Week 34: All that free time

Will I sleep or write? Will I go for a walk or veg in front of the television with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s?

The possibilities are endless.

Starting this week, I will have a couple of hours alone as Sophie will be spending time once a week with her grandma.

Sophie playing peek-a-boo (or in Bern, coucous) with her grandparents

When Sophie was just a couple of months old, the conversation steered toward whether or not daycare was right for us.

The chat was hypothetical. There were no plans for my returning to work. But leaving this tiny little helpless thing with someone else, even her family, was out of the question.

I was in hyper-protective mode. I could see child predators, food blocking airways, emergencies I couldn’t understand through a language barrier. The nightmare scenarios were as clear as a day. I couldn’t expose my family to these things.

Luckily, after passing through what was probably just my post-baby survival mode, my fears eased, I grew more comfortable with Dominique’s family and the idea of letting Sophie out of my sight seemed less like a nightmare and more like a dream.

As a former loner, I started craving a few hours to myself. With no particular plans in mind, but the option to maybe complete a whole yoga DVD, or wander the tiny boutiques in the city. Maybe even put the top down on the Mustang and get to know the streets a little better (read: get lost in Bern).

Some parents don’t get so much time with their little ones because they have to (or want to) work. So alone time isn’t what they’re looking for. Others may feel they are happy to shed their old life for their children.

But I’ve seen friends become parents and feel like, to a certain extent, they’ve lost themselves. That’s why I think it’s important for moms and dads, together or separately, to take time, make the time, to stay in touch with who they were before baby. Hobbies they love, adult conversations with friends, anything that makes you who you are.

There are always excuses. Always things that could be done instead. Sometimes even guilt for thinking of oneself before the family.

But I say, it’s OK to make a little time for something that’s important for the parents as individuals. Surely this must help keep the parents happy, and happy parents must make for better parenting.

So I decided it was time to take Dom’s mom up on her offer to watch Sophie. I’m certain this will be a burden for her. Yeah right! When we’re together she spends her time playing with Sophie, taking pictures of Sophie, helping however she can with her meals. Dom’s parents adore Sophie.

My baby will be in good and loving hands.

And I will get a few moments of me time.

About Tara McLaughlin

I'm a stay-at-home mom to two girls in my boyfriend's hometown of Bern, Switzerland. Life as a new mom in a foreign country has been, in so many ways, rewarding and challenging. I will document that journey here, on Another 52 Weeks.
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