5 Ways To Keep Your Identity Even Though You’re a Mom

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I was sitting in the orthodontist office waiting for my daughter, scrolling my social media feeds while totally listening to the receptionists’ conversation behind the desk. (C’mon...you know you do that, too!)

The younger of the two women said something about going out of town for the weekend. And the older woman responded, “Well you better do all that now because once you have kids you won’t have a life.”

The conversation continued and another mother in the waiting room area chimed in with, “Once you’re a mom, you’ll never sleep again.”

And you know what?!

This whole conversation really pissed me off! And I 1000% disagree!

Yes, being a mom is the absolute hardest job I’ve ever had.

Yes, I’ve been in seasons with less sleep than others.

Yes, there are things we HAVE to do that we don’t want to do.

But I don’t love that our society has developed the belief that we need to or are supposed to give our entire lives over to our children and spouses.

I don’t love that women are made to believe it’s selfish to do something for themselves.

I don’t love that women are made to feel like they’re not good moms if they don’t sacrifice EVERYTHING for their families.

The reality is, that’s not being a mom. That’s being a martyr!

I know because I’ve been there.

Here’s the thing... I believe you can be an amazing mom AND have a life of your own!

You are an individual in this world, and you deserve to still feel like one even though you’re someone’s mom and wife.

I realize not every woman buys into this story, and if that’s you...HIGH FIVE, SISTER!

However, there are a great number of women that DO believe this or have this expectation coming from their family.

No matter your circumstance or the stage of motherhood you’re in, there are things we can do to maintain our individuality.

1. Stay connected with friends

Whether they live around the corner or 1,000 miles away, do whatever you can to maintain the friendships you have in your life.

There are few things more soothing to my soul than talking to a girlfriend that knows ME. She gets me.

She makes me laugh...like the really hard belly laughs that seem to be too far in between sometimes.

She’s seen me at my worst and at my best.

She encourages me and loves on me when I need it. And I sure as heck hope I do the same for her!

Friends are important and sometimes it can feel HARD to make new friends. Here’s a list of my favorite conversation starters that help you skip past the small talk into a more meaningful conversation.

2. Get out of the house

I know. I know. Getting out of the house isn’t always easy, especially with little ones. But, getting out of the house doesn’t have to be a big deal to be helpful. Simply getting outside for a little sunshine on your face can do wonders for your mood and how you feel.

Do small things like taking a walk in your neighborhood with a neighbor. Go to the park or your favorite coffee shop.

Or do bigger things like getting out with your besties for a dinner & movie night, a girls day of shopping, or going to a concert.

I especially encourage a regular date night! Not only does it help you maintain your own identity, it helps you see your significant other as the person you fell in love with. And making new memories together only enhances your relationship.

3. Add things you love to your day...it can’t be all about your family all the time.

I’ve talked about this so much! Remembering the small things that bring you joy is one of the biggest ways to not lose yourself in all the responsibilities of life.

What’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite flower? What’s your favorite scent? Favorite candy? Favorite meal? Do you love music? Do you love to dance?

How much of any of these things are part of your day right now?

Most of the time we are going full speed ahead, trying to keep our head above water to get through the day. But how much better would your day be, how much better would your mood be if you took a one song dance break? If you cranked up the music while you put on your makeup? If you had your favorite flowers on the kitchen table? If you lit a candle while you read for 15 minutes?

You cannot possibly be unchanged by doing something for YOU. This your permission slip to add one thing you LOVE to your day!

4. Be Creative/Start a Hobby

One of my FAVORITE ways to add something I love to my day is by being creative! Creativity and making is such a BIG part of who I am. It took some time to realize it, but I am a better mom when I’ve made time to make something. I try hard to show you how creativity lives in my life through everything I do.

I cannot encourage you enough to find something creative you love doing. It’s a great way to express yourself and have some time that’s just for you.

You might be tempted to say you’re not creative. But in this interview my friend Eileen West challenges that way of thinking by saying, “If you think you’re not creative, you haven’t found your medium yet.”

Play. Experiment. Try something new every week or every month if you don’t already have a creative outlet. Look for creative workshops in your area or find some interest groups around your hobby.

Who knows? You may even make some new friends while you’re creating!

5. Do work you’re passionate about

Another way I maintain my identity is to do work I’m passionate about. This wasn’t always the case for me.

For a long time I got caught up in doing all the mom things I thought I was “supposed” to do (aka PTA, room mom, etc), but those things didn’t fill me up. I still felt like something was missing.

That’s when I started life coach training and my life changed for the better.

The thing you’re passionate about doesn’t have to be work. You could find a charity that’s meaningful to you. You could start a blog. You could start a meet-up group around something you love..

The possibilities are endless, my friend.

I promise when you find something to do that’s super meaningful for you it can transform your life and the way you feel.

Understand and truly believe it’s not selfish to take time for yourself.

Lastly, my wish for you is that you completely embrace and truly believe that it’s not selfish to take time for yourself! It takes time and practice, so don’t listen to those nasty comments your inner critic tells you. Don’t let feelings of guilt keep you from making yourself a priority.

You’re able to be an even better wife and mother when you DO take time for yourself! As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. And doing things that light you up, that make you happy, or bring a little extra joy to your day fills your cup.

It doesn’t matter what stage of momming you’re in for this to apply! It applies to everyone one of us.

If this is something that comes easily to you, encourage another mama would you?

We’re all in this together!

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