The transition to being a mother is an experience no woman is completely prepared for, both emotionally or mentally. Trying to figure out who the new you is, aside from being “Mom” is a process of self-discovery. When you become a Mother, your previous identity no longer exists and you’ve been given a blank-slate to create something new.
Boy, things used to be different before you were Mom, weren’t they?
Before I had kids, I felt in control of most aspects of my life.
I chose a career with crazy hours and loved it. I didn’t worry about staying up late on work nights, and I could enjoy a 2-hour meal at a restaurant without rushing. I was spontaneous and said yes to going to happy hours and booking weekend trips on a whim.
Life was exhilarating and spontaneous, free time was unscheduled and I didn’t think twice about making an extra spicy Mexican dish for dinner.
Things are a little – just a little – different now.
Life is wonderful and filled with car seats, strollers, diaper bags full of 14 different kinds of snacks, bins full of hand-me-down clothes for the next two years, routines, naptimes, bedtimes, take-out menus, and baskets in every room of the house with books, toys and stuffed animals.
Whether you are a Stay at Home Mom by choice, or by circumstance, the role of Mom is one mountain after another that we must climb. It’s easy to lose ourselves when motherhood consumes us.
WHO AM I, BESIDES BEING A MOM?
My most important job now is taking care of my children, enriching their lives and teaching them… but is that who I am and all that I am?
It’s been a rollercoaster of a journey and some days I long for who I used to be. Like when I have to calm down my fourth tantrum before noon or the highlight of the day is when my child makes it to the bathroom before having an accident.
I used to feel in control of my life. Now I’m responsible for three kids whose list of needs is long and life is a bit out of control. As is my identity.
Some things take time to figure out – one of those is the new identity of being Mom and all that the changes to our environment, our souls and our lives undergo.
But often, before we can figure out who we are, we lose ourselves to Motherhood.
Some of the signs that you’re Mothering in the middle of an identity crisis and a Mom that feels like she’s lost her identity…
Life Revolves Around Your Kids
It’s easy to make taking care of everyone else’s needs a priority and forget to include yourself on that list. When we get so wrapped up in taking care of our kids and trying to fill the time with activities, playdates, special outings and other things, we design a world that foster’s our children’s growth, but not our own.
Of course your children are important and require attention and time, but life shouldn’t revolve around just their needs and extra-curriculars.
You are the parent, you get to make the choices about what you and your family do with your time. Don’t pencil in activities and playdates to fill up the space – be sure to save time for yourself too.
Pencil in time away from the kids to do something you love and seek out opportunities to do things you enjoy because Momma needs to be taken care of as well.
YOU’VE STOPPED CARING HOW YOU LOOK
Your wardrobe now includes an entire drawer (or two) of yoga pants and “workout attire.” Whether you actually get to the gym often enough to justify the attire, is debatable.
Your old clothes have been pushed to the back of the closet or lost in a box somewhere in the basement.
When you stop caring how you look, instead of doing your hair or pulling together clothes that make you feel good, you toss your hair in a pony and like a robot, throw on athletic wear.
You probably noticed the Mom who arrives to school drop off looking polished. You might wonder how she does it, but that doesn’t matter. It matters that she does do it and takes the time to do it because it makes her feel confident and good about herself. And this is something you should get back into the habit of doing to.
Don’t dress to impress other people, dress to feel good about yourself and have your appearance be a reflection of your confidence in yourself.
Need a little help getting dressed? Try Stitch Fix, a personal styling service that is sent to your home. Fill out a questionnaire on your sizing and personal preferences and your stylist will send 5 hand-selected pieces delivered to your door with a styling card on suggested combinations and outfits.
Stitch Fix has a $20 styling fee that is applied as credit towards any clothes you buy. Anything you don’t like? No problem, just return them in the packaging they provide and send it back using their free shipping.
YOU ARE SO BUSY, YOU’RE LONELY
As a SAHM mom you’re probably even busier now than you were before you had kids!
The responsibilities aside from taking care of your children are now a page long but they’re always something you enjoy doing.
Being surrounded by people all day long while you run errands, take care of business and complete your tasks is lonely because these aren’t adult connections that fulfil you. You may walk among adults, but you are so busy that you don’t have time to spend with them and are craving meaningful connections like you had before children.
The isolation you feel may also be because you aren’t doing anything you enjoy, don’t have a hobby, you are an extrovert and need more social interaction that you currently have and feel isolated from your friends.
Having obligations is part of the game of being a Mom, but having so much to do that that you don’t have time for friendships will make you feel isolated, unsatisfied in your role as Mom and even lonely.
Tip: This 2-Minute Clean-Up Trick I use with my kids saves me a TON of time cleaning the house every day!
YOUR OLD IDENTITY WAS TIED TO YOUR CAREER
A lot of women dream of being a Mom, so when they make the transition to being a Stay at Home Mom, they may acclimate easier to their new role.
Those of us that pursued a career and devoted a lot of time and heart to building an enviable resume, may have a bumpy road in the transition to stay at home motherhood.
Whether you chose to Stay at Home or fell into it by circumstance (i.e., the outrageous cost of childcare versus take-home pay), it’s a big change!
In a job, there are ladders to climb, measurable results, goal-setting, recognized success, promotions and a sense of satisfaction. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Motherhood.
Being a Mom isn’t measurable on a scale of 1 – 10, percentages, equates to a raise or end of the year bonus. A hug or “I Love You” will do wonders but there always seems to be more challenges than sweet moments in young childhood.
YOU MISS THE FREEDOM YOU ONCE HAD
Before you had kids, you were arguably more selfish with your time. You had the freedom to do and go anywhere you wanted, when you wanted.
If you wanted to stay up late, socialize with friends, sleep in until 11 on Saturday or pack a carry-on and head to a warm destination in the middle of Winter… well, you could.
Life with kids involves a little more planning, a lot more money and an infinite amount of patience.
Sleep times, meal times and temperaments dictate your schedule now and the freedom you once had seems like a distant memory – one you may longingly wish for some days.
Adjusting to the daily structure that young children need, especially in the first few years, can seem mundane and predictable compared to the expanse of freedom you experienced pre-kids.
If you’re feeling a little closed in these days, sure, routine is still bed for kids, but maybe it’s time to get a babysitter or hand off your kids to a trusted relative and head out for a few hours (or weekend) of kid-free spontaneity.
SLEEP: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD A GOOD NIGHT OF IT?
All your friends probably told you about sleep deprivation of new parents when you announced your pregnancy, but they may have not mentioned that getting quality sleep is going to be difficult for longer than the newborn stage lasts.
Sleep deprivation affects your mood, energy, parenting happiness, mental alertness and health. Making sleep a priority is a must for every parent!
Learning how to teach your baby to sleep better and longer once they’re at the right age requires some patience but once they’ve nailed that and are sleeping through the night, this will help you greatly.
Be sure to power nap during the day when you are able and don’t overschedule yourself or your family and allow for down time to rest at home, when you are able. Having a daily routine is beneficial for the whole family!
Don’t worry Momma, an identity crisis isn’t a forever thing. You will find your identity and then it will change again and again, and again. Be flexible and know that whatever parenting stage you are in, will bring new challenges to motherhood and who you are – as a mother, a wife, a woman and a person.
- 10 Ways to Rock Being a Stay at Home Mom
- The Benefits of Having a Daily Routine
- How to Create a Positive Home (And Why this Will Affect Your Kids Forever)
- 9 Ways to Build Your Child’s Confidence
- The Best Inside Activities for High-Energy Kids
- Stop Feeling Like You Have Mom Burnout
- What are the Triggers That Cause You to Yell and Lose It With Your Kids?