I recently went to a Latina small business owners networking event, and one of the other attendees was talking about motherhood, and she said something that really intrigued me. She said (this is me paraphrasing), “when a new baby is born, a mother is born, which is a new version of yourself. You don’t know how to be a mother, you have to learn as you go, but you were also a person before you were a mother; you still have an identity.” It reminded me of this blog post I had on my list to write, three ways not to lose your identity in motherhood.
It seems like once you become a mom, that’s all society wants you to be, a mother. But we are much more than just a mom. Yes, it’s a demanding, tiring, most rewarding job, but it’s not the only thing we are. Think back to who you were before you became a mom. What did you like? What did you do? What brought you a sense of self? Do you still do those things? Why or why not?
Yes, there are certain things you probably won’t continue to do once you become a mom. For example, if you were an everyday party animal before, that cannot continue. But that’s not what I’m talking about; I’m talking about what was your identity before you got the title “mom?” So, today I want to bring three ways not to lose your identity in motherhood.
What are your hobbies? What do you like to do outside of spending time with your children? Do you like to read? Do you like to write? Do you like to go for walks? Do you like to swim? Write down a list of things you like to do and schedule a time to do them.
I love reading and writing, hence why I’m writing this blog post, but I have to make time to do this with being a mom of two. Currently, my husband is with my son, and my daughter is next door playing with her friend, so I am able to write this blog post. When it comes to the reading part, I include my kids sometimes. I’ll read to them what I’m currently reading if it’s age-appropriate, of course, or sometimes it’s poetry that I read to them, but it’s something I enjoy.
Self-Care / Take a break
Being a mom is exhausting! And if we do not take a break, we will burn out, which can cause harm to ourselves. TAKE.A.BREAK! Make a list of things you like to do to feel relaxed or take care of yourselves. For example, massages, getting your nails done, taking a nap, going to the beach, or meditation. Whatever it is for you, make sure to schedule it throughout the week.
What self-care looks like for me is reading the bible, journaling, getting my nails done, and getting a massage every once in a while. Yes, I have mom guilt at times, thinking that getting my nails done is taking too long, or maybe I should be doing something with the kids. But then I remember, how can I take care of my family if I’m not taking care of myself? I cannot pour from an empty cup. I’m always putting my family first; sometimes, putting myself first is okay. And you should too.
I wrote an article for Medium about why adult friendships are so hard, and as mothers, we know that once you have kids, certain friendships fade. However, true friendships will last because those friends understand that you no longer have the same freedom you once had.
Although adult friendships are hard, I still believe it’s important to maintain friendships and not lose our identities in motherhood. Why? Because we need adult conversations from time to time. We need connections with other adults and a good laugh every once in a while.
When was the last time you had a lunch date with a friend? If you cannot remember, text a girlfriend and set up a time to meet. If you cannot do a lunch date, maybe a dinner date, or even invite them over to your house for a little bit for some coffee or tea. Whatever it is, make an effort to meet up with at least one friend because you deserve it.
*Bonus* Don’t Neglect Your Marriage
Many people say kids come first, but I don’t believe that is true when you are married. Before you go clutching your pearls, hear me out. Yes, my children are a high priority to me, and my husband and I take excellent care of our kids, but my marriage comes first, and here’s why.
Once my kids leave the house, my husband is who will stay with me, and if during all these years, I’ve lost my identity and I wasn’t putting my marriage first, I’m not going to know who I am anymore, and I’m not going to have a marriage because I haven’t been putting effort towards the marriage, I’ve just been kids, kids, kids. Do you see what I’m saying? Yes, you aren’t just a wife, but your partner should help you to not lose your identity, and if you have, they should help you get it back. Don’t neglect your marriage.
Alright, all you wonderful mommies – you have some homework to do! Make sure to make a list of your hobbies and do them, make a list of things that you find relaxing and do them, schedule a friendship date, and work on your marriage.
With Love, Heidy
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