This funny thing happens when you become a mother. Who you are gets transformed, and suddenly things that once mattered don’t anymore. You become focused on other, little people who need you and who you love more than you ever thought possible. But sometimes, in the midst of that transformation you lose yourself, and as your kids grow and are no longer all-consuming and need you for everything, you start to think about finding yourself again.
When your kids are babies, toddlers, and still little they need you for everything. They demand your full attention, and as a mom you happily give it. I remember when my boys were small and the day to day craziness, the feeding, changing diapers, helping them learn to read, coloring, play doh… all the business that makes up the life of a mom with young kids. I loved it, I got lost in it, and I enjoyed (almost) every moment. (Cause let’s be real here, there are always those not so great times!)
Inevitably though time marches on.. and on.. and babies grow, they become older kids, then tweens, then teenagers, and before you know it they don’t need you as much anymore. Well, they still need you, but the way they need you changes.
When they get older they need advice, they need an ear to listen, they need someone to teach them to drive, help with geometry homework, and navigate relationships. Their needs change and so does your role in their life. Suddenly the amount of time you are needed is reduced, and the time you used to spend making pb&j’s and wiping dirty faces is freed up, and you start to wonder what to do with it.
Or maybe your kids are still little, but you feel like you’re lost in the throes of motherhood and you need some space to yourself, some time that is yours, the feeling of being you, and just you!
Sometimes when we have lost ourselves in motherhood it’s hard to find ourselves again. Our identities become so wrapped up in being Mom, that we forget that we used to be someone awesome and unique.
If you’re looking to find yourself again, if you have time to fill, or need to take some space to yourself, it is possible! You can find that balance between being an awesome mom, but still feeling like you are uniquely you!
What did you like about who you were before kids?
When we set out on a journey to find ourselves again it sometimes helps to figure out who we were. Think about your pre-mom self. What did she look like? What were her hobbies? I’ve written before about how becoming a mom as a teenager shook my confidence, did motherhood change yours?
Think about what you liked about yourself at any stage of life and reconnect with who you are, dust off the layers of motherhood and find the woman at the core. What is she like?
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Think about what you would like to change-
Maybe you want to pick up a hobby again, maybe you want to lose weight, maybe you’re tired of your “mom” ponytail and would love to rock a blue pixie cut.
Maybe you just need some time to yourself, time to exercise or meditate.
What are you looking for on your journey to finding yourself again? What are you hoping to feel or accomplish?
When we think about where we’d like to be, or what we’d like to discover a path starts to unfold in front of us. When we entertain possibilities and let ourselves imagine we become empowered to take action! Maybe you want to write a book, maybe you want to go back to work?
Maybe you have no idea what you want but you know that there is something stirring inside you and you want to figure out what it is!
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Write down how you are feeling and what you would like to do!
Are you feeling frumpy? Think about how you would like to change your appearance or your diet, maybe enlist the help of a friend or a good hairdresser to help you find what you want your look to be.
Are you feeling creative? What hobbies would you love to pursue? Do you want to write, or draw, paint or dance? Start looking for classes or dust off your old supplies. Get excited to dive into your creativity again.
Maybe you’re not sure how you’re feeling. That’s ok! When we spend so much time listening to other people and meeting our family’s needs we can often quiet that little voice inside us til it’s hard to hear. So just listen, write down ideas, maybe look into some classes or workshops. See what gets you excited and what makes that spark in you light up!
Realize that you don’t have to do a 180-
Here’s the thing about us moms. We don’t like to do for ourselves. We spend our time, our energy, and our money taking care of others. When we get this feeling of wanting to find ourselves again we can feel selfish or like we are taking time and energy from our families.
That guilt can keep us stuck.
But here’s the thing. Life is about balance I’m not saying if you really want to travel that you should set off to see the world and leave your children at home. I’m not saying that you should sequester yourself for the next 3 months and write the next great American novel. You can pursue your interests, and find your time to yourself in small increments.
You can work at being you and still be super mom. You can dive into your hobbies on a smaller scale, or even include your kids and introduce them to your interests! You can make small changes until they feel like they fit and you are comfortable.
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See once we become moms we will and always be moms. That is the amazing and awesome change that happens to us the moment the line appears on the stick. When we get this urge to tap into who we really are it doesn’t negate that love of being a mom, it just lets us know that our personalities and interests are still alive and well and it’s ok to pursue them too!
Wanting to find yourself again doesn’t mean you don’t love being a mom! In fact, having hobbies and interests that are your own are an important part of self-care and being a better you for your family.
So go, start seeking who you want to be and what you want to do! Find the old you, or a new improved version!
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