In college, I guess you could say I ‘found myself,’ as the cliché goes; I learned, explored new ideas and traveled.
When I got married, that sense of knowing myself deepened, as I came to grips with my strengths and weaknesses. (Marriage has a way of bringing out our best and worst selves!)
But when I became a mom, I felt…LOST. (And not in a fun, plane crash on a magical island sorta way).
Particularly at the beginning, I almost felt separate from my ‘old self’– like I was watching a movie about my life, rather than living it. As my first year of being a mom dragged on (and I do mean dragged), I couldn’t shake this terrible feeling.
I felt like a ‘mom factory,’ whose sole purpose was to follow a tiny human being around and care for of all of her needs.
What about my needs? They seemed irrelevant in this never-ending sea of baby life.
(Stick with me… there’s good news ahead. This is Room for Joy not Room for Gloom).
The good news is, this feeling has lessened with each passing month as I’ve learned what it means to be the ‘mom’ version of myself, in an authentic way.
Although I still feel that sense of loss of my freedom, I’ve starting regain my sense of self, day by day. It’s a different ‘self’– in that I now have a mom’s perspective. But it’s truly a ‘me’ self– not a fake or empty one.
Now that I’m on stable ground again, I’ve begun practicing a few things to keep me from sinking too deeply into my ‘mom role’ and remind me to be myself again.
Here are 5 Habits That Will Help You Get Started:
1. Take time to think deep thoughts again.
Whatever you did to think deep thoughts before kids, try doing them again. You may have to tune out more noise than you did before, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start anyway! Try journaling, writing, thinking aloud or listening to podcasts. Whatever works!
2. Reconnect with your man.
Remember that guy you fell in love with and had a baby with? Guess what, you miss him! Be intentional to fuel this relationship. If you aren’t married, be intentional about friendships that fuel your heart and sharpen you.
3. Start having fun again!
Having fun may look different and may be more restricted than pre-baby, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying! Get coffee with a friend (and the kiddos), take a day at the beach or eat ice cream for breakfast. Don’t let motherhood trap you into thinking that you can’t have fun anymore.
4. Do all the things you couldn’t do when you were pregnant!
- Grab a cocktail
- Drink 3 cups of coffee
- Eat sushi
- Sleep on your back!
5. Be cuter than you were before becoming a mom!
When the word “mom” is used as an adjective, it’s generally not a good thing– like “mom” haircuts and “mom” jeans. Let this not be so, moms! We can be super cute AND be moms. Perhaps someday the word “mom” will be used as an adjective to describe something awesome, like: “Wow, those mom heels are super cute.” 😉
Cheers to the next year ahead. May you be more “you” than ever before! 🙂