about that time last week where i didn’t have a baby in my arms. or on my hip. or even, in sight.

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so there were a couple of days last week where i felt entirely overwhelmed with the whole mama thing. we’re in this new phase of crawling everywhere, standing up and falling down (sometimes hard), sticking everything in our mouth, and biting down really hard with two new little bottom teeth that are sharp! (as her mama and current food source, trust me when i say those things couldn’t be sharper!) i love this little munchkin to death, but last week almost killed me.
i’m also not entirely sure how it has happened, but friday i realized i had never been away from eleanor for more than 2 hours at a time (when josh takes her on little daddy daughter walks around the hill or plays with her while i run an errand… or those two hours where i saw the harry potter movie in july while my sweet mama had eleanor outside of the theater. but come to think of it, i had to run out mid movie for 5 minutes to feed her. so never mind on that one.) but anyway, since february 1st, we’ve been together pretty much twenty four seven. i think the main reason has to do with the fact that we didn’t try to give eleanor a bottle until june (in retrospect, i realize that was somewhat an idiotic move) and by that point she was all ‘um? a bottle?! haha. no thank you.’ so since i only nurse her and we don’t have the whole solid foods thing down very well just yet, it’s not possible to be away longer than a few hours at once. and also, let’s be honest here…i’m a little bit obsessed with that baby girl of mine. so being away from her for long stretches of time usually sounds like the worst and silliest idea ever.
but last week did me in. one night, i found myself up until past 2am even though eleanor and josh had gone to bed around ten just because i wanted to have time to myself. i was completely exhausted and needed to sleep but i also just really wanted to sit there in the dark and be alone for 5 minutes. to take a hot bath and shave my legs in quiet. to browse the internet. to listen to music. i was so tired. but i wanted alone time. and 2am seemed like the only time i could get it. and that, my friends, is when i realized…i could really use an hour (during daylight?!) or maybe two. or if i’m being really selfish here, maybe an entire morning to myself? and so, i told this to josh the next day who said, ‘well. yeah. i’ve been offering to watch her while you take a day to yourself since um… february?’ and it’s true. he has. but i’m always like, ‘nah. i got this.’

so guess who had a morning all to herself on saturday? it was a little bit strange, a little bit awesome and a little bit relaxing all at the same time. i went and got my hair fixed up (i won’t even tell you how long it has been since my last cut. my sorry sad split ends.) and just sat around and relaxed. while i was on my own, josh took eleanor to my favorite place, 2amy’s, and brought me back my favorite pizza, arrancini and roasted olives to-go! that was probably the biggest surprise and highlight of my day, when my sexy man showed up with my favorite meal and a baby in his arms (what is it about a man with a baby? then add my man with my baby…plus a pizza? i love him.)
it’s a funny thing being a mom. because that entire morning away from my baby, i really missed her. but i’m learning if i’m going to stay sane as her mommy, i need some alone time every now and again. this mama thing is hard hard work. hard work, yes…but also, it’s the most rewarding and special calling in life. even when i have to hold eleanor as i pee because she doesn’t want to let go, i still love every second of it.
  1. Cortney

    I'm really glad to read this post. I remember reading about how you didn't understand why people left their babies behind on date nights, and how you just couldn't do it, etc. I'm not a mom, but a lot of the other mom were saying "just wait, you'll know when you need your alone time and then you'll crave it!". I think it's good you recognized your needs and took care of them. Especially as a breast feeding mama, you are so intimately and constantly tied to your baby that it is even more important to have breaks. Babies are dependent anyway, but when you're the sole food source it must add an extra layer of overwhelming.

  2. Jacob

    so sweet! glad you had some time to yourself! that is important, too!

  3. molly

    i couldn't agree more! we just moved and the network i once had to give me some peace and quiet is now gone. it is SO tough. my husband travels a lot so when he is here i want to get family time. thus, by the end of the week i have some what lost it! so, thank you for this post, makes me feel less alone in this world of being a first time mom!

  4. You are absolutely right that you need time to yourself! Shoot, I don't have a child yet, but there are days when I just need to be by myself, doing my own thing, like getting my nails done or just sitting in silence and browsing the Internet while the husband cleans or runs errands or does laundry (to be fair, he always offers to do these things anyhow!) Time away from homework and co-workers and the gym….we all need that alone time. Don't feel bad for taking it.

  5. naomi!
    I found myself both smiling and laughing with your post. I too am nursing a very attached 3 month old little girl. Sometimes I wonder who needs who the most, i'm pretty sure most days i'd like to think that she needs me, but who are we kidding, we're completely hooked on our babies. I constantly battle with spending alone time because I feel guilty but my hubby demands (sometimes he literally takes her away from me! ha) that I take some 'me time'. All mammas need it, especially new ones. I commend you for nursing as well, its one of the best things you can do for that beautiful little Eleanor!

    Best wishes,

  6. Brooke

    it's so incredibly refreshing to read that i am not alone! 17 weeks without more than an hour or two away and i am just now starting to really feel it. if you don't mind me asking, what/how did e eat while you were gone? i gave up on the bottle and started showing her the sippy cup. even if she just wastes my milk, i want her to become familiar with it!

  7. Erin

    It is so good to have a chance to miss them. Sometime we need that time away just to realize that going pee while holding (or nursing a baby) isn't so bad after all. :)

  8. paige

    even though this seemed like the best thing you could have done for yourself (and it was!) it was also the best thing you could have done for your husband and baby. us women need to refuel on our own every once in a while in order to be there in full force for the ones we love. you rock! xoxoox

  9. I'm still figuring this out even though my oldest is going on six. It's so easy for me to say "I got this!" and so easy to push myself until I'm beat. But I try to remember that this is the only time our kids will be this little, though I truly truly hope that we'll have perfect memories of all the sweet moments when all is said and done on this earth. Friends, too, can be lifesavers. My best friends all have kids the same age as mine and trading off for playdates has been a huge blessing and sanity-saver.

  10. oh girl I am in the SAME boat! only a 3month old, an almost 3 year old and a hubby who is deployed. I am home visiting family and went to the grocery store by myself and realized it was the first time I'd been alone in over 9 weeks! I love my life and my girls {obviously} but that sliver of "me time" was so so precious. unfortunately my little chicklet won't take a bottle- she acts pissed when I offer it to her! so that's a struggle I'm working through because really? momma needs some time to herself :)

  11. I loved your post Naomi.

    I am an older Mom with all my four kids raised. I wanted to put out one thought for you.

    When I was in the thick of mothering I never once felt like I wanted to get away from my children. I loved being a mom, and I loved my kids and our time together. I did however, need breaks from the heavy responsibilities that come with being "the Mom".

    It wasn't about a break from the kids, it was about a break from the burdens and requirements of the job of being mommy. See the difference?

    Embrace and enjoy those breaks without guilt!

  12. lindsay

    With three kids I'm now a pro at taking "me" time. Even if it's just a really long shower… Great post!

  13. Alexis

    You are NOT alone! I have two children and my youngest is 10 1/2 months old! Not much older then your little cutie. But like you, Paul (my baby) has never taken a bottle and looks at me like I'm nuts! But he does eat solids now:) I still breastfeed and he still has no teeth! The thing with you going to the bathroom is so familar to me, as I do it EVERY DAY with Paul! But I have learned to put Paul in his pack n play in the mornings and have my 4 year old daughter sit next to him in the room while I take a shower by myself! You are a wonderful mother and you will get the hang of it!

  14. sinika

    It took me a lot longer to learn this simple, amazing lesson! But when I have time away from my babies, I am always a better mommy the second I get back. Plus- my boys hardly ever get alone time with their daddy. Yay for motherhood!

  15. So glad you took the time you needed to be yourself so you can always be the best mum to Eleanor! :D The last bit about your man and your baby, sooo cute :D

  16. You are lovely. And your blog is lovely. And your baby is lovely. And your husband is lovely. (In a bow tie! HA HA!) I'm a big fan of yours and always read, but rarely comment. You get hundreds of comments. I'm like, "Can a girl get a comment up in here?" HA HA! I couldn't resist this time. I have a five year old. She's a fiery handful. I have a two year old. He's a little goober. Being a mom is SUPER DUPER hard, but the "time away" saves us. It's therapy. I believe it makes us better mothers. It's okay to do that…to take some time for yourself. You're not alone, hot mama. We're all in this together. It's a beautiful thing when women can truly support other women. MWAH! http:/callmemamaleisha.blogspot.com

  17. Juliette

    I'm following your blog since a while now, and it's amazing to witness your adventures through the years.
    You are a truly kind person, a gorgeous women and an amazing mom.

    It is also great to "meet" many other great gals through sweet comments and words.

    Yayy for you ladies, you made my day!


  18. I usually go straight for the pictures, but this time – I hung onto every word. Incredible post, and yes – I agree – you ought to have time for yourself every now and then. I think it's important for you, and E.

    Good job.


  19. VLS

    Naomi, I am very curious: what did you and Josh end up doing about feeding E while you were away?

  20. Meagan

    I had one more semester to finish up after I had my daughter and it was definitely one of the most trying times of my life. It was so hard to keep my life balanced. I neglected "me" time for toooo long. I had a night class for 2 hours and I had a friend come over to watch my sweet baby because my husband had to work. trust me, I screened all of my friends and they know it too. I finally picked my friend because she was a NURSE. hahaha I was such a looney. Anyways, while I was in class, I was thinking, no one in here knows that I am a mama. And that really disturbed me for some reason. it was hard right then, when she was only 2 months old, and I was still post partum, to think that I could have 2 hours once a week, learn about STD's (health science major) and have discussions other than how many times she had pooped that day. I would know it was time to go home because my milk was overflowing by the end of that class, but I think 2 hrs is good enough to recharge almost every mama.

    Anyways, now, she is 2 yrs old. and it is even more difficult to run out of the house alone (my hubs is in law school now). So I wish I took advantage of those newborn, sleep all the time, stage to go to the grocery store in peace and quiet!

    You are a great mom and don't forget it. Your family is so adorable and you should never feel guilty for wanting some alone time. HECK I want alone time just in the bathroom! My toddler loves to point out what I'm doing in there! I'm never going to be alone again!!!! :-)

  21. it's interesting to read this, because i found it crazy when i first started reading your blog that you wouldn't leave e to go on dates with your husband. as a young mother myself (22) i thought i would go crazy without some alone time to focus on each other! and yes, even myself occassionally. a morning off is a big step, maybe date night will be next. does babies good to have to be on their own with other people too, helps them build trust and it's good for her to learn to be away from you and know you'll be back.
    Congrats on the big step =)

  22. molly

    love the honesty. being a mom is hard. so hard some days. but by far the best job ever. and alone time is a must :)

  23. Alexia

    this definitely is my favorite post! its always nice to see people being so open about life's (little & big) struggles, so thank you for sharing! your family is absolutely beautiful and eleanor is the cutest little thing i have ever seen!

  24. Ingrid

    what a great post. i am the same, hate time away from my kids but know i need it to be a good mum. it gives you the energy to keep going and it is so awesome to see your kids again! x

  25. Wow, this describes my experience with my 6-month old to a tee. I was feeling like I was on such a tether. So I copied a friend and started on one bottle of formula a day so that I could stock up on breast milk and not feel so tied to the house. (Which was hard decision for me because he'd been 100% nursed up to that point). I'm lucky he'll take a bottle. Now I have boat loads of breast milk in the freezer (that I wonder if I'll use it all) but the point is I CAN leave if WANT to. Ahhh, motherhood!

    http://www.TXMILK.com (Texas Moms I'd Like to Know)

  26. Wow, this describes my experience with my 6-month old to a tee. I was feeling like I was on such a tether. So I copied a friend and started on one bottle of formula a day so that I could stock up on breast milk and not feel so tied to the house. (Which was hard decision for me because he'd been 100% nursed up to that point). I'm lucky he'll take a bottle. Now I have boat loads of breast milk in the freezer (that I wonder if I'll use it all) but the point is I CAN leave if WANT to. Ahhh, motherhood!

    http://www.TXMILK.com (Texas Moms I'd Like to Know)

  27. Briel79

    Mom's definitely need breaks and time to themselves! It's also good for the baby. :)

  28. I stay home with my kids and then work (online for Google) at night. I work until 11:00 pm and end up staying up 'til 1 or 2 every night for that very reason–there has to be some me time, when I'm not being pulled in 3 different directions! You are not alone, my friend. Hurray for sweet husbands who make mothering easier. I'm a better mom when I have some time to myself!

  29. Also, I learned after baby #1 that offering a bottle from day one does NOT cause nipple confusion. It causes happiness and peace in the home. Next time you'll know! :)

  30. ashley

    I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your honesty in this post. Thanks for this precious reminder.

  31. minta

    thanks for sharing, going through same thing now with my 7 week old… such a blessing but I definitely need me time sometimes.

  32. Laine

    This is such a tender post. My little son is one and I can so relate to your words! He is the delight of my soul but it was very hard to really take some time for myself occassionally. I needed him as much as he needed me! It is amazing how strong the connection between mama and baby is and how off it can feel to be apart. But, it really is a necessary thing. We are newish to DC and it can be pretty isolating to be a new mom in a new place and even harder to have time away or time alone. I nurse my baby and it is a lot of pressure to be so wholly responsible for your child's well being in every way (except for dada cuddles and play time, of course!). To be completely on every second is very draining. It is wonderful to have some time to allow your brain to relax that focus for a bit. That said, Henry is my sidekick (or maybe I am his…) and I really love having him with me as much as I can. There is nothing like seeing that baby-face light up after we have been apart!

  33. Lindsey

    Oh man I feel you, seriously. I feel so guilty saying it.

  34. Thanks for the honest post. One criticism I have of mommy blogs is that a lot of them try to portray a perfect life every second, when I know for sure that life just isn't that photogenic, nor happy all the time. Posts like this makes blogs interesting and draw me in. Thanks for sharing!

  35. arynfine

    Completely relate. I feel extra guilty when I take alone time, because my husband is writing his dissertation, so he sort of works from home. Its really difficult to find a balance I'm comfortable with – I want him to write and write well, but I also want time alone and time for all three of us to be together!

  36. melissa

    i'm sure you have this under control, but i just wanted to throw this out there–my baby boy never saw a a bottle until he was like 7 months old and he, too, was like "what the heck? i don't think so…" but i was running an overnight race and leaving him with grandma, so what worked for us was to have dad only feed him bottles and i only breastfed. it took a couple of tries but he did end up doing both just fine!

  37. Blicious

    i just adore you! can we be friends? hehe you guys are so great!


  38. I know you get about a gazillion comments on each post a day but I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading and relating to this particular post. I had a baby boy the end of January. I of course adore him but the occasional day does happen where I am just waiting for him to go to bed for the night so that I can get an hr for myself before I need to hit the sack. Here's to you getting a few more "alone" days.

  39. db artsy

    Oh, I love new moms, you are so cute! I too felt the same when I left my first daughter for a dentist appointment – I was freaking out!
    We also attempted the bottle too late, so it took a while before I felt comfortable taking off for a couple of hours.
    But let me tell ya', once she started sleeping thru the night, I got to go out at night with my girlfriends, and sometimes even with my hubby! What a difference.
    It does not mean you're selfish, it just means you want to stay sane. I needed it for sure.
    Since then, I've taken a few trips with my sister and best friend. None with my hubby cause no one dares take care of my hellions for more than a night (next year we'll bribe someone!).
    So, enjoy your time by yourself. Even doing groceries by myself at night, when it's not as busy, feels like a treat. :)
    By the way, she is looking soooo gorgeous, good job mama.

  40. Silvy

    loved this post, so honest and true! thanks for writing!

  41. OMG, I just got my haircut by Nate at Immortal Beloved like 2 weeks ago. I got bangs and one of my inspiration pictures was from your blog. How dorky am I!? If your hairstylist saw, I bet your hairstylist probably chuckled to themselves like "I know that girl"

    Thanks for the bangs inspiration!

  42. Thank you so much for the honesty of that post. I had one of those days today, and my husband was good enough to come home from work and give me a much needed break. Needless to say, I felt like a horrible mother to my 7 1/2 month old because I needed a break and couldn't do it all myself. When I came home, I caught up on your blog and was very uplifted by your entry. It helps to know others have the same needs for an occasional break. Thank you!!!

  43. Izzy

    Thank you so much for this honest post. Us mammas tend to get so guilty over even a minute away from our baby. You're taking care of yourself, and that in turn will make you even a more awsome mom.

  44. I love reading posts like this… makes me feel good to be reminded of the fact that there are actually other women in this world who struggle from time to time with being a mom. [duh.] Thanks for being so honest! This makes me feel normal. =)

  45. Emily

    Just found your blog.

    I've written many similar things like this on my own blog. You're definitely not alone.

  46. You really are a rockstar. My daughter is 15 weeks old and she's still only nursing… but I can't imagine how taxing that would be to not have the option to pump the times I do need to be apart from her. Motherhood is such joy, and such sacrifice… so hearing an honest voice on the sometime challenges is refreshing.

    Also, how wonderful that you are blessed with such a giving partner… so you don't have to feel guilty when you do want a little morning to get your hair and nails done. =)

  47. nanb

    I hear you! my baby girl was born feb 2nd this year and we were too lax about getting her to take a bottle too :(. Ah well, I have a morning off next week when i'll be getting a massage, soooo looking forward to that!