Dear Dr. Renee,
I hear all the time that I should “get up before my kids” so that I can have time for myself. My oldest wakes up around 6:30/7 AM. I am not a morning person. I can not do it. Any suggestions to help me make time for self care?
I can relate. I am not a morning person either!
When my oldest daughter would not go to sleep before 9 pm, my aunt suggested that I wake her up earlier to adjust her sleep schedule. But even as an infant, my daughter would wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when she heard my early-bird husband getting ready for work. There was no way I could wake her, or myself, up earlier than 5:45/6 am. That was not going to happen!
What did work? I took time at night after she went to bed to do something for me (read, sip hot chocolate, call a friend). I’m a night owl, so that wasn’t a problem most of the time.
However, it was not always realistic. Sometimes I was too tired to read more than a few paragraphs before the book fell out of my hands.
It was important to figure out ways to work that “me time” in throughout the day. My oldest did not nap much either. However, if and when she did nap, I had to work hard to make sure that I took that time for me instead of trying to get all the housework done.
Another thing I did was hire a mother’s helper. This was often a neighborhood tween or young teen who came to play with my daughter for a few hours each week while I was home. This gave me a bit of a break, but I was nearby in case I was needed.
You will need to be a little creative, but if you want it badly enough, you will find ways to weave in “Me Time” at least a few times throughout the week.
You can do this – and, you need to do this,
– Dr Renee
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