How to Not Lose Yourself In Motherhood

As a mother I know how easy it can be to be consumed by raising children and lose ourselves in the process. I've learned over the years we need to first love ourselves in order to to be the best mother to our children. We need to spend time doing the things that bring us fulfillment. Early on in motherhood I made a conscious effort to focus on myself outside of being a mom. Today I'm sharing those practices that have helped over the years! 

*I'm writing this post as a mom who has an active spouse. I want to acknowledge the single mothers out there that might not have the same opportunities I do, and tell you that you are a freaking SUPER HERO!* 

Whether it's a work out or a solo Target run mothers NEED time alone. We need time to let our minds wander, to sit in silence or simply to drive a car without children arguing or crying. Make an effort to carve out time for yourself every week. Don't be afraid to tell your spouse that you need a night away from bedtime duties. I usually hit up a coffee shop every Sunday night to decompress after weekends with my kids and work on my blog. I treasure this solo time. 

Exercise is also very important for my mental state, and I find I am much happier when I work out. I take an Orange Theory class twice a week, and then on the other busy days I take my dog for a walk. Outdoor physical activity is good for the soul! 

We all have a creative side, aka the ability to create. Whether your hobby is a business, a craft, a movement, let it give you the extra push every day. Let it help you find purpose outside of being a mother. Being a parent is an amazing role, but our spirits want more. We naturally want to use our gifts and talents so find what makes your soul happy and pursue it! 

For some their career is their hobby and that's great too! Whether you own your own business or work for someone else, I believe humans have a natural drive to labor.

Having a tribe is extremely important in motherhood. We need other moms we can confide in and vent to. It's natural your close group of friends are usually mothers of kids that are similar in age as your own. It makes things much easier when your kids can play together and are a part of the same extracurricular and school activities. I try to be intentional about asking them to lunch, happy hour, or joining me to at a local coffee shop while I work. I also want to point out that the more I've aged the more I've realized I have zero time for negative friendships. We don't have time to put up with drama and women that bring us down. Choose your friends wisely and keep a close group of friends that lift you up! I will also say that Alex also invests in his friendships and has a "man night" once a month as well as two 3 day trips twice a year with his guy friends. 

In the chaos of raising three feral children and both working full-time Alex and I easily get disconnected. I feel like we could go an entire week without have a full length conversation. Our conversations are usually interrupted by kids, and once the kids are asleep I want to sit in pure silence. We can feel the tension when we haven't connected and we take our stress out on each other. In those moments we plan a date night to reconnect which is usually once every 2 months or so. It's important for us to continue to have fun together because one day our kids will leave the nest and it will be just us. I don't want to feel like we haven't grown in life together. I also like to do staycations or short getaways just the two of us...couples trips are fun too! I know logistics can make this really difficult especially if you don't have family nearby, but if you have the opportunity to make it happen I would take full advantage! I'm forever grateful to grandparents who have watched our children over the years. 

Photos: Amy Wilborn | Location: Union Merchant 

Before I was a mom I was a daughter, friend, co-worker, sister and wife. Being a mother shouldn't erase your old self but instead enhance it. You must be willing to accept that you have changed and that's OK. My children mean the world to me however life can be even more fulfilling when I nurture my spirit and body. Life will never be perfectly balanced.  There are times when a certain area of your life needs more attention than others, and we must let go of the mom guilt and give ourselves grace. You deserve it!

1 comment:

Erica Brown said...

Jesse, this was such a necessary read!