on not losing yourself in motherhood | part i
This is my first ever series, and I'm so very excited for it. What honestly sparked this idea, was when DJ was taking a photo of me, and I said "I don't know how to be alone in a photo without Nora," and he responded saying that she isn't my entire identity.
It's amazing how incredibly life-giving, life-sucking, and life-consuming motherhood can be. It's hands-down, the most fulfilling and rewarding gift, but if we aren't intentional about keeping part of ourselves separate, when the kids aren't around, we may very easily forget who we are as a woman alone.
SHOP THIS POST:
I wanted to start with just a few simple ideas on helping us keep ourselves in mind. We're better mothers and wives when we're able to confidently be ourselves, and not rely on our children or husbands to be our entire identity, because they aren't.
1. Get dressed. This one is so easy to forget about, especially as a stay at home mom. It's easy to justify not showering for way too many days, and greasy hair, and no-makeup and yoga pants and the hubby's t-shirts, because why not? "I'm just staying home anyways." Buuuut - don't you notice how much better you feel when you switch from the baggy sweats to nice fitting leggings, and a nice comfy top, over the holey shirt from high school? Being comfy and having ability to do the dishes, get spit-up on, and fold laundry doesn't mean we have to compromise how we look (not always anyways ;)... some days it's more than justifiable, but going the extra minute to switch out the baggy sweats for some tinted moisturizer and loose but nice shirt gives the perfect pep in your step. Feeling confident is so key. I have this new motto, "If I can't wear it to Target, then I don't want hubby to come home to me wearing it either," and I notice I'm actually more productive, and feel so much better about myself when I make this small change. I'm not getting dressed to the nines every day by any means, but if I can tell I'm feeling lethargic; the mom-mode is more like phone-mode... then it's time to switch things up and get myself presentable, even if the only people I see all day is my babe and myself in the mirror. It's totally worth it.
2. Get your picture taken, without your kid(s). Selfie it up, mama! Get dressed, do your hair, throw on some makeup and feel good. Look in the mirror or have your friend or hubbs get behind the iPhone camera for you, and take a photo, sans kids. I let monthhhsss go by without a single photo of me without Nora, and I knew it was a problem when she was more of my "accessory" and I literally felt so insecure without her in my arms in front of the camera. The photos above happened because I'd been taking care of myself and Nora while sick for a week, and hadn't done my hair, or face, or worn anything cute in far too long... so we decided to get sort-of dolled up and have some fun with the sun setting. It's awkward, and it'll feel so weird at first, but your kids will want to grow up knowing you were confident in being in your own skin. Your kids will thank you! They will want to look back and see your face. You're a woman. You were you before your children came in the picture. Be confident by yourself, so that you be confident as a mother. Our bodies change, our weight changes, our hair changes (and falls out)... but these things only beautify you... they're the physical characteristics that helped make you into a mother. So own it mama! You're beautiful, believe it!
3. Find a hobby. Whether it's reading a book, or jogging, or writing or crafting. Taking baths alone, joining a mamas-night-out group in your area, coffee dates, photography or cooking. Find something you can do, even just once a week for yourself. Finding time alone to do something you really truly love, does wonders. It helps give you the recharge you need to continue mothering and wifing without falling into the trap of burnout.
Mamas, you're amazing. What you do is amazing. If you work part-time, full-time or work as being stay-at-home mom. Your work is valuable and in order to continue doing what you're doing, it's so important that you still take time out to focus on you. Your work wouldn't happen if it weren't for you, so pay attention to the pretty lady in the mirror. You deserve it <3