After having a few kids, a new body, and a bunch of new responsibilities you’ve probably found yourself wondering how you got here? I never thought I’d be one of those moms. You know, the moms that are lost in motherhood, who complain, who get in over their heads.
One day, shortly after I had the twins, I was making lunch for my then one year old. He was whining and rushing me to bring his food. His whining then woke up one of the twins and her crying woke up her sister. I’m not sure if it was the crying, the smell of the toast I had just burnt, watching my son have a complete meltdown, or the ringing phone call from the bill collector that sent me over the edge, but I lost it. The weight of it all came crashing down on me in that moment.
I put applesauce on the high chair for my son, left the girls crying in the crib and closed myself in the bathroom. I cried my eyes out. I was overwhelmed and it became too much to bear. But each tear felt like a burden being lifted. After a few minutes I noticed it was quiet. I went in to the living room and the girls had calmed each other and were falling back asleep. My son was enjoying a nice applesauce bath. I laughed hysterically. Picked him up, squeezed him tight and enjoyed that fruit bath with him.
Later I had to face myself though. I was so disappointed in how I had reacted to everything earlier. How could I have let such little things get to me? I mean they are only babies. This is what I signed up for. But I realized it was more. It wasn’t the moments that had overtaken me, it was the feeling of not knowing what to do, not having anybody to talk to about it, and allowing myself to get to that place.
See I had isolated myself from civilization because well, I had 3 babies, alone. I had become a complete home body, with babies attached to my breast, and my butt glued to the couch. I looked myself in the mirror and said: “Who are you?” I could not answer. I had lost myself in it all.
I had become timid and defeated. I was so dedicated to being a fantastic mom and defying the odds of my circumstances, that I had lost all sense of fighting to be the best me. And that’s not what I stand for at all.
I finally realized that it was ME that carried those babies for 9 long months and endured the process to bring them into this world. That was all me. That’s the hard working, triumphant, loving, creative, thriving mama my kids needed to see. They needed to see me as my best self. They needed to see my passions, my ambition, and my desire to be fulfilled. They needed to see me pursue my best life. So that’s what I did. I began to live my life as the example I wanted my children to see.
4 Steps I Made to Find Myself Again After Being Lost in Motherhood
1. Take Some Time For Yourself Everyday
Listen. I know there is a lot to do in a given day. But you have to find at least 15 minutes to focus on you. Not the kids, not dinner, but take some time for you. You will find that those small moments allow you to clear your mind and become able to process everything better. When you have a chance to quiet all the noise it allows you some time to think about what it is that you really want and what you really find important. Schedule 30 minutes with yourself at the end of the night after the kids have gone to bed. Journal your thoughts from the day. Read a book or take a nice long bath. Just make an intentional choice to do something for you.
2. Pursue an old passion
Think about the things you did before becoming fully submerged in motherhood. What made you genuinely happy. Did you enjoy scrapbooking? Maybe going to them gym was your thing. Whatever you did that kept you going, do that. Getting back into something that use to bring you joy will ultimately draw you back in and allow you to want that feeling of joy again or give you clarity on something new you might want to try. Either way finding something that you like to do outside of the family will give you a greater sense of self and draw you back closer to who you really are.
3. Find an Excuse to Dress Up
Going to the PTA meeting? Headed to the grocery store? Why not take that opportunity to really get glam. Put on your best fitting jeans, a nice blouse, some lipstick and mascara and walk like your former self. Yes it takes effort but it is in moments like this that I have found myself feeling great, loving that feeling and wanting to do it more often. And the compliments received didn’t hurt either. Those are moments; the baby steps back to you.
4. Get out and be social
Maybe you really do have somewhere to go. You’ve joined a local meetup, you’re meeting a friend for lunch or you’re doing a mommy’s day out. There is nothing like mingling with non parents and socialites to make you quickly realize how out of it you really are. But those are the same moments that can make you feel like a cool kid again. Good conversation and fun times can be just the thing to rekindle that fire inside.
Yes this all takes effort. It takes you owning the current space you’re in, understanding that you have changed as a woman but ultimately still wanting to be the best version of yourself. To me it’s a low price to pay for my kids to look toward their mommy and know she found herself worthy enough to pursue existence and life outside of them.