I Lost Myself When I Became A Mom

I don’t know exactly when I lost myself, but now more than ever is the opportunity to find myself again. In the past 6 years I have spent so much time adjusting to the many roles I play that I have neglected myself. Recently, it has come to my attention that I will never be a perfect mother, there is always something I could have done differently to get a better result, but in order for me to be a good mother I need to focus on loving and finding myself first and foremost. I know this will be one of the most important journeys I will have in life, rediscovering myself.

It seems over the years I have let being a “mother” define me. I am a caregiver, counselor, coach, doctor, seamstress, and referee on those days that never seem to end, to name a few. I have no issues playing the many roles that mothering requires of me, on the contrary. I love my kids and would give anything to make sure they feel happy and safe. But how can I be a good role model for them when I am just going through the motions of life and adjusting as I go along. I seem to have lost the passion for my hobbies, and to tell you the truth I don’t even know what makes me passionate anymore it has been so long.

Through the years I have become happy wearing paint splattered sweat pants day in and day out. If I didn’t brush my hair for 3 days and just kept putting it up in a messy bun I honestly didn’t care. Excuses were always made, “I’m tired” or “I’m not going anywhere”, and they have made me spiral into some abyss of crazy hair and dirty teeth. My husband has become tolerant of my no-upkeep look and has accepted it, and that is an even bigger problem, because I don’t want to be frumpy, I want him to demand I take care of myself.DSC00662

So today I will start a journey to become a better, more passionate, more fulfilled ME! I have come up with a few ways that I can improve my outlook on life and improve myself.

  1. I will continue to take daily walks, because it took 6 years for me to get as unhealthy and stagnant as I have been, and it will take a lot of time and effort to get back to my pre-3 baby weight. This is key for me to get a better self image for myself and be a better role model for my kids. I can’t expect them to want to be active and a healthy when I am not.
  2. I will start to read again. My mom told me recently that she has paid thousands of dollars in library fees because of me. I must admit, when I was a child I couldn’t put books down, I used to stay up till midnight reading by the window with the light shining from the street lamp. The last books I read were the “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy, and that was done in 2 days where I locked myself away from my family. Now I will set more realistic goals of reading a chapter a night and hopefully find something to get lost in.
  3. I will brush my hair and teeth, and get dressed everyday as if I have something to do. This may sound like a given to you but this may be my biggest struggle. My face will get washed and mascara will be applied daily, because it makes me a million times happier when I look decent.
  4. Finally, I will do some soul searching and find myself, because I am not “mom” and “wife”, I am Aneta and I have a personality somewhere hidden underneath that needs to come out and play.

These will hopefully be the baby steps I need to get out of the rut I am in. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I lost myself, when Aneta ceased to exist and “mom” and “wife” took over, but in this moment, right now, I will start the journey back.

Have you somehow lost yourself when you took on the role of mom? Is there something that you were once passionate about that lost importance when your children came? What did you do to find yourself, this mom needs all the help she can get!

Comments (12)

  • I can totally relate! There is something very consuming about being a mom and it’s really easy to get lost in that. I came to the realisation in the fall that if I got dressed every day, in actual pants, washed my face and brushed my teeth, I felt like a new woman and would get so much more accomplished and just feel better about myself.

    I’ve made some baby steps in re-starting my genealogy research and am trying to read more for me. It takes time to remember what made us smile before our husbands and kids did 🙂

  • Isn’t that the truth, today I decided to jog along the kids and hubby while they rode their bikes. I ran like the wind for 30 seconds and walked for 3 minutes, but these baby steps will lead to a big change. I really think the putting on clothes and brushing your teeth is key to feeling good in the morning. Someday’s its pajamas all day and back into bed, well not anymore cause I am gonna get dressed 🙂

  • Aneta, I can relate to falling into a slump and depressive type state letting things go that I used to think and care for so highly. It was hard to get started but once I did it was smooth sailing. The last thing I want to do drastically is lose a little weight, I don’t need to lose much but just a little more to be comfortable in my own skin. I commend you for stepping forward and taking the steps to getting back to be what you consider is a better you and doing it for yourself as it has to be for you.

  • Matthew, I brushed my teeth and got dressed today, so it is a better day already. The weight issue has always been on the back burner for me and I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I am taking the smallest dose of medicine and I have a ton more energy and I finally got off the plateau I was on. I would like to lose 20 more pounds as well before the summer is over, thank god I have all these kids to keep up with 🙂

  • Aneta I can totally agree. I use to be such a well well dressed and well kept young lady. All of that went down hill after I got married and had the two most beautiful kids. Like you I am on a road to self recovery. It is so hard but not impossible. I guess what motivates me is the fact I don’t want my children to see me like this mess. I don’t want the prime of my life to be back then but I want it to be now. I want them to see how mommy dresses and takes care of herself. That they won’t be ashamed of me. Not only them but the youth at my church. I want them to respect themselves especially the young ladies. Slowly I am starting to regain my passion. The hard thing is finding time between school, raising young children, husband, house, Youth Department just to name a few. lol. I some way it can be done.

    Shalivia Allen-Howard
  • Aneta are you sure you didn’t write about me? I feel like this everyday. I used to do my hair and makeup everyday, now I just throw it in a pony tail. I don’t often do anything for myself or even take care of myself like I should. I love my kids more than anything but you are right I am not just a “wife” or a “mom”, I was Jessica first. Thanks for writing this, I was actually thinking about this exact thing yesterday. 🙂 I am trying to get back to a more healthy weight (4 kids tends to add a few pounds) and get my kids more active too.

  • Yes I think slowly we can all gain back our own identity, we didn’t lose ourselves overnight and it will be a work in progress for the rest of our lives

  • Jessica, I think admitting we need to do something is half the battle 😉

  • It’s hard to make time for ourselves because it feels like we are taking away from the family time. Then comes the guilt! Yet we all know that in order to take care of others, we must first ensure that we ourselves are happy, healthy, and whole. Time stop feeling guilty and make ourselves a priority!

    Christa Wolfe
  • It is so nice to know that I am not alone, in this struggle.
    Getting dressed everyday, always seems like such a challenge, after all of the kids. Especially now that I have a newborn again, who spits up on me all day. Why bother, he doesn’t care how I look. But, I know I need to do better.

    Theresa Fish
  • I have been getting “ready” everyday now for over a week and I can truly say I am feeling better and stronger emotionally and psychologically. I know it is difficult and it almost makes no sense to do it since you are just going to get dirty anyways but its kind of like cleaning tour house, you do it even though it will get messy:) try it out for a week, take a bath and get ready when baby goes for its first nap of the day and let me know how you are feeling.

  • Since being a WAHM.. I dress the part… comfy! No makeup.. I brush my teeth.. my hair is clean but normally pulled back. I have my reasons.. I have really long hair and I watch kids. Kids pull my hair and grab at it so it’s safer in a tie back. As far as the comfy clothes I am constantly squatting and bending so those ‘move with me’ clothes may not be pretty but are needed 😉
    I do wish I would get motivated to move tho..

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