Lenny’s birthday was last month, and The Two’s have officially hit us full-force. He is discovering his two-year old world faster and more thoroughly than before and, along with an exploding vocabulary and personality, Lenny has fully transitioned from baby to toddler. With these new developments, Lenny is also more independent than ever before, and the words “no,” “mine,” and even a vehement, stubborn “yes” are commonly heard in our household.
While his world is expanding with the my’s, mine’s and my-do-it’s, mine has seemed to shrink a little. Simple tasks take much longer with an eager little helper. Tantrums are more frequent and exhausting if, heaven forbid, my husband and I are the ones to say “no.” I even have to share the food off of my dinner plate with a curious toddler most nights. So, I’m going to take a page from Lenny’s book and reclaim something that is mine. “My” time.
I haven’t been very good at this since Lenny has been born. I can recall three specific times in the last two years when I’ve gotten out of the house—by myself, to do something that didn’t involve groceries or errands—particularly at night after Lenny has gone to bed. My husband claims there have been more, but do they count if I don’t remember them (and I don’t mean in the wild-night-out sort of way, but in the mom-brain way)? Len and I have had the occasional date night out together without Lenny, and I’ve enjoyed some quiet evenings alone with a book while Len has gone out or worked late, but it is rare that I take time for myself in a deliberate way.
My shift to taking more me-time has been slow, but one I am now ready for. I’ll be the first to admit that, for a very, very long time, I was unwilling to give up the bedtime routine. I enjoyed the sleepy snuggles and held fast to them. I was nursing Lenny to sleep, so doing bedtime just made sense. By default, I stayed home every night.
Fast forward two years, and we’ve just reached the one-month mark that Lenny has not nursed to sleep at bedtime. Cutting me out of the bedtime routine was difficult for me, emotionally, at first but…just look at all of the “my” time I have! I’ve used this “my” time to go shopping, take a leisurely shower, and poke around on my computer without distraction. At first, it felt totally weird, to be out of the house in the evening, when I was previously in for the night after daycare pickup. Then, it was freeing! The possibilities of what I can do with all of this “my” time seem almost endless.
Freeing up a few evenings a week (we are now able to rotate the bedtime routine between myself and my husband since Lenny no longer asks me to nurse) has gotten me wanting to reclaim more time for myself during daytime hours as well. I would love to start running again, or join a Bikram yoga class. A mid-morning coffee date with a friend sounds like the most luxurious thing in the world. I have gotten used to spending most of my non-work time with Lenny, and I do not want to give that up—but I am willing to give in to a little “my” time every now and then, too.