Being a mom is a lifelong commitment. It asks everything of you, and it calls for constant learning and adapting. It’s beautiful, incomparable, remarkable, and immeasurably challenging. Once kids become part of your selfhood, it often feels like there’s no more room for your inner ballerina, cook, writer, business leader, or dreamer. But no matter how life-changing motherhood can be, or how in love you are with being a mom, your identity, your selfhood shouldn’t suffer.
Without stifling the rest of your identity, you can still accomplish yourself as a wonderful parent and make time and energy for being everything else that you already are. That can be a difficult task, especially since it’s so tempting to spend all of our time letting our inner mom blossom. If you give other parts of yourself evolve and bloom, remember: your mamahood will also thrive. By giving your entire identity the space it needs to flourish, you’ll achieve the same in your role as a parent. Here are a few things to help you embrace this mindset!
Ten-minute hobbies to the rescue
Okay, having kids is a time-consuming, energy-draining role. With that knowledge, you cannot possibly set the bar too high from day one and then expect yourself to devote every available moment to a new activity while worrying about your little rascals. It takes time to build a routine that takes into account all facets of your wonderful personality, and why not do that in increments that make sense for you?
You can find a hobby such as painting, writing, or yoga that will help you learn something new that you love, but also reduce your anxiety in these trying times. Explore different options before you settle on something. Try allocating ten-minute increments in your daily schedule to enjoy something you love, and slowly develop a hobby that will bring you joy.
Don’t neglect your professional self
Moms in different industries often take some time off when they join the mom ranks. Especially if you work in stressful and demanding industries such as healthcare or law, it can be extremely challenging to balance a career with your new parental role. That, however, is no excuse to abandon your professional dreams. In fact, as more moms enter healthcare, you can develop your own medical career and get back on track.
What matters most is that you take your time to obtain the necessary certifications that will help your career evolve. For example, many moms love contributing to healthcare by working with kids. In that sense, getting PALS certification to master the latest pediatric life support methods and tools can help you grow your career, but at the same time be a better role model for your kids. You’ll also actively help all other moms whose kids need such advanced help and care, and thus fulfill your purpose on many different levels.
Self-care front and center
How often do you take the time to pamper yourself? With a toddler on your hands, hardly ever, most likely. Most moms even later in their lives tend to forego all kinds of self-care in order to be there for their families. That is a noble pursuit, but there are ways to mix and match, to still be a devoted parent but at the same time care for your wellbeing.
You can try redefining your diet to eat more plant-based foods and cleanse your body. You can also take up a fitness class or create your own fitness regime at home – with that same 10-minute principle in mind! Rethink how you sleep, so that you can get enough rest every night, and that’s the best skincare favor you’ll do yourself.
Bring out your sexual, loving self
We all know where babies come from. Your love for your partner or spouse is the basis for your new mama role, and you should be proud of your sensual, sexual connection with your significant other. Many moms need a self-confidence boost to feel better in their own skin after giving birth, but even without that conundrum, you shouldn’t neglect intimacy in your relationship.
Reconnect with your partner on a daily basis, through small acts of closeness, be it holding, kissing, or those long soulful gazes. Work on your own sexuality in your relationship and unleash your desire, as this is a part of you that needs to breathe and live in all of its glory, too!
Moms need friendships, too
When was the last time you had a cup of coffee with your bestie, without the kids around? Or taken a Saturday spa escape with your favorite gals? Yes, mamahood requires sacrifices, but socialization and friendships, in general, are what makes us human, and we crave closeness beyond our family.
If it’s too difficult to jump to coffee dates, you can have a Zoom coffee date with your best friend, at least until the pandemic passes. Schedule regular catch-up calls with your closest friends and family members to know what’s happening in their lives. Even though your new role will indeed take so much of your time, make sure you build your social bonds.
Now that you have embraced this new and exciting role in your life of being a parent, consider it an opportunity to learn more about your entire self. Get to know the child within you, keep allowing your partnership with your spouse to grow and deepen, and give yourself every opportunity to develop all of your other social bonds. Above all – don’t forget self-care. You are setting an example for your little one, and by showing them that you are a wholesome, colorful, vivid person, they will strive to discover and create their own life, one exciting day at a time.