When you had kids did you lose sight of who you were? I did. I was ashamed to admit it, but I felt lost and was clueless as to who I was anymore. Part of that was because I had to give up running while pregnant (pregnancy complications) and then complications after pregnancy kept me from exercising also. So I felt like this blob, exhausted, sleep deprived and not really sure who I was. I was a Mom, but what did that mean? He cried. I consoled. He was hungry. I fed him. He needed his diaper changed. I cleaned him up. Don’t get me wrong. Lil Man had my heart, and I was instantly in love. But at the same time, I was struggling to figure out who I was. The moment he came into the picture, my life was forever changed. In a good way, but none the less, changed.
And I wonder if other women struggled with this – their sense of identity after becoming a Mom – or was it just me? Regardless, for quite some time after becoming a Mom, I really struggled with my own identity. Four years later, I can’t say that I have it all figured out, but I’m definitely not the same person that I was when Lil Man was born.
And I imagine I won’t be the same person when he starts 1st grade or high school. I’m learning that as he grows and changes, so do I. Each stage brings new challenges and new joys and new identities. What I was to him when he was born, isn’t the same as what I am to him now as he enjoys the summer before his 4’s class in preschool this fall.
I no longer feel lost or clueless. I do make mistakes daily as a person, as a Mom, and as a Wife. But I do know who I am. And I have learned that hobbies or activities don’t define me. (I’m Not Just A Runner)
But I still remember those struggles of losing who I was after Lil Man was born. And although I felt guilty, I realized that I needed to carve out time to take care of me. If I’m not taking care of myself, I can’t be the best Mom (and Wife) to those that need me.
So when you see a Mom out running, spending some time at the gym, reading a book, listening to music, or whatever she’s doing to relax, please don’t judge that she isn’t tossing a ball with her kid or doing some type of craft or activity. Maybe she’s just taking a few minutes for herself so that she can be the best mom and person that she can be.