Many women think that they are mature and stable enough not to let motherhood change them. What? You can still hang out with your friends while you have a babysitter at home or have fun trips with your partner with your little one in tow. However, it’s truly a surprise how many women lose themselves in their new role and willingly leave most of the things behind in order to be stay-at-home moms or full-time moms.
Are you losing your identity and becoming completely indistinguishable from your kids? When is the last time you read a book? What is your hobby? What’s your favorite way to spend Sunday afternoons? If you either can’t come up with an answer or blurted out something that has to do with your kids, you need to get your identity back ASAP.
Why moms lose their identity?
Well, from the second our kids are born, they require our constant attention. While they are awake, they need feeding, changing, bathing and entertainment and when they are asleep, they need us to clean the house, cook food and get ready for when they wake up again. So, it’s really easy to get tunnel vision after you become a parent. Finding an effective way to change a diaper becomes a super fun event. Discovering new baby food recipes is a call for celebration. Or dressing up your kid really nicely brings you immense happiness even though kids don’t care about that at all. Without mothers, there are no kids and without kids, there are no mothers. But can you be a mother and a woman you used to be before? The answer is yes.
How can you reclaim your identity?
Once you notice you’re losing the sense of self, it’s time to make a conscious effort to make time for yourself and commit to your needs. It’s not easy, because your mind will always run to your kids and family, but with practice (and evidence that they can survive without your 24/7 care) you will succeed.
Come up with a daily or weekly ritual
Find a convenient time of the day in the week and make sure to schedule your favorite activity. This can be reading, watching a grownup movie, going out with friends, having a hardcore workout or anything else that interests you and only you.
Do something that will make you happier
No matter if that involves being happier at home, at work, finding a hobby or volunteering, come up with something that makes you feel positive emotion and do your best to pursue it. Once you find something that holds your attention, you’ll have a much easier time separating from your little ones.
Think both short and long-term
Grab a pen and paper and start creating your bucket list or a vision board. In order to keep your motivation high, make sure to include both short-term goals and long-term goals. For instance, you might want to finish a book and learn to play that new Ed Sheeran song on the guitar. But you also might want to run a 5k race, lose your baby weight and start that private business you always wanted to run. These goals will keep you occupied and as your kids grow, your dreams will start to shape up and take a more meaningful role in your life. Of course, kids always come first, but they don’t have to be the only thing that keeps you going.
Stop comparing yourself to other moms
This is probably the most important point on this list and definitely the hardest to achieve. When times are tough, it’s really hard not to compare yourself to the Joneses and feel bad when it seems like they don’t go through the same hardships (even though they most definitely do). Try to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be now and you’ll be much more content.
Being a mother is one of the most fulfilling roles for women, but it’s not the only thing you can be. Finding a balance between mothering, career and self-care and self-love is the perfect combination for happiness.