Yes, I lie on my bed for at the end of the work day, sans TV/music/books, and simply stare into space. My kids are welcome to come snuggle during this hiatus from real life—but it’s quiet time. It’s my little way of taking a break. I was very fortunate to have help at home with both sets of my twins, and was able to take a break when I needed to. Not everyone can do that—and that’s why I decided to write this posting. It’s OK to put your baby down (or your toddler, or your teenager!) and take a safe moment for yourself. As parents, we often feel guilty that we feel like we need a moment to ourselves. Wash that guilt right out of your hair, here, today, ok?
If I was ever a television producer, I’d have a show called “Blank Screen for Mommies”—no noise, no pictures! I promise—it would win an Emmy award!
When babies are young, and parenting is new, this can be particularly important: at the time when parenting can be the most challenging (sleep deprivation, baby crying, new parents), parents may be the least able to take a moment “off”.
One Sassy Doctor prescribes… The ABCs of Taking a Safe Break When You Need It:
- Always know your baby is safe and secure when you take your break. Do not leave your baby alone in the house even for a moment! Baby on the back in a crib while you are within earshot is a good choice.
- Breaks include—listen to some music, jog in place, talk to a friend, eat a sandwich, go on the computer, go to the bathroom (seriously… sometimes even that is hard to do when you are with a baby!).
- Crying is okay. Your baby may cry if she is placed down in the crib and not asleep. It’s okay. If you feel you need a moment to yourself—perhaps 10-15 minutes—know that your health and happiness is paramount in your ability to care for your little one.