Finding Yourself in Motherhood
Motherhood is often viewed as a rebirth for the mother. What an endearing sentiment that conjures up such beautiful imagery. I see a mother with a crown of wildflowers, staring lovingly at her baby, while wearing a long white flowing maxi dress. A mother who now has a purpose in a previously meaningless life. You all know the image.
What no one talks about is that rebirth is not an easy process and it is by no means instantaneous. A lot happens between the birth of your first child and the sacred experience of rebirth for the new mother.
Often times a woman can find herself lost in the process. In my experience, I found myself feeling broken. I tried desperately to put the pieces together after my first child was born. The transition was far from beautiful.
Life does not accommodate you; it shatters you. Every seed
destroys its container, or else there would be no fruition. Florida Scott-Maxwell
And then when I finally felt somewhat whole again, I had another child. It didn’t take me nearly as long to reorganize the splintered pieces the second time around. However, I noticed a different problem: I was so focused on being the best mother that I began to lose touch with who I was as a person.
My previous identity slowly faded until I morphed completely into Annabelle and Jonathan’s mom. I was so thankful to rid the label of postpartum sufferer. I was so proud of the way I was raising my children. I was so busy that I didn’t even notice it at first.
Then one day it hit me. I no longer had interests outside of parenting. My free time revolved around checking things off a mile long to-do list, napping, or showering without two children strapped to my legs.
Soon thereafter I realized that it was time to take action. I am still in the process of nurturing myself as a person and reestablishing my multifaceted identity. Along the way I have compiled a list of things that have been helpful.
-Stop comparing who you are now to who you were then. We tend to idealize the past. I promise you it wasn’t all great. Just look at a picture of yourself from the 80s and you will see what I mean. Even if you had no children you would not be the same person you were a decade ago. That is called growth and it is something to cherish, not chastise.
-Practice daily gratitude, with a twist. Come up with three reasons each day to appreciate who you are. We spend so much time judging ourselves; let’s counter that inner bully and indulge our egos a little bit.
-Make time for introspection. Ideally, this would be a few minutes each day when the children are occupied. In this time I encourage reading, artwork, writing, meditation etc. Allowing for a few moments of quiet will help you understand what you really want and NEED.
-Don’t be afraid to make time for yourself. It is okay to leave the kids with grandma or a sitter for a few hours each week. A happy mom is a good mom. If you used to be an athlete try something challenging at the gym. If you love to cook, take a cooking class. Keep trying until you find something that is super fun.
-Make time for friends (new and old). Parenting can feel isolating. Combat the loneliness with time spent with girlfriends. Join me for a girl’s night out and feel free to check out the Mindful Mothering facebook group for all upcoming group events.
Join us March 8th at 7pm at Hammer & Stain Long Island for a special DIY workshop featuring Dr. Amanda Salazar, creator of Mindful Mothering -- an online support program helping moms connect and make the most of the moment.
This registration will allow for one adult to make one 8"x16" Shelf Sitter, as pre-registered below. Customize your project in studio with your choice of stain & paint.