ADJUSTING TO THE NEW YOU
Being a mom is the biggest life blessing. All moms say that, and for good reason. Growing a child, carrying that child for ten long-ass months, and then watching that child grow, truly gives life new meaning. But it’s a really big adjustment that requires a whole other level of selflessness. One that, if you aren’t too selfless by nature, is a big awakening and lesson in putting yourself second—and oftentimes, last.
Even though it has been over three years since I had my first child, I’m still not fully adjusted to that mindset, and the reality is, I might never be. It’s a daily thing that I consciously have to work on, and I’m okay with that.
To give you a little background, I wasn’t born with the maternal instinct. I wasn’t the gal that wanted to be married at 21, have my first kid at 22, and live in a white picket fence house happily ever after. As life had it, however, I was married at 19, only to be divorced at 21, in part because I wasn’t ready to have a child as quickly as he wanted to, and in part because my ex was an asshole, plain and simple.
But once I was free from that marriage, I realized that, while I definitely wanted children, I wanted them a little later on in life. I wanted to date, to be free, to travel, to do all the things I knew I wouldn’t be able to do as often once kids came into the picture. So I did all of the above, and I got it out of my system…sort of.
The truth is, even though I got it out of my system and did “all the things,” the urge to do “all the things” never went away after having kids. It’s still there. I now have two boys, age 3 and 1, and I still have a mile long list of things I want to do. However, I’ve found that in order to be happy in my role as a mom, I have had to ACCEPT that life isn’t the same as it was pre-kids. It doesn’t look the same in any way, and it certainly doesn’t feel the same.
That said, it doesn’t mean that you have to give up doing the things that bring you joy just because you are a parent and you are busier than ever.
You should do them. In fact, you MUST do them in order to feel like a complete and whole person. It simply requires a little more planning than before, as well as some adjustments to your mindset and your expectations.
Plan. It’s not as easy to pick up and go do what you want to do anymore. That’s the reality. So PLAN. Calendar block. Ask your mom / friend / babysitter / spouse to watch the kids so you can go do said thing. For me, it’s a bike ride, or a girls night out, both of which fill my soul and make me feel complete.
Accept. Accept that you have to adjust. Your bike ride might not be as long as before. Your girls night out might start at 5pm and end by 8pm. Gone are the wild days. But at least you are out, with the girls. So focus on that.
Do. Go do the thing that you carved out the time to do, and really DO it. Be present. Put your phone away and get off social media. That way you will be 100%, fully immersed in the activity, and leave feeling fulfilled and happy. Honestly if you don’t do that, chances are you will feel like you didn’t even do anything for yourself.
Plan Again. Make sure to keep the momentum going, so plan / calendar block / enlist the help of others so you can get out for your next activity!