Updated: Jul 26, 2019
What do I mean by that?! Welp! I can be a bit stubborn a lot of times and prefer to do things on my own. I love advice and help but sometimes I wait until the break down has already happened. I prefer to figure things out, like Johanna's lack of sleep habits, by myself but truth be told this was an awful plan. The saying “it takes a village” is absolutely true! For those who don't know, I am doing the whole “single mama” thing (it took me a long time to call myself that without feeling some kind of way and notice I said “mama” not “mom”). Now I am in no way saying that 2 parent households are easy or less hard than 1 parent households but what I am saying is take a break from your baby before you take a break down. I will never forget going into Johanna's 4 month check-up. Her pediatrician looked at me and said, “hmmmm you haven't been anywhere without your baby have you? You know, it truly does make you a better parent when you are able to separate yourself and have some you time without your baby.” I should have listened to those words but stubborn me thought, “no, I've got this.” Now I have been afforded the luxury of staying home with Johanna for 5 months and while this is great it means I am literally with her 24 hours a day except every other Saturday when I work a few hours at an animal hospital. During that time she is with her Grandparents. So, if you have been reading my blogs, you know that I have had a lot of struggles with her sleeping pattern or lack thereof. Up until last week I displayed exceptional patience with this little bundle of joy. But there did come a point where I needed a Mama break. Over the weekend she spent the night at her Grandparents house while I caught a movie with some good friends and caught up on some sleep. I needed that so badly and I wish I would have done it sooner. We talk about this a lot too but you can't take care of your baby if you're not taking care of yourself. Please, learn from my stubbornness! It is so important that you get a break every now and then whether you are a single parent or you're still with your partner. We live our lives just taking care of ourselves and having a baby does not mean we stop! Ignoring our own needs can lead to stress and exhaustion which leads to a break down. When I say break down I mean we get to the point where we cannot deal with anymore of what is going on right in front of us and we need a break to recharge. I thought this was still possible even with baby around but it is NOT! You need a break without baby around. Completely out of site. As soon as you're feeling tired or overwhelmed, it's a good time to take a break. Don't wait until you're too tired or too overwhelmed. I learned that love is an endless resource but energy is not. You love your baby so much but how will you continue to take care of them if you have run out of energy? You can't. Trust me when I say I've been there. I've thought I can't be away from Johanna, I'm her Mom, I'm supposed to be there all the time. I've felt horrible thinking that I truly did need a break. I've felt horrible thinking that I can't wait to go back to work full-time. But from all the other Mama's I've talked to and online forums I've read, these feelings happen to everyone and it doesn't make you a bad Mom to feel these ways. But before you break down take a break, recharge, destress and get back to being the great, loving Mama you are! It truly worked for me when Johanna stayed with her Grandparents. Don't get me wrong. I still felt like I could sleep for another week but it was the simple fact that I could take my time doing things like eating and showering. This to me was enough to recharge and was enough of a break to get right back into the swing of things!