First I’m ME, Then I’m Mama
Listen, I eat, sleep, and breathe #momlife. I’m all Mama, all day, everyday. But let’s get one thing straight, before there was “mama”, there was me… and I’m not willing to lose that.
Like many of you, I feel like being a mom is my calling. As much as I complain about my children’s unrelenting need for me and not my husband, I secretly love it. Why? Because I know they won’t be so little and so needy forever. I know they won’t always want to be in the exact spot that I’m in or to give me kisses and hold my hand around their friends. And though they fill me with love and joy on the daily, they’re also quite tiring and both physically and emotionally taxing.
When I started my motherhood journey, I assumed that the way to be my best version of Mama was to devote 110% of my life to my children. I didn’t need help, because I was made for this and this was my job now. As time has passed, I’ve realized how wrong that sweet, naive new Mama was. That new Mama was stressing over the littlest things, snapping at her husband, and crying out of frustration more than she’d admit. Then it hit me: I was losing myself in motherhood. I’ve realized that in order to be my best self, I’ve got to be ME before I can be Mama. I absolutely have to maintain an identify outside of #momlife in order to keep my sanity.
It isn’t that I’m not totally in love with motherhood. It’s more that if I don’t take some regular time to be an adult woman, who interacts with other adults about things other than nap schedules, playgrounds, and preschools, I might lose it. If I don’t take a few hours where I can just have peace and quiet (whether it’s a massage, a long run, or a solo Target trip), my brain gets overwhelmed and my patience runs low. I become this frantic, zero-tolerance version of myself who frustrates herself with her snappy attitude. But after a little “me time”? A girl’s night can rejuvenate my soul. A date night can rekindle our insatiable romance. A long run can be cathartic.
I’ll never apologize for this form of self-care. Motherhood has changed me in countless ways, but I won’t let it change this. Among the chaos that is motherhood, I still need time to find and nurture me.