Let’s face it – becoming a mom takes over your life. All of a sudden your entire existence become all about another person – and while it is perhaps THE greatest feeling of all – whether you are a first time mom or mom of 3+, so many of us often lose ourselves in the process of transition from parentless to parent.
I can personally say this because it happened to me. It still happens to me if I’m not careful. After my daughter was born in 2015, I went through a time where I completely lost myself and who I was. I barely had time to think, let alone read in peace, be with friends or do any of my hobbies that make me feel like “me”. I was there for my daughter, my family and my work…but I wasn’t truly there in the moment. I was just doing, not living. I would get up, get myself and my daughter ready, go to work, come home, dinner, bath, bedtime routine…then go to bed, get up the next day and do it all over again. I knew what I was doing was important, and I love my Mom title and will always be there for my family, but I realized I needed a little “Me” time to recharge and connect with who I am as an individual too. These are ways I have found that allow me to reconnect with my identity beyond just being a mom – I hope you find them useful for you too!
Some may say they find walking alone is boring, or even if you enjoy walking with a friend… I recommend you give it a try on your own. It is not very often we as moms don’t have someone talking to us or asking of us something. When I am out walking alone, my mind is completely free to let my thoughts flow without any interruption from kids, husband, sales clerk in the store, etc. My daughter and I often go for walks too, but most of the time my mind will start thinking about how much longer she will sit still before getting bored, hungry, tired, etc. Going for a walk alone, even if just once a week for 30 mins allows me to clear my head, organize my thoughts, and come home with a more peaceful mind.
2. Read a book alone.
I tend to pick fiction novels – ones that have a easy to follow light-hearted story. The thing I love most about reading these types of novels is I can escape easily into them. They do not require a lot of thinking, and when my brain is set to “on” mode all day, I like to curl up with my book and a nice glass of wine and just tune out from the real world. One of my favourite writers for this is Sophie Kinsella. But no matter what you enjoy reading, mysteries, personal development, etc – if it allows you time for yourself to relax your body and mind for a little while, then take it and run!
3. Watch a movie alone.
This for me, aside from sleeping, is the ultimate tune out mode. The last 2 points required some level of brain activity…but sometime I just want to complete shut off my brain. Is that ok?? One of my favourite things of watching a movie alone is I get to pick the movie! I get to gather my snacks – which I don’t have to share – pick my movie, and watch it. One of my favourite movies is The Notebook. The last time I got to watch it was over 3 years ago. The reason I haven’t watched it in over 3 years…!? Because even if my partner DID watch it with me, I’d have to put up with a lot of sighs and eye rolls – and who needs that wrecking the most romantic movie kiss ever?? So now if and when I do get an evening all to myself after the baby is in bed…then I can truly turn off and enjoy a movie.
Going to the movie theatre alone doesn’t seem like such a bad idea as it did back in my early twenties…
4. Shop alone.
Grocery shopping before kids was just another chore. Well, it’s even more of a chore now with kids in tow…but when I get the chance to go alone, it’s a real treat. When I have my daughter, I usually feel like I’m on a timer to get in and out before she either A: grabs something she wants, or B: starts getting fussy and I have to put up with those judgemental looks – you know the ones. So I rush around the store and almost always guaranteed to forget something. When I do get the chance to grocery shop by myself, or better yet, go shopping for myself by myself…again – I have time to think and sort my thoughts. Which is a good thing when I’m spending money! I realize a lot of moms out there don’t have the luxury of shopping alone – but if you ever do get the chance to, even if its just 30 mins to the grocery store, it’s totally worth it…take it!
5. Visit with friends alone.
This is a big one, if not the biggest for me. A huge huge huge contributor to me feeling disconnected with myself as an individual was feeling disconnected with the outside world…friends. This one is definitely not going to be easy for stay-at-home moms…but I strongly recommend you to try and set aside even just a couple hours once in a while to meet up with a friend by yourself. While it’s great to have friends who love your little ones or friends who have kids of their own, we all know there is a big difference between visiting with friends with kids vs. without kids. Just like shopping – when I meet up with friends with my daughter, I feel like I am on a timer. I try my hardest to focus on having a meaningful conversation, but my mind is always somewhat pre-occupied with thoughts concerning my daughter. For me, setting aside a bit of time here and there to focus on my friendships with no kiddie distractions is one of the biggest factors to me maintaining my own identity and keeping my sanity during those days when I haven’t had a proper adult conversation in what seems like forever.
Ultimately time for these things won’t present themselves for you. You need to claim “YOUR” time – and keep it! Since I have started making a bit of “me” time a priority by working it into our schedule, I feel like I have more confidence, more patience…and more relaxed knowing that I have that time set aside for me to recharge.
Just like that saying goes “It is not selfish to refill your own cup so that you can pour into others”. What are some things that you like to do by yourself that helps you recharge, reconnect and grow as a person? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored post. I am not affiliated with any links on this post. I just love books by Sophie Kinsella and the movie The Notebook and want to share them with everyone 🙂