The day you hear that heartbeat in your belly, your world will never be the same again. It’s understandable; having your heart walk around on legs is enough to get anyone hooked. Being a devoted mother means you can’t do all the things you used to. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose yourself in motherhood. To find out how to be a mom and not lose yourself in the process, read on.
How Do You Lose Yourself as a mom?
Mommies have a lot to contend with; breastfeeding, sleepless nights, and teething for the littlies. Then comes the terrible two’s and the five-year-old who asks about everything under the sun. Don’t even get me started on the teenage rebellion. And this is all in between dinner and baseball games.
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There’s really no time left for you in all the chaos. As time goes on and you have more kids, you can barely remember your name, let alone your favorite music.
Half the time, you are in sweatpants, unwashed hair, and if you are lucky, no puke on your clothes. All your pastime activities involve cartoons, birthday parties, or PTA meetings.
Somewhere in all the middle, it’s easy to lose sight of who you are. You find yourself not caring about your appearance. You don’t remember the last time you read a book to completion.
It gets harder and harder to engage in adult conversations on topics that don’t center around kids. You get to the point where you don’t know who you are or what you like outside of the kids.
Loss Of Control
Before you become a mother, you are in control of all your actions. You decide what to do and when. When the little sweetheart comes along, they take over. You have to work your schedule around them.
You don’t have any more control over what you do or what you like. That loss of control can be scary and overpowering. It may cause you to lose a grasp on who you are.
Sleepless nights and running after little balls of energy will drain all the energy right out of you, leaving you tired and zombified. That does a number on your mind. If you are constantly in half-asleep mode, it’s hard to get a handle on anything.
Why Is Losing Yourself A Crisis?
Losing yourself in motherhood is very much like going through an identity crisis. Having an identity helps you define who you are and gives you a sense of purpose. It contributes to your overall well-being and gives you some balance.
On the opposite side, an identity crisis leaves you questioning who you are and your basic values beliefs, which could lead to imbalance and a slump in your mental health.
Making your kids a priority is great but losing yourself not so much. Feelings of losing yourself will make you feel tired and drained. You might find yourself cranky or just downright out of it most of the time. You space out and more, and you feel like you are drowning.
The truth is, you are only good for your kids if you are fully present; otherwise, you create a toxic environment for everyone.
Who you are is an important part of you. Bringing “yourself” into your role as a mom makes you all the more special.
How Not To Lose Yourself
Superbeings are fictional characters; they belong only in comics and on TV. Aspiring to be supermom is the worst thing you can do for yourself. Putting too much pressure on yourself to do everything and be everything for everyone will leave you burnt out and lost.
Do yourself a favor and acknowledge that there is nothing super about you; you are only human after all. You can’t do everything. There is no shame in seeking help. If you need to get someone to watch the kids for a couple of hours a day to rest, by all means, go ahead.
It doesn’t make you a bad mom to call out for help.
When you feel overwhelmed, don’t bottle the feelings inside; talk to someone. Vocalizing that you are having a hard time dealing with your mommy duties doesn’t make you mommy from hell.
You love your kids to infinity and beyond; that’s why you need help to keep your mental health in good shape to be a better mom for them.
Keep your circle of friends
Talking to other grown-ups helps to bring some balance to things. Especially connecting with your old friends is important to keep in touch with the old you. When you have kids, things change, and that’s okay, but keeping in touch with an old part of yourself will balance you.
Get together with other moms
Connect with other moms on social media or any other platforms. A big part of losing yourself comes from feeling overwhelmed. When you hear other moms’ experiences, you can even laugh off some of the things you felt were dragging you down.
It lifts the whole load off your shoulders and leaves you feeling more positive. You don’t have to face it on your own. Once you see that many others are going through the same things you are, it’s all the easier to handle.
Find time for a night in town with your friends. Go out with your partner, or even dress up and take a walk. Get a breath of fresh air. Anytime you get out of your home environment, you gain back some feelings of control. You can even go out with the kids to do something fun.
Juggling the million and one balls that motherhood gives you is hard. At times you have to drop some balls to keep yourself sane. Your house doesn’t have to look like a showroom, and having an unpacked pile of laundry won’t kill you.
Set aside time for yourself to do something you like. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy like a spa day. Just getting an hour uninterrupted to read a good book and sip on your favorite cocktail is a great way to release some of the tension.
Self-care goes beyond just alone time. Put some makeup on, a pair of heels here and there. Pamper yourself, make yourself feel special again.
Come to think of it; when is the last time you bought some new clothes or makeup for yourself – change that.
Be kind to yourself
You probably had dreams of being a cross between supernanny and homemaker supreme when you became a mom. Well, the reality is you can only do so much. Don’t beat yourself up too much; you’re doing the best you can. Show yourself some kindness, and don’t worry too much if you miss the bar.
When you have kids staying organized can be very difficult. Being a stickler for organization and lists will probably drive you crazy. Let go of some stuff- you can’t win them all.
Start a hobby
Find something you like doing and do it. You don’t have to be dead set on one hobby. Try them all if you have to. Some will stick others not so much, but the more you try different things, the more fulfilled you will get.
Even if it’s just for 15 minutes a day, it’s a great way to keep your mind stimulated, give yourself some self-worth, and a much-needed break.
Trying new things helps to break away from routines. Doing the same daily chores is boring, and it makes it easier to lose yourself in boredom. When you introduce new things, new challenges, it will do wonders for your mental state.
Accept things for what they are
Your emotions are going to be all over the place on some days, and that’s okay. You love those little humans to the moon and back, but sometimes they can be just so frustrating. Accept that, and don’t try to mask it.
Being frustrated with your kids is not a sign that you love them any less. After all, they can be little monsters sometimes. Just don’t take it out on them. Give yourself timeout if you need to, but accept those feelings as valid and don’t push them back.
Most of all, never compare yourself with other moms.
How To Be A Mom And Not Lose Yourself
Face it, going back to exactly who you were is never going to be possible. You can’t just hit the rewind button. You have to morph into a new, maybe better, version of yourself. Find the right balance between who you were and who you are becoming.
This doesn’t mean neglecting the kids. It is about embracing your new role as mommy but acknowledging that you are still you. Getting to that spot may take time but wake up every day determined to try.
Being a mom is the single most fulfilling job on the planet. Just remember that mommy is better when she is herself!