From the day your little one is born, it is so easy to get lost in the role of “mother”.
Suddenly every moment of your day is focused on caring for a child and your own needs quickly cease to be a priority.
As the years go on, and your child becomes more independent, you may find yourself struggling to reconnect with the person you once were.
This is an identity crisis and it occurs when we define ourselves by what we do instead of who we are. When what do changes, as it does throughout motherhood, we struggle to redefine ourselves.
So, in order to not lose yourself in motherhood, you have to change your perception of who you are in relation to your wants, needs and beliefs – not simply by what you do in your life.
Why Do Moms Lose Touch With Their True Selves?
Simply put: Because our lives revolve around our children.
We focus all of our energy on our children’s needs and virtually none on our own. Because we, as moms, are not nurturing what makes us happy, we rely on making our kids happy to feel fulfilled.
Plus, society doesn’t help either.
First of all, society applauds the role of “mother”. When you become a mother, you are made to feel special. Look at the way society addresses women who don’t want to have kids – it creates a state of disbelief! Choosing not to have children is seen as “wrong” and “unfulfilling”.
Secondly, society puts pressure on moms to be perfect moms – especially on social media. Because women focus so hard on succeeding as mothers, there’s no time to focus on being their true selves.
Knowing why moms lose their identities is one thing, but here are some ways you can stay true to who you really are:
1. Reevaluate Your Values
We are human beings, not human doings.
In order to get back in touch with that state of “being”, you need to take a good look at what your values are. These are the beliefs you have that govern the way you live your life.
Think about the behaviors you exhibit that you find the most accepting: Are you a good listener? A loyal person? A compassionate individual?
Consider your beliefs (not just your spiritual ones) and your morals. Look at how you live your life in the best way.
Notice how none of this mentions how you parent your children or how well you are doing as a mom?
In order to get in touch with your true self, you need to look at how you approach the entire world – not just your family.
Here is a quick little exercise you can do to define your core values:
- Choose your top 10 values from a list of core values.
- Starting at the top of the list, compare the first two values and determine which one is more important.
- Continue this down the list until you’ve prioritized your values.
Think of these values the next time you are faced with a decision – this will help you get back in touch with your true identity.
2. Take Time For Yourself
Remember those things you used to love doing before you became a mother? In order to maintain your true identity, you need to start doing the things you enjoy.
Zenning out on the couch with your toddler watching Paw Patrol may feel relaxing, but it’s doing nothing to nurture your identity.
This is all part-and-parcel with self-care, which involves engaging in activities that make you feel relaxed and more like yourself.
Being a mom means you have a hectic schedule, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find pockets of time to take part in activities and hobbies that you enjoy.
Get up early, stay up late or take advantage of naptimes – you don’t need large amounts of time to take part in enjoyable activities.
3. Connect with Old Friends
The friends you had before you had kids are the ones that know the true you – and are also the ones that can remind you of who that person was.
Take some time to hang out with your old friends and reminisce about your past. Invite them to hang out, even if your little one is involved.
And if they have kids – bonus! You can organize playdates. They probably need some reminding of who they are too.
Don’t Lose Yourself
Being a great mom doesn’t mean sacrificing your true self to the cause.
In fact, your children will benefit from having a confident and self-assured role model.
Plus, the more you focus on doing what you love to do, the more they will build a sense of independence as well as develop diverse interests.