Best advice on life after baby arrives: How to take care of yourself after baby

How to take care of yourself after baby arrives

Don't Feel Guilty About Scheduling "Me" Time

"My problem with taking `me time' is that I usually feel guilty thinking about the kids and how my husband is doing with them while I'm gone. How do I get over the guilt about having 'me time'? I can think of several things I would like to do, but the guilt is so strong." --M.S.

"To get over the guilt, start by taking just five minutes every day to do something that's just for you -- even if it's only sitting and doing nothing. Then add another five minutes, and keep adding. Eventually, you'll realize that everyone is surviving just fine without you and the guilt will go away."

"If you can't bring yourself to take scheduled time away from the baby, use her nap time as your `me' time. Set up a box with things you like to do -- cross-stitching, scrapbooking, crossword puzzles, whatever -- and keep it nearby so you have it on hand when that free time arises. When the baby gets up, put your stuff in the box, and you're good to go."

"Get up 30 minutes earlier than everyone else and make it clear to everyone in the house that this is your time."

"Get your husband to take the kids out and away from you for a change. My husband did that and left `strict instructions' that I was not to do any housework or anything for the rest of them because that time was for me."

"I keep my daughter in day care part-time, so I can have 'me time' each week. Sometimes I just run errands. Other times I meet a friend for lunch, go to an afternoon movie, or just lounge on the couch. I feel so rejuvenated after those days and so happy to see my daughter when I pick her up. Arrange for some help -- if part-time child care doesn't work for you, then swap baby-sitting with another mom, so you can have some time off."

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