“She silently stepped out of the race that she never wanted to be in, found her own lane and proceeded to win.”
If you had asked me five years ago who Karen was, other than being a wife and a mom, I wouldn’t have known how to answer you. I wouldn’t have know what to say.
Because honestly, I had no idea.
Somewhere in between the sleepless nights and the bottles, I lost myself. I was in a fog and for the longest time, didn’t even realize the place I was in. Crazy, right? But so, so common.
As I sit here and write this post, I am reflecting on the past seven years as a mother and am in absolute awe of how far I have come. Slowly, through lots of tears and anxiety, I have remembered who I am. Things that I like. What makes my soul smile and my heart skip a beat.
I have remembered my dreams, my fears and what I want in my life.
Yes, I still identify as mommy and wife. And yes, those titles will always be a huge part of who I am. But, I have come to realize over the years that there are so many things that make me whole.
Mama, if you are in the place I was in and are struggling to remember who you were before becoming a mom, I want to help. I want to share with you seven ways you can find yourself again in motherhood.
Please know that it is possible. You will not always feel this way, I promise. Take your time, be patient with your journey and eventually you will come back to yourself.
1. Get out of the house.
I know you are probably rolling your eyes at me right now and thinking “duh” but hear me out. This may seem like the easiest answer to finding yourself again as a mother but honestly, for me, it was one of the hardest steps to take. Circumstances such as only having one car and not having people around to help made it a lot more difficult for me, when my daughter was little, to get out of the house.
But mama, once I was able to do this, what a difference it made! Get out of those pajamas, put your sneakers on and get out of the house as much as you can. Even if it is just taking a walk around the mall or visiting the park where your little ones can run around and you can meet other moms, do it. Slowly you will see a significant change once you can venture out your front door!
2. Try a new hobby or re-visit an old one.
Do you remember that hobby you had before you became a mom? Do it again.
Didn’t have a hobby? Try a new one.
Whether it is painting, knitting, gardening or reading, find a hobby that makes you feel calm and happy and go for it. When the kids go down for a nap or go to sleep at night, take time to work on your hobby. Little by little, you will see small glimpses of yourself come back when you explore a hobby that is outside of taking care of the house and the kids!
A few years ago, when my husband and I were first married, we lived across the country from all of our family members and friends. I can honestly tell you, looking back now, that it was the most amazing way to begin our marriage. We had no other choice but to rely on each other and it brought us closer and more connected very early on.
Although I felt so close to my husband and so in love, I had a ton of anxiety about being away from the place I had always called home. During those days, one thing I tried to help lessen my anxiety was to meditate.
I picked it up again after entering motherhood and have practiced meditation off and on since then. Find a guided mediation, pick a quiet spot in your home, turn off the lights and shut off your brain. Meditating is a beautiful way to journey deep within yourself, slow your breathing and feel at peace.
It has been during these times of meditation that I have had my best ideas, my calmest moments and the clearest picture of the wonderful life I was living and who I wanted to be. Try it, you won’t be disappointed!
4. Connect with nature.
I don’t know about you but nature is my therapy! I find myself breathing just a little bit deeper each time I go for a walk, sit by a lake or simply listen to the sounds outside.
Connecting with the beauty and wonder of nature is a wonderful way to remember who you are and find your authentic self again. Feel the grass under your feet. Smell the asphalt after a summer rain. Take in the birds chirping or the sound of the snow falling. No matter the season, no matter the day of the week, no matter where you are in motherhood, spend 20 minutes outside everyday building your relationship with nature!
Sometimes when you are in a fog or in a dark place in your life, it is hard to really look at the beautiful and amazing aspects of your life, even motherhood. Hop on google and find a local homeless shelter, food kitchen, retirement home or animal shelter and reach out about volunteering.
One thing I have found through volunteering and working at a nonprofit is that it can really put life into perspective. It is so easy to get caught up in the everyday struggles of motherhood, the tough moments. When you spend some time giving yourself to someone who needs you and may not be able to help themselves, it can really change you in the most amazing way!
6. Take care of yourself.
“You cannot pour from an empty cup.”
As a mom, we wear so many hats. From chauffeur and teacher to nurse and cook, life can sometimes be hectic and busy. It is so incredibly important to take time out of your day to recharge, fill up your own cup and remember what makes your soul smile. Whether that be a bubble bath, a good book or a walk in the woods, make sure you set time aside to take care of you.
Having the opportunity to love yourself and connect to your inner self, you will start to remember who you are outside of your role of mom. Practicing self care is something I wish I had done from the beginning of my motherhood journey but something I implement on a regular basis today!
7. Stop comparing.
Last but definitely not least, stop comparing. Seriously. Just stop. Get off Instagram or Facebook if it makes you feel less than. No one else is you and no one else is on the same motherhood journey as you. You will never be able to move forward and find yourself again if you are constantly comparing your life with someone else’s.
Let go of the feeling of inadequacy and embrace where you are in life and the season of motherhood you are in. Because you are exactly where you are meant to be.
What is one way you have found that has helped you find yourself again in motherhood? I would love to hear from you! E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below!