s preschool. I’ve chatted with another mom at drop-off and pick-up a few times. Her daughter seems to be Haley’s closest friend there and she also recently had her second child, so we have a lot in common and decided to get together outside of those quick interactions.

I love meeting new people. That’s something I miss about the working world. But with Haley in school, I have more opportunities to connect now. I’m realizing now that the most isolating part of staying at home is definitely when the children are very young. I never knew that as their activities ramp up, so too might my social life! If I can make friends half as easily as Haley can, it should be a fun time.

A Moment Away

Friday, June 13th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
We’re headed out of town this weekend to celebrate the wedding of two dear friends. Rory’s grandparents have generously agreed to watch him for the weekend, and we are busily preparing for a hand-off as we begin our journey.

I know that I’ve mentioned it before, but it never ceases to amaze me how different my priorities are now that Rory is such a central part of our lives. Sure, I am looking forward to celebrating with friends and catching up with other guests who are in from out of town. But more than that, I am looking forward to sleeping past 6:15 am. And to not changing a diaper for a couple days. And to possibly sitting in complete silence for a brief moment.

Most of the times I have traveled since Rory was born, I find myself missing him almost instantaneously. Hotel rooms seem too quiet without the hum of his sound machine echoing through the baby monitor, and I tend to check in with home more often than I ever thought I might.  Bedtime is the hardest, because that is my special time with him each day, and I feel badly when I am not there to share it.

But this trip comes at a much needed time for me and my husband. We’ve been running at full tilt since early May with a number of life changes (jobs and otherwise) and have failed to take the time for date nights or other “to-do” list free moments. We are very much looking forward to having a brief moment by ourselves where we can put all of the chaos of the past month or so aside and enjoy the quiet of our mountain retreat. Marriage without kids is hard work, in and of itself. Marriage with kids can be a downright exhausting. But we’re looking forward to refreshing ourselves this weekend and then reuniting with our little man on Sunday to celebrate Fathers’ day together!