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  • Writer's pictureWhitney G

Getting Lost in "Mommy"

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

The questions, "What do you like to do?" and "Can you tell me a little about yourself?" are some of THE HARDEST questions to answer as a mother. The call to parenthood, is such a big one, and for some of us, it can truly start to take over our entire identity. If you know me personally, you can just skip this blog, because this conversation will be an all too familiar one. I talk about this topic so much, but it's because it really is my passion to remind other mothers that they're so much more than “mommy,” and it's 100% okay to delight in things outside of their children. Not only is it okay, but your kids, and your relationship with them, may suffer if you don't.

Mommy is Forever, but Not Really

Yes, you will ALWAYS be mom. I'm 32 years old, married with children of my own, and I still call my parents for things. Believe me, they aren't going to let you shake that title, but it won't always be your full-time job. "Are the kids up for school" and "have they eaten breakfast" won't forever be the first thoughts to start your morning. We joke about that day coming, but are you really prepared for it? How will you fill your time? What will be your reason for waking up each morning? These are questions that we all need to start asking ourselves so that we don't wake up one day lost and unfulfilled.

I don't want my fellow mama's waking up without purpose because they got lost in being mommy. You should find things that you can do for yourself now; you don't have to wait. I'm not talking about the things that we, as mothers, categorize as "me time" but in reality, are things everyone should be afforded. I'm not talking about extra long showers, a childless trip to the grocery store, or an evening of Netflixing. You should choose something that you can build on or get better at. The best activities you can choose are things that'll hold your interest over time, or that you will be able to turn into a full-time deal once your kids have grown and moved on to start their own lives.

For me, right now that thing is school. I am preparing for my career that will begin once I no longer have little ones at home during the day. School will quickly be replaced by work, and I'll find purpose in that, since I’ve chosen a field that I’m passionate about. It‘ll be a part of me, outside of motherhood, that likely won't be leaving when the kids do. I also like to hike (in the summer), craft, travel, participate in group bible studies with other women and look at real estate. I make sure to carve out time for these things where I can now so that when I have more free time I can really dive into them.

Mariah and I in Time Square from a short sisters trip that we took to New York.

This was taken on a trip I took to Bali for my 30th birthday. I got a LOT of flack for "not celebrating with my family," but I have no regrets!

Sounds Good

Now, I want all of these things for you, but I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes thinking, "sounds good, but exactly when am I going to do all of these things Whitney?" Well, my answer for you is...make it happen! If it were something that your children needed, you would undoubtedly find a way, and you HAVE to make it a priority. I find that it's easiest to make sure you get your time, if you schedule it. If you just say, I'm going to do "X" sometime this week, chances are, life will get in the way, and you'll never get your time. So, set a specific date and time that doesn't conflict with anyone's schedule for the week, and don't let anyone crowd you out.

This doesn't have to be a standing date. You can take it week by week. Also, it's important to know that you WILL run into challenges that'll have you making excuses as to why the timing isn't right, or make you feel like your financial situation needs to change first, but those are just the voices of your guilt for prioritizing yourself. Don't listen to them. Making the adjustment from completely neglecting yourself to loving yourself into a fulfilled woman may require some planning or change, and that'll look different for everyone. It could mean waking up earlier, getting a sitter, or being better about your spending. Whatever it is, you have GOT to make it happen. If you don't, it can and will, be damaging to you and your children.

Exactly How is this Making You a Better Mom?

When your children watch you do things that make you happy, it helps them to see you as a whole person. It‘ll help them to understand that your sole purpose in this life is not to serve them. Mom guilt will definitely kick in, but DO NOT let it deter you from doing things for yourself. It's in our nature to look up to, and respect, people that we want more time with. Basically, it goes back to the old adage that “distance makes the heart grow fonder,” and this is no different for our kiddos. Your children will appreciate you more when they don't have 24/7 access to you. I mean, we're talking about 4-6 hours a week, it's not like you're leaving them for dead, but this can feel like a lot when you're a mom that's used to being with you're children every hour of every day.

You aren't as available, not in a bad way, but in a good way. When we're home with our kids 24/7 they'll assuredly ask for help for EVERYTHING. Meaning well, we usually oblige. When you aren't there, I know it seems hard to believe, but...they will figure it out. Since I've started school, I've seen my children become so much more independent. They've developed a confidence that can't be taught, and I know it wouldn't have come to be, had I been right there tending to their every desire. They slowly begin to realize that they're far more capable than they could've ever imagined, and honestly it is a beautiful thing to watch. Our job as mothers is to prepare our children for the real world, and let's face it, doing everything for them, all the time, is simply not doing that.

Take a moment to watch this video for some tips and tricks to "staying you" on your motherhood journey.

Back to Basics

I have seen too many moms completely break down when the day comes for their children to leave. The breakdown doesn't always look the same, but it's a breakdown nonetheless. I've seen tears flowing followed by absolute fear in the eyes of these women as they realize they have no idea what is next for them, no idea who they are apart from their children. I've seen mothers, intentionally and unintentionally, hold their children back from flourishing simply because they aren't ready for that next chapter, and they have no clue what not being needed on a daily basis means for them, or their value.

I know its hard, but try to think back before you were a mom. You know...when free time was a thing. What did you like to do? What kinds of things did you fill that free time with. Was it hanging out with friends? Date nights with your spouse? Maybe you liked to be outdoors or workout. I want to challenge you to try to reincorporate one of those things back into your life, and pick one new thing to pursue. You will be better for it, and so will your kids.

Just My Thoughts,

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