“Welcome to Motherhood…You’re a rookie mom. Untrained, no experience. That’s you. And that’s not an insult. Even those of us who spent our adolescence babysitting for other people’s children or who work as preschool teachers or pediatric nurses are in for some big surprises. We’ve never been moms before. It’s not the same as changing a few diapers or setting up messy art projects. It means you are in charge all day, every day, and you and that baby are not going anywhere (or getting out of pajamas) unless you make it happen. When our babies were born, we discovered that hours and days lose shape when you have no place you’re expected to be. For those of us who are accustomed to a scheduled, busy life, that can be confusing. Lack of structure can throw even the most confident opinionated woman into a state of mental uncertainty.”
When I finished that passage, I breathed a big sigh of relief. These women “got me.” Their book had a simple prescription to fix the way I was feeling: “Get out of the house!” The Rookie Mom’s Handbook is full of suggestions for fun activities to do with your new baby. The book is organized by month, so the suggestions are matched to your confidence level as well as your baby’s age. Some of the early suggestions are simple, such as learning how to use all of your baby gear or going to the grocery store with baby. Others are more adventurous or crafty. All of them helped me learn to embrace the joy of motherhood.
As the mother of an active toddler, I barely remember my pre-baby self. Lyss Stern, founder of Divalyssicious Moms, sent me a copy of her new book If You Give a Mom a Martini: 100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself. Lyss explains:
“The modern mother comes in all shapes and sizes. Given the dizzying variety of choices and responsibilities in her life, we believe that there isn’t a mom out there who couldn’t use a little sanity break from time to time. So if there’s anything we’d like to impart to you dear Mom, it is this: We’re all in this together. And every so often, it’s good to do a little something for yourself, because a happier mom is a better mom. So claim your time. And if anyone in your family balks, explain patiently that out of the 1,440 minutes each day, 10 minutes for Mom seems more than fair.”
The 100 “mommy time outs” in this book will help you make the most of your brief moments of alone-time. Most of the “time-outs” are completely free or low cost. You’ll feel inspired to do something relaxing, rejuvenating, flirtatious or even naughty…and along the way….maybe even rediscover your pre-baby self.
Just as I scheduled time for the mom and baby activities in the Rookie Mom’s Handbook, I challenged myself to do one or two activities from If You Give a Mom a Martini: 100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself a week. I feel better and happier, and that’s a good thing. I plan to give If You Give a Mom a Martini: 100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself to my stressed-out mommy friends. Many of these supermoms can’t find time even for non-selfish things like regular dental cleanings, but I hope they’ll be inspired to take 10 brief minutes for themselves.