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Fun Ways To Take a "Time Out"

with Dana Wood

3. Can you suggest some fun and inexpensive ways a mom can “take a time out?” And can she still take them even if her baby is glued to her arms 24/7?

You’ve got to make time for these, or you’ll get burnt out and feel sorry for yourself. If you can afford to splurge, go for a spa day, or even just a mani/pedi. If not, here are some other ideas that don’t cost much:

woman lying on a sofa listening to music
  • Kids crafts. I love these! I've been working on a paint-by-numbers masterpiece of a kitty on a tree branch that I'll lovingly frame for my daughter - no matter what age she is when I finish it. As long as you shut the lids on the pots of paint really tight, it stays fresh for eons. I’m also a big fan of the Klutz line of kids' crafts (www.klutz.com). My favorite, so far, is "Potholders & Other Loopy Projects," but I also bought the quilting kit. What I enjoy about kiddie crafts is that they're so basic, you can finish a project quickly and easily so there's a sense of accomplishment, and just think - you're also learning something to do with baby once he or she gets a little older! (There are kits that are unisex and boy-oriented, too.)
  • Mix-and-match fashion. For a time-out that's a little more "grown-up." I highly recommend the web site Polyvore (www.polyvore.com) for new moms who are into fashion. It allows you to create your own outfits - almost like the big girls' version of paper dolls. It's creative and escapist, and also helps you plan your post-baby wardrobe!
  • DVR your favorite talk shows. Lately, I’ve been recording "The Today Show" and then watching it at odd hours! I love "Matt and Meredith," but hardly ever have time to watch the show live. So Tivo has become my new bestie for this. Ditto for "Oprah"...I watch small snippets until I get through the entire thing.
  • Books on tape or podcasts. If you’re stuck with a baby in your arms, listen to a book on tape or download a free podcast. You can just download a few podcasts once a week so they’re ready to go when you have some downtime.

Next: Dear Diary... Why journaling can be a new mom's (other) best friend