After having my first child, my life was forever changed. Different routine, different focus, different body, different everything! Looking in the mirror one day, I could hardly recognize myself. Who was this woman? Was my old identity gone forever?
If you’ve ever questioned who you are after kids, you are not alone. Many women have trouble transitioning over into motherhood. I loved my kids and would give my life for them. I just didn’t know how to keep my identity in the midst of raising little ones.
Some moms take on the “mommy role” to the point where they lose their individuality and their identity becomes completely wrapped up in their children. This isn’t healthy. For the kids, or the mom. I know, because I struggled to break free of this myself.
Finding a Balance
There is a fine balance between taking care of your family, and taking care of yourself. What do you need in order to thrive, as a mom? Some women need a monthly night out with girlfriends, to relax and laugh and not be interrupted by children every five seconds. (Ditto!) Others need quiet time to themselves to find refreshment and get recharged. It is VITAL that we moms make time/take time to get away and “feed” ourselves. In order for us to continue giving of ourselves to our spouses, children, parents and everyone around us, we need to take time to fill up.
I admit, I am terrible at this. I often don’t notice the signs until I’m having a minor breakdown and my sweet husband asks me, “Have you taken any time for yourself lately?” Oops. It takes work to keep myself healthy and keep my identity separate from my kids.
Writing and Walking
By keeping my identity, I mean that I have hobbies and activities that are separate from my kids’ hobbies and activities. For instance, I like to write and take walks with a friend. I do these things separately from my kids. And it’s healthy, for them and for me.
Do you have an activity (besides work) that you can do separately from your kids? Do you have interests that don’t revolve around your kids? If not, take a moment to sit down and consider who you want to be.
To me, being a great mom doesn’t mean I completely disappear into my kids’ lives. It means I try every day to show my kids how to be compassionate, strong, creative, healthy people – all while being the best mom I can be. Now that’s an identity worth fighting for.
-Keeping it Real, Sbmccoy
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