Once upon a time, I knew who I was. I had real hobbies that filled my days. I was able to actually finish a cup of coffee before it got cold. Then, I had my sweet, sweet kiddos. I love them with every fiber of my being. Truly! So much so, that since they were born, it’s almost as if that old me just up and left and was replaced with this super selfless version of me.
My identity has been so strongly wrapped up in being a Mom, that I have forgotten the person I was before. Everything that I once loved and made time for before having babies has since shifted to the back burner. I know that old version of me is still in there, and I am determined to make space for her to reveal herself again. It’s time.
I’m taking back my ‘me time.’
This process of losing who I was and embracing this new motherhood season wasn’t something that just happened overnight. My kids are 6 and 2 and I am just now realizing that I have let myself slip too far. I have learned that there is a fine line between welcoming this kiddo-filled chapter of our lives versus allowing it to be our entire life. Now, I will be the first to admit… I am the queen of Mom guilt.
Even writing that last sentence gave me pause.
My kids really are my entire life, but as much as that can be true, I also know that in order to be the best Mom I can be for them, I need time to remember who I am outside of them as well.
How many times have we heard “you can’t pour from an empty cup?” When I first heard that phrase early on in my motherhood journey, I honestly didn’t understand it. I have always been a ‘go, go, go’ type of person. I don’t like asking for help or turning people down. Basically, it was my goal to be an actual Super Mom; I wanted to handle ALL THE THINGS. How could my cup ever be empty, I’ll just keep filling it up? Well, life laughed at that goal and as the years went on and we added another baby to our household, I slowly realized that I am human, not super, and I do in fact need to rest and accept help every now and then.
Part of learning that I need a break made me feel guilty.
Like, I am somehow less capable as a Mom because I need that time out for myself. That, however, could not be further from the truth. In fact, I feel like I am a BETTER Mom because I realized I was craving space and have since then been unraveling the tangled mess that was my identity.
My kids deserve a happy Mom. One who is confident in who she is, who knows what she enjoys, and who still makes time to embrace that side of herself even in the thick of raising babies.
‘Me time’ doesn’t have to be complicated. I have actually seen firsthand that the easier you make it, the more likely you are to commit to actually doing it. For me, this has looked like starting to read again. I have always loved to read, but with babies on my hips and crying toddlers, I just never made the time. It has also looked like foregoing the naptime clean-up somedays and instead choosing to bake something or sit down with a HOT cup of coffee or chai. Sometimes my ‘me time’ is going on a hike or working out for an hour or so after the kids go to sleep.
Think about the things that you loved to do before having kids. Were you artistic or did you enjoy working on DIY projects? Did you have a sport you loved to play? Were you super social and planning events or get-togethers often? Did you love to cook or experiment with new recipes? Did you spend the afternoons at the beach or in a park? Start there. Ask yourself what it is that you used to love and make time for. And slowly start bringing those things back into your life.
We are Moms, but we are still women, too. Let’s show our kiddos that while we may want to be super all the time, even the best of us need a timeout to have fun every now and then!