Did you know that you are more than just “mommy”? You are! Mommy is simply just one of the many hats that we wear, yet it can be the most dominating. Today I’m going to share my story on how I found something I was missing for many years- me.
Find every side of you. This is something I told myself once my kids started school. I have been a stay at home mom since they were born. I poured every ounce of myself into caring for my babies. However, once my twins went off to school and my youngest became more independent I had a little more time on my hands; I felt lost. I had no idea what I was interested in anymore. Somehow I lost “me” during my journey on the path of motherhood.
Over six years it went from diaper changes and bottle feedings, to learning ABC’s and 123’s. Every minute of every day was preoccupied. So, where did I go from here? Do I pick up that book I had started 6 years ago? Or should I try my hand at a new hobby?
Here’s my story on how I mixed an old passion with a new found love!
Disclaimer- I am NOT a professional therapist or life coach. These are simply tips that have worked for me and my family. If you are looking for professional advice please quit reading now. But if you are looking for helpful tips please read on!
taking on the “mommy” role
My life changed a little after I got married. We pinched pennies to pay off loans, thus no more going out on the weekends. (Dinner and a movie, we aren’t party people.) But my life changed drastically after my beautiful twins came along! Money was even more tight and, to be honest, I didn’t have the energy!
I had always wanted to be a mom and I was determined to be the best at it! I followed the experts advice to a tee, during pregnancy and after birth. We weren’t financially able to turn the nursery into a masterpiece, but it was definitely going to be the safest. My time was now theirs, and so was every piece of my heart!
My book collection started collecting dust, social media accounts were neglected, and date nights didn’t exist. I was 100% MOMMY!
remembering who you were
Suddenly your babies are no longer babies. And you start remembering who you used to be…fun, creative, unique! Where did that person go? When was the last time you wore something other than sweatpants? Besides your spouse, who was the last adult you had an “adult” conversation with?
I’ve been there. (I still am on occasion. Sweats are so dang comfortable!) It can be a journey all in itself just to get back to “you”. There is absolutely nothing wrong with pouring everything you have into your kids; I don’t regret it one bit. But I do wish I would’ve balanced it a little better. I have learned that it’s okay to have some “me time”. Go get your hair cut, alone. Go to the grocery store, alone. By golly, go to the bathroom alone!
Remember who you are. “Mom” should always be top of the list, but let the past guide you through your future; it doesn’t have to be left hidden on the shelf.
more than just “mommy”
You finally realized it’s okay to be more than just “mommy”. It’s totally possible to have a hobby or two, even a career, while keeping your kiddos your top priority. But where do you begin? Personalities and interests change over time; we mature with age and added responsibilities. So, picking up where you left off isn’t always a great idea.
Going to the bowling alley every Saturday night isn’t that appealing anymore, but my lost love of writing still is!
find every side of you
Try making a list of all your past interests, check off the ones that are no longer feasible or appealing. Now, make a new list of the ones that remain; place them in order from most interesting to the least interesting. Then take time each month, or even each week, to see if you still enjoy it. If not, cross it out and move to the next.
I have a list of things I would love to try:
* Crocheting. My Grandma taught me as a child, I made a string of sorts to use as a bookmark. (I suppose this would be in the list of past hobbies, but it was so many years ago I decided it doesn’t qualify.)
*Needlepoint. My Grandma also did this, but I never took the time to learn. (Apparently I’m feeling nostalgic!)
*Macramé. (This website has a great tutorial for beginners!)
(It looks like I have an infatuation with very similar materials!)
*Write an ebook. (I’ve had a passion for writing for years! But ebooks were not around/very popular before my kiddos were born.)
ignor the guilt
My first step towards “me time” was a trip to the hair salon, without the kids. I would normally take all 3 by myself or recruit my mom to assist if she was available. But this time I was venturing out without a 50 pound diaper bag and kids attached to my shirt tail. FREEDOM!!
But, by the time I was heading back home the guilt was setting in. I had convinced myself I was the worst mom in the world. I had shucked my responsibilities onto my husband, who already had enough on his plate, all for the sake of a haircut!
In hindsight I know none of that is true! My husband was happy to watch the kids, I did not force him. I desperately needed a haircut and common sense says “heck yea it’s easier to do that alone!” Not a single soul thought I was a terrible mom for that, except me. (And if that’s the biggest “mommy mistake” I make then I think I’m doing alright!)
Moms, we are our worst enemy. Have you noticed that when someone compliments us about our children we automatically respond with, “yea, but you should see them at home!” Or if a friend offers to watch our kids so we can have a date night, we sabotage ourselves with, “maybe some other time.” We need to learn to say, THANK YOU, and accept the offer and compliments!
Moms are more than just moms in the typical sense. We are wives, character builders, and role models. If we burn ourselves out on all the “mom duties”, we will fail at what is more important- raising bright, strong, independent, respectful kids.
Live every side of you
So, you’ve read the post and you even made a list of hobbies you want to try. But now you are wresting with yourself about whether or not to take my advice. I don’t blame you! It wasn’t all that long ago I was in your shoes. Writing happened to be my biggest passion on that hobby list, and look where I am now. I’m talking to you, sharing my mistakes, my joys, my tidbits of odd information…and I’m loving it!!
I’m allowing myself one simple pleasure and it brings me more joy than I can express. It helps with that “overly-stressed” attitude I was becoming known for, which allows for a higher amount of patience! My kids are still my top priority and my world revolves around them. However, I have learned that my world can pause without tipping upside down.
Don’t be like me and let your hobbies nose dive or put your husband on the back burner. Learn to juggle, life is more fun when you do!
It’s okay to show yourself some love!
For more “mommy wellness” check out my Devotional page!