I have an affinity for this subject, finding oneself.
And maybe the reason is that I have felt so lost on so many days of my motherhood that I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know who to turn to, or what to even say to my husband. I wasn’t sure who I was anymore.
When you become a mother, your identity can take a beating. No longer are you just you, now you’re Mommy. You’re someone’s mom, someone’s wife…and sometimes that can become the sole focus of your life, losing your individuality in the process.
Is it depression? No, I don’t think it’s really that. Not deep down. There is a sort of sadness about it, but mostly it’s that we no longer feel ourselves once we have kids. I see other moms who seem to have it all figured out. They’re the hippy dippy trippy moms, or the full time working moms or the stay at home Pinterest moms. Whoever they are, they know it. They just emanate it.
I was not that person for a long time. I didn’t know what I was doing, who I was, or even where I was needed for most of my motherhood. My children are 15 and 10. Of course, my first has special needs and so that filled up a lot of my time and energy – focusing on him and his needs. His doctor appointments, his diagnostic testing, his health. My time was not spent focusing on my mental/emotional health whatsoever. I was all of a sudden “Special Needs Mom”.
All of my energy and focus was on him and his needs so I didn’t really have time to contemplate my life. That’s exactly as it should have been at that time in our lives because he was so sick and needed everything we could give him. As a mother, that was my first instinct.
But then, he got a little bit healthier, a little bit more every day. Soon, I didn’t know my own identity. Was I just his mom? I wasn’t quite sure, but then I started focusing more on my own health and I got really healthy just in time to get pregnant with baby # 2, our Riley. Then, I was “Mom of Two”.
At one point, I couldn’t really remember who I was before I had kids. Has that happened to you? Chances are if you’re a parent, it has. It’s like those little buggers take our personalities with them when exiting the womb.
So, how exactly do you get back to who you are?
Well, I believe there are several things you can do to find yourself. The first thing you should do is really ask yourself some questions and then really listen to the answers:
- What are your dreams and goals?
- What is the one thing you do that makes you happy?
- What new things would you like to try?
- Ask the person who knows you best what things make you happy.
- And if you’re the praying kind, pray.
- If you’re not the praying kind, listen to your inner voice.
Once you’ve answered the questions and done the listening/praying, move on to making actionable items. You’ve discovered a new thing you’d like to try? Go do it! Why wait? It might be the thing that makes you remember who you are.
Did you find a passion you didn’t know you had? Drawing, painting, writing, music, biking, running? Whatever it is, it is worthy. You are worthy. Spend some time in those activities that you love and you will start to find yourself again.
We parents have to take care of ourselves. We hear it all the time, and there’s a reason for that. It’s completely true. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we won’t be around to care for our kiddos. It’s that simple.
Losing oneself has to be one of the worst feelings in the world. You’re no longer you. You’re some other personality that resembles you but isn’t quite you. One thing that was helpful for me was to see a mind coach. This is a lady that specializes in helping a person get over the stumbling blocks in their lives. Hypnosis may be performed and I got to tell you, it’s super cool. I never believed in it until I went through it, and I cannot recommend it enough.
When all else fails, consult a counselor. They are professionally trained to walk you through steps and exercises to find your path.