Caring for a new baby at home, household duties, grocery shopping & unloading, preparing meals- all these things take time and we all know that time is limited. When time is limited- we have to prioritize and this often means letting some things slide. Unfortunately, the first thing that we often let slide is ourselves. People used to laugh that I was still wearing my maternity jeans for months after giving birth to the twins- not so much because of a weight issue as because it used to save me time in the washroom- pull on & off –no snap & zip here!!!! (BTW- you can get great pull-on & off jeans & dress pants at Reitman’s for about 40-50$ they’re called the Comfort pant-check it out! Not only are they time saving but they are flattering because the bulk of zipper & snap are gone- leaving you with a flatter tummy!)
Anyhow- all this to say is we save time on ourselves- no long leisurely showers, somedays still in PJs at suppertime, manicures? Who has time & who’s going to watch the baby anyway? Annual check up? Who has the time to keep trying to get through to the Dr’s office to schedule it- it can wait (see Managing Time With Baby on Board). The problem (and we all know this) is that when we let ourselves slide- we feel more down & our energy level goes down as a result as well. Don’t we all feel like we can conquer the world when we are put-together, a touch of makeup, & of course, well-accessorized? We need to take the time to take care of ourselves at least sometimes to keep ourselves going & to keep oursleves “up”. Here are some tips on how to do that with a baby in tow:
Daily: let’s face it, the ponytail & headband are often the newborn mom’s trademarks…but there are alternatives when time allows:
- choose a cut that you can ‘wash & wear’ easily, that won’t sacrifice your ability to pony-tail or headband
- invest in a hair straightener that will yield great results-quickly
- In the “things to do this week/ month” section of your trusty agenda, place reminders to schedule yourself for a cut & blow dry every 6-8 weeks for long hair, every 4-6 weeks for shorter hair.
- Try to schedule appointments on the weekend when your spouse is home from work so that you can go alone- change of scenery & being by yourself for an hour or two can be very good for you.
- If scheduling on a weekend is not an option, try scheduling at a time where Grammy or Auntie can lend a hand & babysit
- If these are not alternatives- then schedule your appointment around baby’s nap time. Give him a good feed either before leaving the house or arrive early at the salon with enough time to feed him & get him to sleep before your appointment. Hopefully this means baby sleeps through your appointment & while you may stress about him waking during- you will leave with your haircut and have taken some time for you. Again- ideally: GO ALONE!
This is a toughie- nail polish needs time to dry & Mommies don’t have time to wait. When Mommy paints her nails in the evening- baby sometimes wakes up & need feeding. Even if Mommy waits till baby is asleep- freshly painted nails end up with sheet marks even after having dried for an hour! Quick dry topcoat is an alternative, but- I personally have found that the good ones, when used frequently, result in peeling nails. Scheduling manicures without baby is an option but not an option for everyone. Treating yourself to a manicure- pedicure every month or two, can be a great idea, if you have someone to babysit & if financially, you can afford it. An alternative is to have a manicurist who does housecalls- yes, such a thing does exist & it’s a great option especially if you can count on baby’s naptime. Finally, if all else fails, take the time to just file them nicely & skip the polish! At least you will feel like your nails are neat & clean.
Some ways to get exercise with baby are:
- Put baby in the stroller & go for a walk. Of course in the freeze of winter & the hottest parts of summer this isn’t always an option.
- Attend an exercise class that you can do with baby.-there are mom & baby yoga classes, stroller-aerobics classes and the like offered all around the city. Click here to link to our activities section for a list of classes available.
- If you have babysitting help – so long as you set time aside for it. A trip to the gym or a walk on the treadmill are realistic goals. Remember NO treadmill with Baby in the Baby Bjorn or other brand of infant carrier- This is DANGEROUS. And yes, I mention it because I know someone who did this on a regular basis. NO WAY!!!!!!!
- It takes time, but is well-worth the 5-10 minute investment because of the way you feel when you catch a glimpse in the mirror vs when you are not “primped” & put together.
- Great for going out but for staying at home- choose minimalist & “easy” pieces, if any. Remember- babies tug & pull & break. Earrings fall & if unnoticed, become choking hazards. I cannot tell you how many times I have broken my bracelet adjusting a car seat. This may not be the number one time for jewelry in your life.
- Accessories such as sunglasses- essential. I have recently learned to appreciate the value of a good pair of sunglasses. I always thought of sunglasses & being there to minimize the glare from the sun’s rays- I also use them as a headband because as of yet no headband has been invented that can do the same thing for your hair as a pair of shades. If anyone out there finds such a thing- please e-mail me & montrealmom.com will be the first to promote it!!!!! Seriously, though, Sunglasses protect your eyes & when I recently took mine off to try on a pair of my friend’s polarized shades, I flipped out- because I realized that I had still been squinting & straining my eyes while wearing my usual pair. You wear them everyday- invest in a pair that will protect your eyes completely & lessen the strain & squinting & hopefully minimize the wrinkles later on, too!!!