Occasionally, I like to write posts about ME. It seems self-centered and possibly self serving, but I think it helps others too. Recently, I had an opportunity to discuss with my eldest (15 yr old, One) how women often "lose themselves" to motherhood. I explained that I did, long ago when her and her sister-18 months apart-were small and taking care of them consumed ALL of my energy.
I realize some of my fatal mistakes, and hope that by sharing them I can save (or at least minimize) her this experience. Maybe some of you are new(er) moms, maybe some of you aren't newere moms but are ONLY moms (having lost yourself to motherhood, and been unable to find yourself again,) maybe YOU can benefit from my learning, too. Mistakes I made:
1. I didn't take care of myself. Like, at all. I ate poorly. I didn't exercise. I didn't read. I didn't dance. I didn't DO any of the things that I LOVED and ENJOYED prior to becoming a mother. It was like giving birth ripped who *I* was, right out of me.
2. I didn't have a partner. I had a man who lived in my house. He played with our children. But he was NOT my partner. I don't say that with any contempt or blame for him, truly. I knew what he was like going in. I chose to think it would change, or somehow would be different. That's MY fault, not his.
3. I cut myself off from the outside world, and therefore, any possible support system I could have developed. I'm an idiot.
I see mothers every day who are clearly lost in motherhood. I can remember a time when if someone had asked me "What I like to do?" or "How do you spend your 'free' time?" I'd have had no response...I'd have had to think of ANYTHING that had ANYTHING to do with ANYTHING other than my children. Maybe that's what some people want from life. It wasn't for me. And, I have a hard time believing that those people are fulfilled or happy in their core. I think we have an innate being in us, and that being doesn't cease to exist because we procreated, or adopted a child. That being will suffer from being ignored just as much as a child would.
I encourage you, yes YOU, to find YOU. You are still in their somewhere. That being, the girl who existed BEFORE anyone called you Mom, she's waiting for you to return to her. Nurture her. Love her. The rewards will be JUST as great as those you are already receiving from being "Mom."
Lastly, I promise you the TWO of you can co-exist. "Mom" and "You" can live in harmony. Strike a balance. You will benefit. Your relationships with others will benefit. Your child will benefit.
Love you. It allows you to more effectively love others.
I continued this in a part 2, and 3.