It’s Monday. On Mondays we try to find time to write something mindful and/or motivational. I spent this past weekend in my old college town where a good handful of the girls I used to hang out with in college still actually live. They are now working full time jobs and raising kids.
I was surprising one of them for her baby shower and it was so nice to have the entire weekend together. Each night ended up on the couch, catching up and chatting about life then and now. The rarity of those moments after you get busy with life makes them even more special. I realize more than ever now, how we used to take these special moments for granted in college (amongst other things).
As you get older life gets busier, regardless of whether or not you have children. You have to earn a living. There are weddings. There are baby showers. There are doctor’s appointments. You are running a household and plans seem to keep being made in between. We take on more responsibilities and hopefully learn to keep a balance between those responsibilities and doing what we love. Then, if you add children to the mix, there becomes a whole other larger piece of responsibility. This responsibility is your pride and joy. Something you think about all of the time, even while you’re taking care of your other tasks. Your children’s well-being never strays far from any given corner of your mind, as a mom this part of your brain doesn’t shut off. When you do get a chance to rest, they are most likely right there telling you that a puzzle piece is stuck in the toilet, asking you to play a game with them, wondering if they can have a snack, or peeing on your floor.
As important as this mom job is, it is equally important for everyone in the household for you remember to take time for yourself. Give yourself a break and do something you love. In the beginning, it was hard for me to differentiate what I loved doing more than being a mom. I would go weeks (maybe more like months) without meeting friends, sitting down with a book, writing down in my notebook, sewing, or going on a solo jog (all things I loved prior to having children). Without fail, every two or three months I would feel it. I would feel burnt out. Then, if I did make plans to do something without my children, I felt a twinge of guilt. It was as if I couldn’t even enjoy those things like I had before and I just wanted to get back into my mom life as quickly as possible. That had become my comfort zone. Another problem I encountered is that I had many more friends that had not become mothers at this point and I really had nothing to talk about other than the diapers I had changed, why my little one started waking up in the night again, or a new food they had recently tried.
Slowly, you make more mom friends and you learn from each other. You find those whose style you gravitate towards or those you admire. Just like anything in life they become your mentors. You start to see one training for a half marathon, volunteering for a cause, or reading a good book. You go out on mom dates and you do talk about the children but you also talk about ideas you have or things going on in the world. You start to realize that it’s absolutely possible to have a life and a personality outside of being a mom. Not only is it possible, but it is a crucial aspect of motherhood to learn. Just as crucial as your children getting enough sleep and eating their vegetables.
The reason I write this is because it is a large part of the motherhood journey and I thought it might be helpful for new moms to read. There are certainly mom superstars that seem to catch on to this quicker than others, and some that seem to take extra long to learn this. Regardless, everyone wins when this epiphany happens. Whether you decide to designate a monthly girls night, train for a half marathon, start a blog, join a book club, take a weekend getaway with your girlfriends, volunteer once a month, or sign up for a class, take it on in baby steps. Soon you’ll start to find a balance and that happiness will benefit you and your family.