Motherhood requires a lot from us! I have three kids — a toddler, newly 6-year-old and almost 9-year-old so I know it can be intense. Our little ones need our constant love, attention, encouragement, protection and to be cared for. There have been entire days that I was in mommy mode and didn’t have a moment to think about my existence much less do anything for myself. When I had my firstborn, during the first few weeks I lived for her every need and overlooking every single one of mine. I had completely lost myself in motherhood, I couldn’t stop to bother about myself — my needs and desires. If you’ve been there too or you’re there now, you know the feeling, you know what it is. You were trying to be the best mom you could be and somehow ending up forgetting about yourself.
Treat yourself like an additional child.
You can’t be a good mom if you’re not taking good care of yourself.
The main reason we get lost in motherhood is that we’re not taking care of ourselves the way we did before we became mothers. We place 98% of our attention on our children and 2% on ourselves and our lives. When we get lost it’s because our kids have taken up space in all areas of our lives and we feel stifled. You’re probably not going to make time for you easily so treat yourself like an additional child, what if you had another baby? Pretend you’re the other baby and treat yourself with all of the love attention you find to shower your children with. This is what I do now because there were times where I would feed my children but not myself. I had to force myself to think of me as another child and feed myself too. Taking care of ourselves teaches our children how to take care of themselves too as they grow older.
Stop overextending yourself.
A few years ago, I decided to sign my kids up for a few different extracurricular activities to keep them active. IT was too much for me physically and within a few weeks of our new routine driving around to different activities, I start to feel the wear and tear on my body. I was exhausted and it affected my mood. We finished up the sessions but I never did that again. Now, I have my kids sign up for only two extracurricular activities at a time and I’m careful to ensure that they’re not scheduled back to back or during a time we might be stuck in traffic. This is just an example but you can think of ways that you probably overextend yourself so you can make the necessary changes. Shorten your to-do list and add yourself to it.
Go after your goals and dreams.
I’ve never met a person pursuing their goals and dreams who was unhappy or had lost themselves. Following the desires of your heart will make you happy, inspire your children and prevent you from losing yourself in motherhood.
Get over perfection.
We all know that it’s impossible to be perfect but somehow, we all try anyway. We might tell our family and friends that we know we’re not perfect but deep inside we still thrive for perfection. I know Pinterest moms look perfect but consider that you’re getting a professional photographer’s glimpse into their lives that are meant to be perfect. Getting past the need and desire for perfection will free you up to take care of you and enjoy yourself and your motherhood journey.
Get a life.
I know this is harsh but last but not least, get out and get a life outside of motherhood. Hang out with your girls, go on dates, join a club or try a class. Do things that you’re curious about that sparks your interests so you have a life outside of motherhood. I know this can be hard but trust me it’s worth it and you will return to your babies filled, happy and prepared to be the best mommy ever.