The word mother is so powerful and meaningful, yet it is not the only word that describes a woman. Motherhood is a blessing. We all know the benefits and how this title can be overlooked on a day to day basis. But what mothers forget is that what we are is beyond motherhood. While putting our children and families first is important, it should not take away from who we are as humans and what we have set out to accomplish.
Sometimes stay-at-home-moms and working moms alike can have a hard time reminding themselves that they need to carve out time for their own sanity and well being. This time goes beyond self-care and exercise, it goes into building an identity that is separate from your children. So often, we become so engrossed in our children we forget we were and are someone more than a mother. We are fearless activists, bold entrepreneurs, violinists, writers, poets, artists, athletes, movie-goers, and adventurists, too. If your daughter says she wants to be a “mom” when she grows up, you are winning at motherhood, but you have probably lost your identity. Having an identity beyond motherhood teaches your children to hold onto their own identities. What do you want your child labeling you as on the playground? Recently, mine made me proud and said, “My mommy is a President!” PTA president, that is, but it still made me proud that she recognized I was more than a nose wiping, soup making, bedtime cuddling human who had given birth to her 5 years ago.
We are fearless activists, bold entrepreneurs, violinists, writers, poets, artists, athletes, movie-goers, and adventurists, too.
We are full of passion and energy to create love in spaces around us and we sometimes forget the power we have inside. For every mother reading this post, allow yourself the time to be yourself again. Allow yourself to carve out time for your hobbies, passions, and life beyond motherhood. Allow yourself to fall in love again with your life partner or with an art. Connect with the fierce woman inside and don’t let her die. Allow yourself to be you again.
For all the new moms reading this, you may feel overwhelmed and it may seem impossible to find yourself between the late-night feedings, colic, and weird shit coming out of the tiny person you are trying to keep alive. Hang in there. The madness will subside and you will have time, but please do not lose yourself in it. Do not become the woman who knows all about butt creams and nothing about anti-aging creams, you are more than your baby.
If you have already forgotten who you are beyond motherhood, connect again with your girlfriends. Spending some quality girl time will quickly remind you of the old you. Remember that time you and your friends put your flirt game on and pretended to be young and single just to get a free appetizer or two from the waiter? Have fun with it. Take your husband/college sweetheart back to the library you used to study in and relive those days to remind yourself who you were before the snot-nose brats came along. What did you do, what books did you read, what topics did you debate?
Allow yourself to be more than a mother because you are more than a mother. Do not let your life become consumed with your children beyond what is needed to make them thrive to become strong, smart, healthy adults. Free yourself from routines that leave you burnt out and unmotivated. Pick up a book, start to journal, find your way back to your true self. One day your children will grow up and fly out of the nest. Who will you be left with? Allow yourself to be you.