Something I’ve really noticed about myself since having my third child is that I have a stronger need for time to myself. I need a break from my every day routine and a break from the kids and life as a mom. I never remember feeling that way as much in the past but having three kids makes the day to day life busier, filled with more work, and more exhausting. It’s harder to stay connected to Emily when I’m always being pulled in so many directions! Zach has also found more personal hobbies than he ever has had in the past (he goes and plays basketball two mornings a week, golfs on most Friday afternoons, and does a basketball league once a week in the summers) and that has encouraged me to devote more time to things I enjoy! I also think having Casey as a fellow stay at home mom now has helped me see the importance of getting out and having fun!
Zach is VERY supportive of me having the time for myself. He isn’t one of those dads who considers keeping the kids solo as “babysitting.” They love daddy solo time and so does he! I have been trying to plan something once a week for myself. Girl’s nights, solo dinners with friends, even just simple errands on my own (like bathing suit shopping: yikes!). Just time away doing something I enjoy has a HUGE impact on my week. I find that if I go too long without devoting some time to myself then I find myself getting more easily agitated, quicker to feel anxiety, and less pleasant to be around. So really some “mommy me time” is a win win for everyone!
Here’s some of the fun things I’ve been up to these past few months during my me time 🙂 I’ve had dinner with other people too but just didn’t get pics!
This past season of The Bachelor we filled out brackets along with Casey and Jordan and did a girls vs boys competition. The winning team would get to spend an entire Saturday together. Casey and I took it very seriously and were SO happy to have an entire day just the two of us! We took our time and just enjoyed the day! We went shopping in Lake Parker and then headed to Gainesville. We got there at lunch time and hit up Panera (my fav!).
Zach kept me updated about the kids 🙂 He always sends pics of stuff they do when I’m away…I try to remember to do the same for him when he’s traveling!
We pumped and hit up some Goodwills…I think my favorite memory from the day is when we decided to explore a random furniture store and just sat on a couch and talked and laughed and acted like we lived there 😉
We also went to the mall and decided the stores were way too expensive for us…and I may have accidentally walked out of one store with the shopping basket. I think the freedom got to our heads a little! We’re so used to being on a tight schedule all the time that we didn’t know what to do with ourselves!
Dinner at Chuys!
Froyo for dessert!
We had to stop and get gas on the way home and omg while I was peeing in the stall at the bathroom and talking to Casey while she was washing her hands a BIG MAN walked in! I didn’t see him but heard the door open and the stall next to me become occupied. Casey immediately looked through the crack of my door and said “let’s go now” I don’t play games when it comes to safety stuff. I pulled up my pants and got the heck outta there. I get EASILY freaked out and have pretty intense anxiety regarding safety in public places. Both of our adrenalines were pumping and we had noooo trouble staying awake for the rest of the ride home for sure!!!
Robyn and I have a yearly tradition of treating each other to dinner for our birthdays rather than buying a present. I love it because it gives us some time together! This year we hit up Atlanta Bread Co for her birthday 🙂
One of my life goals has been to find a fedora that fits me. I have a MASSIVE head. Like I used to get teased about it as a kid. Which is random. Even then it didn’t hurt my feelings. Who makes fun of someones head size? I have never been insecure about it? I just feel like I own it 😉 The only real issues with having a massive head are 1) I can’t wear headbands 2) I have a struggle to find sunglasses that fit my face where I won’t bend the frame and 3) it’s impossible to find a fedora big enough. I have tried on fedoras on every single vacation I’ve been on. I’ve literally tried them on all across the world. Disney, Italy, Mexico, Hawaii. I’ve tried ’em all. And none have EVER fit. Randomly I was roaming the aisles of Target waiting for Casey to meet up with me one night and I happened to see a mens size large/extra large fedora. I tried it on and my life was complete! 😉 Fedora mission is officially ACCOMPLISHED!!!
Speaking of another life goal I’ve been wanting to get myself a gun. Zach has a gun but I’ve never felt comfortable using it and if someone were to break in our home I always worried that they’d be able to use the gun on me quicker than I’d be able to use it to protect myself. Zach attended a local gun show with the mission to find a gun for me to use and be comfortable with. We planned to have a date night and go take me out to shoot it but date nights are tough to come by and we live in the country…so it’s easy to go shoot a gun in the woods 🙂 We went over to Zach’s parents house one afternoon and he took me out to shoot it in their yard. I LOVE how light it is and now before he leaves town we go over the tips for me to be able to keep my confidence up about using it if needed. I feel SO much safer sleeping with a gun by my bed (in a safe, of course). I know I can protect my babies if I need to!!!
I think something that is hard for moms is finding hobbies. Zach has it so easy with hobbies because he likes sports! I don’t really have a hobby? Blogging started off as a hobby for me but it really doesn’t fulfill that need for me anymore. I enjoy it, but it feels like something I “have to” do rather than “want to do” most of the time. Going out with friends is something I truly enjoy as well as shopping/deal hunting. I also have found things at home that help me to relax and rejuvenate. I really have always loved to lay out. I don’t allow myself to do it very often b/c it’s SO BAD for your skin. I have melasma that comes RAGING if I get in the sun too much. But ever so often, especially when it’s first getting warm outside, I love to lay in my yard with a good celebrity gossip magazine and just soak up that sunshine.
Another thing I’ve always LOVED is movie watching. I recently reconnected with this hobby and have started to slowly work my way through oscar nominated films that I’ve never seen. I watched Birdman
one night and The Wolf of Wall Street
another (Birdman was AMAZING!!! Wolf of Wallstreet was terrible language but interesting since it’s a true story). I even indulged in some old school Emily style dinner: oriental ramen noodles 🙂 Took me back to my apartment living days of high school!
Something else I used to always enjoy but have fallen out of the habit of doing is pleasure reading. The past few months I’ve read Sean Lowe’s Book: For the Right Reasons, What Alice Forgot, and Nobody’s Cuter than You
. All three were lighter reads and were ones that were easy to read for a few minutes before bed and then pick back up the next night. I loved a lot of the quotes about friendship in Nobody’s Cuter than You. I have found that people with a strong family background tend to not have the deep need for friendship connections the way the people with a less stable family unit do. I connected with the author in many ways because we do have somewhat similar backgrounds and I think it’s the reason we both have a need for deeper connections with friends.
Not only am I focusing on spending more quality time with Emily…but I’m also very committed to strengthening and deepening my bond with my husband. I think having a third baby has been such a positive thing for our bond together. We are outnumbered so we have to be a team to be able to stay in control 😉 I tell people often that having a second child was the toughest one, so far, on our marriage. I think a lot of it was timing (we were in that “7 year inch” phase) but also just we were so divided. I’d have one kid and he’d have the other. I often felt like we were roommates…just passing each other in the hallway and on our own agendas. Having Tess has been so awesome for our marriage. We are both so much more focused on our love for each other. Spending quality time together and finding ways to show our appreciation for the other. We both make sure we set aside time to spend doing special things just the two of us. We don’t get a lot of date nights but we make the most of our kids early bedtimes!
Zach really has a talent for cooking and I LOVE not having to cook 🙂 He makes all kinds of creative things and we love sitting and talking or even just watching a show together. One of our new favorite things is to cuddle up in bed and watch House of Cards
. I am ADDICTED. Def my favorite show ever and there is nothing better than being snuggled up in bed watching it. Usually when we watch tv in the living room we each have our spots on the couch and tend to not even be close enough to touch…but in the bed we are closer (we have a queen mattress so we have no choice ha!) and it is just a more cuddly environment.
Some of the yummy meals my man has prepared for me!
One night he went all out and made my favorite meal: lemon chicken with capers 🙂
All dressed up for a date at home 🙂
I’m so thankful for the quality time I’ve been spending with my friends, my husband, and myself! I recently had a massage (mother’s day gift!) and had ZERO spots of stress. I very, very rarely feel stressed which is a big deal for me. My anxiety is so much lower and I feel probably the happiest I have in all my life (BIG improvement from the PPD days huh?). I’m so content in this phase of life and so thankful for all the people in it that make it special. Of course I appreciate and enjoy every day with my babies but sometimes getting a little time away from them helps us all to appreciate each other more 🙂