I notice many moms experience a great deal of sadness when thinking back to life before baby. Do you miss her sometimes? You know, the old you? The person you were before you were lost in motherhood? Please don’t feel like a bad mom for feeling this way, you are not hurting your child(ren)’s feelings. In fact, you are doing great by your child(ren) when you wish to revisit the parts of yourself you relinquished in the name of motherhood. Of course, motherhood includes changes we cant avoid but its okay to pay your old self a visit from time to time.
January 2014. My paper journal. Twenty two months postpartum.
I’m only [about] two years in and I feel like I’m at the point of losing myself. Motherhood should be one of my greatest transitions of womanhood. I should be ecstatic but I’m not.
While pregnant with my daughter, I was repeatedly warned about motherhood and its negative impact. This meant no more sleep, no more alone time, and no more fun. What I noticed was, no one really told me about the joys of motherhood and it was pretty scary.
When she finally arrived I was so happy. I prepared to be the ultimate mom, doing any and everything to avoid being judged by the outside world. It was to a point where I barely wanted anyone to help (even though I had tons) because I thought it would make me a weak and lazy mother. For a while, I thought if your world didn’t revolve around your children and everything they needed, you were selfish.
I was miserable and lost in motherhood. So miserable that I would go as far as to imagine my funeral, my burial, and what my headstone would read:
Here Lies Katry. She became a mom and then she died. SEP. 27th – MOTHERHOOD
I would think, is it happening? Am I on the brink of disappearing completely? Until the day came when I told Lei’s dad, “here, take the baby” before going on one of the longest walks I’ve ever been on. I needed time to think, reevaluate my life as a mother, and relocate my true self.
A few days later I went out to the shops and bought something only for myself. An even better day was when I attended an open house after making the decision to re-enroll in college. It felt good. I felt important again. Like a person. Like a great mother.
HOW TO NOT FEEL LOST IN MOTHERHOOD
ITS OK IF YOU WANT TO REVISIT YOURSELF
There is more to your life than just being “somebody’s mama”. Of course being just a mom isn’t a bad thing, but motherhood is tough and it is easy to lose yourself. You put all your focus into your children + everyone else and before you know it, you’re on your deathbed realizing you’ve never done anything else fulfilling.
(I know for ME, it wouldn’t do me any good to focus solely on mothering because I’d probably end up pulling all my hair out. Just being honest.)
You may feel because you have the privilege of raising children, you should just “be grateful”. It may not occur to you that making yourself a priority is something that should continue once the babies get here. Self care will never be selfish, and putting yourself at the top of your list again gives you a chance to be you the person and not just you the mom.
Revisiting yourself can also benefit your children. Since we are our children’s first role models, It is more than imperative for us to help them cultivate a sense of self/identity. That often starts with first setting an example by doing the same for ourselves.
To every mom: You are allowed to love and provide for your children while living a life of balance. You are allowed to maintain a career, start or go back to school, build a business, or have fulfilling hobbies. Having a life of balance is one the greatest acts of wellness for a mother- or any person. You don’t have to give up anything because the world tells you to.
How will YOU revisit Yourself?
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