Once you have children, “mom” is your name, taking care of little people is your game. You stop being known as the person you used to be, and you start being known as the mom, mommy, mama to your little one. If you’re like me, you’ll probably even refer to yourself as such. I’ve been Bella and Gabi’s mom for so long, I’m pretty sure that some of their friends actually think my name is BellaAnGabi. But, I’m still in here rediscovering myself before motherhood. Like you, trying to figure out how to be the woman you were before you became mom.
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Being a mom is all-consuming and it’s very easy to lose yourself in that one thing you become and even easier to forget who you were before that. Soon, all of the likes and dislikes you used to have seemed to fade away and your life revolves around your children. For example, I loved strawberry ice cream and then my children didn’t so I didn’t buy strawberry ice cream for 13 years until one day, I took that power back. What I like matters too. It’s such a simple thing but I get to matter. With all the concessions of motherhood, the biggest is the total loss of a time in your life and that usually means sacrificing your youth.
I’m just a mom like you, trying to figure out how to be the woman you were before you became mom.
The life you had before becoming a mom and how young you used to feel is fading from all of the responsibility of your new role. You’ll think about all of the things that you used to say and do, and how different the things that you say and do are now. You’re not any less of a person, you’re just not the same person at all. You can’t be. In fact, the moms I know are some of the best people I know.
The resourcefulness and resilience that you build as a mother is unfathomable, and for me, my life feels like it has a higher purpose; one greater than myself. But, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t think of the ways to get your groove back and rediscover who you are as a person. You deserve to exist autonomous from your kids and spouse. I want to show you some of the ways you can do just that and feel more like you again or at least the new hybrid wonder woman that you have become.
Rediscover Your Passions
You will have grown up having some sort of passion in life. For me, I loved writing, dancing and being active. Even if your passion was just going out and having fun every weekend, you were passionate about something. Hey, I was pretty passionate about my weekends before becoming a mom. Sure for most people, their passions stem a bit deeper than being able to have a cocktail on the weekend. Maybe you were into a sport, fashion, music, or art. For some reason, that all seems to fade into the background when you become a mom, or at least for those first few years.
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Your passion becomes your child, and that’s never going to go away. But you’re allowed to be able to have something else to focus on, on the side. It doesn’t make you’re a bad person to want to do things you like just for you. It’s what makes you, you, and nobody can take that away from you. You’re better for your family if you take care of yourself too. Do something just for you. Start small, take a hot bath or read a book before bedtime because you used to enjoy spa days and reading for leisure. Once you start doing something just for you, you’ll start to reconnect with yourself and find joy in things that you forgot you used to enjoy.
Invest Some Time In What Makes You Feel Beautiful
I think all moms fall prey to this affliction at one point or another in their tenure as a mom. Sometime between pregnancy, middle of the night cluster feedings, running to make sure toddlers don’t fall when learning to walk and the teen years, messy buns, yoga pants and a t-shirt with some kind of tiny human’s bodily fluid on it becomes our mom uniform. It’s not because we moms fundamentally dislike fashion and style, it’s because our priorities changed and it just felt like keeping the baby alive was more important than what label we wore or how often we could get to dry bar. I’m here to tell you we need some of that investment in our appearance to help us feel confident.
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There were years where I felt like a ghost walking through my life because I had let myself go so far that I tried to convince myself that I didn’t care but I did. It wore on me. My daughters always looked amazing but I looked like the nanny Cinderella.
Let’s start with fashion, because who can deny that a cute outfit makes a mama feel empowered. You can reinvent yourself. Check out the latest styles and see feels like it fits. Scroll through Instagram and see what the cute mom influencers are wearing or check out Pinterest to discover what the latest trends are.
Try shopping at places that you wouldn’t usually shop at to get inspiration for style. Even if the style is hip athleisure wear, just a small change can change your entire perspective, mood and the way you carry yourself.
You can see more GCDS here, which is a clothing brand from Milan that you might not have ever heard about before, selling styles you’ve probably not tried in years. Also, if I can sneak in a quick face mask after the girls go to bed or some moisturizer, mascara and tinted chapstick in the morning, it makes me feel less out of sorts when I’m out in the general population. And I don’t care what anyone says, a cute messy bun is always in fashion.
I know the thought of spontaneity is practically laughable as a mom but sometimes we need to shake things up to shake our true selves awake. I mean our mom side has been in full-on high-gear for years now. It needs to be reminded that there is a sexy, creative, intelligent, fierce and beautiful woman right beneath the service that needs the day off from mom duty to get her groove back.
As moms, our lives are on a schedule. We exist to cross things off the list. We always have to be prepared and responsible for everyone but being spontaneous can be invigorating. Try an impromptu coffee, Zumba or brunch date with a girlfriend while the kids are at school. Those dishes and laundry can wait a few hours. Don’t even bother with that mom guilt. Mom guilt and worry are two useless emotions. As a mom, it’s easy to forget where our children end and we begin and whenever we try to do anything for ourselves, it feels unnatural but that’s just because we haven’t done it in a while. Repeat after me, you’re not a bad mom for existing outside of your children’s per view. Try to have a girl’s night or date night at least once a month. Just make it happen, even if it’s just for a couple hours. You need to feel empowered and confident as a woman to be a strong example of joy and fulfillment for your children. Do you want them to see you looking miserable as their mother? No, go get your groove back girl.
What do you do for yourself ( just you) that makes you feel good about who you are? What are your tips for how to be the woman you were before you became a mom?