Once you have them, the kids become everything. Suddenly, there are traces of you can’t even recognize; you become them: their needs, habits, their wishes. People you used to spend hours on end with are now coming to see the kids, not you – or when they come to see you, they can barely squeeze in an hour of socializing (after all, the baby needs to be fed, right?). Parenthood is an overwhelming and entirely different world, a world unreachable by those without kids and a new dimension to those who have them. And your best friends? Well, they usually have nothing to talk to you about because their interest span doesn’t really clock formulas, diapers and preschools. In essence, the person you were before motherhood is gone and this relates to everything – from your personal life to your body. It’s so hard to find the balance between being mom and being yourself.
But… it’s all love, and you can’t really explain it. On one hand, you are hating yourself that you’ve missed your hair appointment AGAIN but on the other – you wouldn’t change those moments spent with your kid for the world. However, in order to stay sane and not become the bore of your clique and family, it’s essential you stop thinking about your little dictator for a second and re-shift the focus on you. And you know why? Because, if you aren’t mindful about creating some breathing room to be you, motherhood can easily eclipse your own mental, physical and emotional needs – for good.
Here are a few things to do and trick motherhood into becoming your ally, not your enemy:
Ask for help
When things get overwhelming, women just stick them out. We have no idea where all the strength is coming from, but – before we know it, the house is sparkling, the kid is doing amazing, we’ve managed to squeeze in some freelancing too, and – we’re exhausted all while the hubby is probably playing ball with the guys somewhere. Well, not any more. You have the right to ask for help and have your spouse take kid duty for a second. If he can’t do it due to work commitments, turn to grandparents. If they’re unable, too – hire help. It’s very simple! You must learn to demand some time for yourself, not ask it. Otherwise, you’ll completely drain yourself out.
Take some personal time
You need to have some time in the day that is just you; once you’ve made a functional schedule of kid duty with your spouse, decide what part of the day (and how many hours in a day) you’ll commit to just… enjoying being you. You don’t have to do anything spectacular – a simple coffee (while it’s still hot!), a movie, a walk, a good sleep, yoga lessons… whatever it is that’s putting spring back in your step… as long as you have YOU in focus!
Talk to adults
We all get so consumed with our kids that, after a while, we forget to talk to adults. Sometimes, it feels like us parents are speaking a different language, a secret code we’ve developed along the way to recognize one another as we go. Frightening. Pen it down in your social calendar to start seeing your friends again and limit talking about your kid to a minimum. Not that they wouldn’t love to hear about it but, they may also do good without. Further, YOU will do good without bringing your home with you to that coffee date. Hey, the fact you’ll be talking about other things than your children doesn’t mean you don’t love them – it means you deserve some mental and soul flossing, a change of scenery and topics. Nobody wants you falling into a rut.
Join the gym… again
Staying on track mentally and emotionally is the crucial aspect of motherhood dynamics. However, when your whole world comes down to whether your baby needs food or if they’d want to watch this or that cartoon, you forget to care for your own well being. Going back to the gym is one of the best things you can do for yourself; not only will you get back into shape (and immediately feel a thousand times more confident) but you’ll mentally de-clutter of things suffocating you on daily basis. Now, being a mom does put you on a schedule which is why you probably won’t be able to make it to group exercising programs and mingle. Bummer! But, this is giving you an even better option – hiring a personal trainer! I am convinced (and have seen it on my personal example) that working one-on- one with a professional is a phenomenal option as, that way, he/she adjusts to your schedule and needs, you target all areas of the body that need reshaping or shedding, you get to form an amazing friendship built on the exchange of trust and support and – someone is finally taking care of YOU!
Go back to work
If it’s possible, go back to work! You don’t have to be full time, but try to include it back into your life. Whether it’s freelance or a steady job, having your mind occupied with something other than toys will do you good. Plus, you’ll make a buck! I’d always recommend working from the office, not home – after all, you need to escape your enchanted castle for a while.
Go on dates
Bring romance back into your life by going on dates with your husband! Remember how passionate and loving your relationship was BC (before child) and try to keep the spark alive. If you don’t, you’ll both sink into the role of “mommy” and “daddy”, and there goes your relationship down the drain. You both love your kids more than life but remember – before them, it was just you two. Making this shift will probably be one of the toughest tasks of your life; still, to stay sane and happy, make sure you do everything to make it happen. In the long run – it’s not just for you, but for everyone in the family. The happier you are, the better vibe you ooze and everyone around is sensing it. Do you really want your kid growing up with a mom who’s constantly tired and messy? Of course not. Good luck!
You can find the balance between being mom and being yourself.
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