I don’t know if you’ve experienced that moment. That space in time during motherhood when you’re no longer sure of who you are or where you’re headed. I sure did. I’ve mentioned before that, for me, it was after the birth of our second daughter. That moment is still so clear to me. I can remember the details of the light that colored the room as I looked at my own mother and finally verbalized the chaos I was feeling inside: “I don’t know who I am anymore.”
There’s a mysterious thing that happens to us moms. So many beautiful instincts we never knew we had been activated. We know when our baby needs us in the night before she makes a sound. We can tell the difference between a normal cry of “I’m hungry” or “I’m tired” and one that means “let’s take a trip to the doctor to check out what’s going on here.” We know when he’s not telling us everything about why he hates second grade. And we recognize that giggle that says, “You got what I needed just right.”
Yet it also leaves us completely unsure as to everything we thought we knew about ourselves before having kids. Motherhood is like being thrown into a mixer with a bunch of crazy powerful ingredients, learning day-by-day how to taste and define and give names to the new flavors of who we now are.
So I thought I’d put together a list of 7 simple signs you’ve “lost yourself” to motherhood to help moms identify whether or not they’re somewhere in or around that moment. Because there are certain things we do and think that give us away. They whisper to us that something needs to change. Sometimes it isn’t a whisper. Sometimes it’s tearing. And sometimes it’s a loud, shrill cry for release:
- You’re not sure what’s “fun” anymore.
- You feel stuck in the everyday routine of life.
- It’s unclear to you what the next step in your life is and you think, “Now what?”
- You have no goals that excite you.
- You often think, “Who am I?”
- Your spiritual life is all dried up.
- You resent your kids or your husband for the “freedom” they seem to have.
Do any of these sounds like you? What is motherhood really like? I experienced all of this at some point almost every single day until I started to find ways of reconnecting with me (whatever “me” meant because I had no idea at the time). And while the entire process of self-rediscovery and reinvention is much more involved than this, to get you started, here are 7 quick hacks to get yourself back:
- Find 10 minutes to close your eyes and sit in silence each day.
- Cook your favorite meal.
- Go out to dinner, just you and a trusted friend.
- Buy a book on something you love doing or learning about.
- Develop one simple comfort ritual.
- Listen to your favorite song.
- Sit outside and breathe deeply.
Motherhood is a hugely challenging and often confusing time. It is SO EASY to feel completely lost. But THIS IS YOUR LIFE and YOU ARE TOO GOOD to be overshadowed or overlooked. So cut through some of the mommy angst by taking the time to reconnect with who you are.