No one tells you that you will lose yourself after having a baby. NO ONE.
What they will tell you is: how wonderful it is, how in love they are with their children and how your intuition takes over and you just know what to do.
I was a very well rounded person before I had my son at 28. I was working at a dream job; I was very physically active with many different activities such as rock climbing, beach volleyball and biking. I had a big group of friends and we went out often. My husband and I love to travel and took every opportunity to fly off and have a new adventure. We lived in the city and loved to keep up with the new restaurant openings and summer festivals. You get the picture.
When my son was born, I didn’t know it but my life changed forever. My life changed because my ‘old’ self died that day and I was re-born as a mother. From that moment on my life would evolve around him and then later, my second born son. One thing they said was true, I fell in love and nothing could ever compare to the love I felt for my children.
From the second I became a mother I basically never slept (that’s how it felt) and I was trying to figure out what to do with a crying baby that kept me on a 3 hour eating and sleeping cycle. This didn’t leave me much time to do any of the things I used to do. I slowly felt like my old self was dying and I wanted her back! After having my second child, things only because worse because now I had zero time to do anything I used to do and I could feel my identity slip away.
It has been 6 years almost to the day and only now I am starting to feel like I have more time to find myself again. I am now a mother and the last six years have changed me drastically and so I am left to rediscover myself as a human in the world and not just as someone’s mom. I realized just how important this process is because if you don’t come back to yourself you can start feeling resentful and lack confidence. I wanted to share 5 things that helped me to rediscover myself in hope that you will start that process sooner then I did.
Let go of the guilt
Guilt is a bad trap that can keep you immobile for a long time. We all feel the guilt of not being enough, or not spending enough time with our kids, maybe forgetting something important or missing an important milestone. But when you free yourself of guilt and tell yourself you ARE good enough and realize you DON’T have to be perfect all the time, you release yourself from an unattainable state of mind that could destroy you.
Take time to yourself
Now that you have no guilt (see above). You can take that much needed time for yourself. Taking care of kids 24/7 can be a black hole for the person you used to be. If you don’t take that time to reconnect with yourself on the daily you will inevitably feel like you are drowning.
Taking care of your body can have such incredible results not only on your health but on your self esteem, your overall attitude and your daily happiness. Now, I know that after you have a baby the last thing you want to do is put on some tight clothes and do buns of steel. The beauty of todays Internet is that you can do almost anything at home (while baby sleeps), from Yoga, Pilates or just get a nice stretch.
Meditation does not only mean you have to sit on the floor cross-legged for an hour doing nothing. Meditation is bringing awareness to yourself and can be done in so many ways. It is guaranteed to alleviate stress, anxiety, enhance self-esteem and bring control to ones life. How can you say no to that? With only 3 minutes a day you can change your life.
Spend time with your spouse
Remember that time before you had kids? When it was just you and your spouse cuddling up on the couch and having long talks into the night? Well things sure have changed after kids and we tend to forget about the most important relationship. Even when you are tired take that time to have some quality time with your spouse. Do whatever works for you and your schedule. You might have to wake up 10 minutes early to have a cup of coffee together or meet up for lunch. Re-connecting with your spouse will help you find yourself again and remind you of the great pre-kid times you used to have.
Remember that finding the new you takes time but if you do the work you will be amazed by what you find.