Losing Myself in Motherhood
There I was in the baby aisle, looking at baby food, formula, baby cereal and, well, everything else in the aisle. What am I here for again? Another time, there I was in the bathroom looking at my tired puffy eyes. I had just woken up and my daughter began crying. What was I doing in there? Oh yeah, I had to pee. Can you relate?
Have you ever found yourself staring into the mirror or aimlessly wandering the aisles hoping to remember the reason you were there in the first place? For me, that was just the tip of the iceberg!
JUST AN HOUR
Bethany was about 9 months old and I was ecstatic to be able to leave her with a sitter and go to lunch with a friend. It was going to be so great…being free for just an hour. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved my daughter but I needed a break! I got in the car, pulled out of garage and forgot where I was going. This was pre-Google, so I sat for a bit and tried to get my wits about me. Okay, think Rachel, think. Five minutes later, I remembered.
I arrived at the restaurant, hugged my friend and got ready to order. Only to discover I had no idea what I liked to eat anymore. This had NEVER happened before! Believe me, I knew what I liked to eat. What was happening to me?
There were several more “who am I, what do I like, what do I want” moments. There were so many I clearly remember saying to myself I do not even know who I am anymore. I had forgotten. Amongst all the feeding, bathing, changing, well baby check-ups, WIC appointments, laundry and cleaning, I had been consumed. I was losing myself in motherhood.
I asked around to see if other moms felt the same. I had friends say it was normal and this is just how it is and sacrifice is just what you do because your child is your life now. Aghhhh! The only problem is that I didn’t want it to be just how it was. I didn’t want to forget about me.
I cried. There was guilt in not wanting to lose myself in motherhood. There was shame in having a desire to focus on myself and not my child all the time. In these feelings and realizations of what my life would continue to be like, I cried some more. Sound even a little familiar?
I WANT IT ALL
Then I decided I wanted it all. I wanted love for my child AND myself. I wanted alone time and time with my daughter. I wanted to socialize with friends with and without my child. I wanted to remember and discover myself again. And I learned this would result in a stronger relationship with my daughter and better support her child development in the coming years.
Wonder how I did it? Check back on Women’s Wednesday and I’ll share the specifics of what worked for me and many other women! Have some similar challenges that you want to share? Here’s the place to post a comment and let’s talk!