Finding the Girl in the Mirror: Remembering You in the Ups and Downs of Motherhood

Who is that girl?

After many sleepless nights, I took notice of my reflection staring back at me in the mirror. Who is that girl? I did not recognize this person with tired eyes, black circles, probably wearing yesterday’s t-shirt, and overly caffeinated to try and make it through the day.  

The reflection I saw did not remotely resemble the girl I used to be. That girl was fun and full of life. She was well rested and did not drink too much coffee to function. Her life revolved around weekend plans and lazy Saturday mornings. This former version of myself is definitely gone and this unrecognizable person staring back has a different set of priorities. She constantly thinks about what diapers to buy, when was the last time the kids ate a vegetable, car seats, behavior problems…the list is endless. My mind races with thoughts of fulfilling my family’s needs.

Where along the way did I lose myself sight of myself, and can I find my way back?

Balancing Act

Maintaining your own identity with kids is a difficult balancing act. Being a mom is rewarding, yet overwhelming. It is easy to lose sight of yourself in the chaos and joy of parenting.  The job of mom is of the utmost importance, and the opportunity to nurture babies into young adults is a gift. But, it is not an easy task, so remember to be kind to yourself along the way.

Moms strive to put their family first. The busyness of life can outweigh the importance of a self-assessment of your feelings and desires, resulting in a feeling of weariness both mentally and physically. Burnout is inevitable when solely focusing on tiny human beings and ignoring your needs. In order to be the best version of yourself, rejuvenate your well-being with activities that make you happy. It is okay to focus on you! 

Date Yourself

Remember what makes you, you! What makes your heart happy? Take time to date yourself and embrace what you love or be bold and seek out new adventures. Personally, I rejuvenate by reading, working out, going for a walk, getting dressed, and putting on makeup. Even enjoying a simple, quiet cup of coffee can do wonders. Evenings or weekends spent with your spouse or girlfriends could be a great opportunity to revive your outlook on life. Activities that make you feel alive and nurture your interests is time well spent. Taking time to focus on only you helps you to be at your best to love and serve the ones you love the most.  

Enlist the Help of Your Support System

Finding time to date yourself is easier said than done.  Enlist the help of your support system to make time for you possible. Arrange with your spouse for one another to take time for yourselves. Talk to your mom friends and swap times watching each other’s children. Grandparents are always a great resource if they are close by and willing to help. There are many great community resources available, such as Parents’ Day/Night Out and Play and Learn, to give you a short break and well-deserved time to be you. Check out our local YMCA branches for more information. 

Embrace the Challenge of Motherhood and Still Being You

Motherhood is a life-long journey. We will always be moms, but the time our little ones constantly need and demand our full attention is short and fleeting. You do not want to wake up one day and not know yourself outside of being a mom.  I challenge you to get reacquainted with the person you see in the mirror!

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