Maintaining a Sense of Self In Motherhood
A few weeks ago I was tapping through Instagram stories and came across a quote that just stopped me in my tracks pertaining to my roles and responsibilities in motherhood, and maintaining a sense of self through out this journey.
I was coming off a day where my personal roles and responsibilities were swallowing me whole. It had been a day of being a short order chef, a chauffeur, a referee, and a maid. They were all things that definitely needed to be done, but I was feeling a little lost in the chaos of those responsibilities.
Monica goes on to say that “Roles and Responsibilities matter. But we lose ourselves when our identities are based solely on what we do instead of who we really are”. I would go on to add that we lose ourselves when we base our self worth completely on what we “accomplish” each day.
Through the past couple weeks I have mulled over this thought and asked myself and many close friends how they maintain a sense of self in the middle of all the day to day things we need to get done. How do we bring ourselves in to our roles and responsibilities?
Here are a few ideas that I had pertaining to myself and my journey with motherhood.
Involve Your Kids in the Things You Enjoy
To Maintain a Sense of Self in Motherhood
I love creating. I love scrapbooking, crafting, painting, coloring, and sewing. These are things I LOVED doing before I became a mother. And just because I am a mother doesn’t mean I can’t still love them. Some crafts I want to do alone. But many days I will pull out a stack of creative art supplies and sit with my kids to create something with them. This helps ground me to my sense of creativity but also includes my kids. I feel a sense of joy watching them do something that I love.
I love Reading. No matter how busy my life is, my nose is always in at least 3 different books at a time. And not only do I not want to let go of that love, but I want my kids to enjoy reading like I do. So I incorporate reading into much of our day-to-day lives. And not just “reading” but reading to learn. When we were approaching potty training with my son, we picked out several books about potty training to read together. Or if my daughter is struggling with self-esteem we read books about being uniquely “you”. I love reading to learn something new too. This is a part of me that has trickled down into my motherhood journey.
I love music. I noticed recently that kind of unintentionally I play different kinds of music throughout the day based on my responsibilities or the “mood” I am in, or trying to set. Music has always set a tone for my life (pun intended) and I’ve integrated that love into my kids’ lives too. Sunday morning we listen to a religious Pandora station to help us get in a worship frame of mind. During homework, we listen to Disney. When we are cleaning I turn on Broadway show tunes or something we can really sing along to together. And when we are driving to the beach I turn on Jack Johnson. This is a part of who I am, and a part I can not only share with my kids but maintain in myself.
I Love Being Outside. In the midst of everyday lives, It can actually be tricky to have genuine outside time. I have always loved being in nature, hiking, camping, exploring. But when I became a mother it was sometimes daunting to find the time, and energy to load up the kids and do these things. I just knew I had to do it. So I make it a priority to spend at least 30 minutes outside a day (weather permitting). If we can walk on errands we do, if we want a play date I suggest a park, if it’s too hot outside we include water play, if I need some grown-up time I meet a friend for a walk and bring the kids’ bikes. Being outside with my kids helps me fill my sunshine quota for the day, and it gets the kids active and moving, and exploring alongside me.
I love making days special. Even before I became a mother I loved celebrating birthdays, big holidays, little holidays, and national food days. This is something I love even MORE now that I am a mom. I like planning and executing special days and making memories along the way. I am the type of mom that plans a whole special day just because it’s a random Tuesday and we needed a pick me up. Being defined by my love to celebrate is not lost in my motherhood journey.
These are just a few ideas that I had when I thought about who I am, and how I maintain my sense of self in the middle of the day-to-day demands of motherhood. As we approach Mother’s Day this year I encourage you to recognize yourself and find yourself in motherhood again. You deserve it.
For a few more self-care tips check out this post.