One thing that tends to fall by the wayside when we become mommies and daddies is our personal selves. Not only do we take on a new identity but new roles and TONS of new responsibility as new parents. It is very easy to lose oneself during this time.
How was it for you when you became a new mommy? Did you ever feel like you had lost yourself? How did you fix that?
The Scrambling Step Mom: I think it is only normal to lose you previous self, but you gain something so much better. I am very fortunate in the sense that my husband has no issues with staying home while I go grab dinner with girlfriends. Now, I do not do that much because I would rather be home with my family. This is a work in progress for me! I know I need to go out for my sanity, but I have a hard time actually doing it. I think setting “Mommy Dates” with fellow mommy friends is something that would be a great escape! I will work on this and keep you posted!!
The Not-So-Single Mom: I completely lost myself when I became a mommy. What I found was a new person. It took me a while to accept this new person, but eventually I did. sometimes I still feel alone and sad, but then I remember that I am not alone. And, when I’m especially down and out, I lean on close friends and neighbors for support. Child in tow, I spend time with them to come back to reality and feel sane again.
The Perfectionist Mom: Yes, yes and not quite. I did lose myself when I became a mommy. I also suffered from postpartum depression for a long time. Honestly, I don’t think I have completely found myself yet. It is a work in progress. I have tried to find hobbies and have tried to make new friends. Neither of those things have really worked. I have improved and continue to everyday. Finding time to shower and eat without being pulled on helps. Date night once a month, if we are lucky, helps. The best way I have found to start to feel better is to focus on the good, amazing moments that happen everyday. Its the little things that pull you from ruts and can make all the difference.
The Naturalist Mom: Wow… great question. For me, especially with three kids- 2 of which are under 2- Mommy needs her moment. 5 minutes or 5 hours, I just need that breather because they are all too few and far between. After the newness of a newborn wears off, reality sets in and it can be overwhelming to say the least. Especially when you lack sleep, food or a shower! I think getting back yourself is acknowledging you need it and dedicating time to do little things for yourself. Pampering, crafting, exercise, shopping, cooking (whatever is your thing) are all amazing outlets to get back into having you time that you may let go of when having kids. And ALONE. You have to take care of yourself to be the best at taking care of others. My personal favorite is squeezing in that shower where no one knocks on the door, asks questions, needs a drink or food, lasts longer than 5 minutes and I can shave my legs!
The Hot Mess Mom: I am a firm believer in retail therapy. When i was little and my mom and i would have one of our episodes, she would take me shopping afterwards since we were both stressed out. Needless to say we had a lot of girl time. I was used to shopping or getting a pedicure when times got rough and I needed an adult time – out. Whether it was just before an exam in high school or college, or a fight with a boyfriend, I would submerge myself in a nice relaxing pedicure. Even if it was just a new pair of shoes on sale it always took my mind off of whatever my problem was. Now that I’m older with kids of my own i use shopping as one on one time with my daughter since she’s a little diva herself. She likes to be alone with just mommy and loves to shop and get lunch. I imagine that she will be like me in the future and use a new dress or a pretty pedicure to relax and cope with stress. I hope this doesn’t sound too much like a snobby rich kid since my upbringing was the exact opposite, I just think that maybe because i remember being able to relax while shopping or getting a pedicure when i was younger that i use that now to deal with my adult stress. And maybe because shopping with my mom is a fond memory I have and something that we still do together to this day, it makes me feel calmer like i can focus and better problem solve after i have had a chance to really relax. Shopping and pedicures are that one thing in my life that take me away for an hour and allow me to regroup and get back to me. And since i am sure there will always be a nail salon and a Target around, I’m not changing my ways anytime soon. =)
How did you handle becoming a new mom or dad?? What is some advice you might give a newbie trying to find their way back to themselves? Also, please remember if you are feeling sad and lonely or overwhelmed do not be afraid to ask for help. There is no shame in it. We all need to be here as a community to help and support each other. We have been there, I promise!
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