Finding a balance between me as an individual and me as a mom is something I have struggled with from the very moment I became a mom. I jumped right into the role with both feet and never looked back. I threw who I was to the curb, never thinking twice about the person I left behind. I was so focused and determined to be the best mom I could be and thought that was all that mattered. Now here I am, 3 years later, thinking about that person, trying to figure out who they were.
As I said in the post about my life for the last three years, it has been filled with everything baby. From the moment I wake up, to the moment I go to sleep, and even in my dreams, it is all baby. I have a difficult time steering my thoughts away from anything baby related and the moment that I do, I feel instant guilt.
For 3 years I have put everything I am and everything I have into being a mom and I have enjoyed every moment, but I start to think back and slowly realize I really haven’t done anything for me… and I felt guilty just writing that! I haven’t taken the time to go out and do something that I love, I haven’t stopped to focus on helping me become a better me and I most definitely haven’t put time towards my relationships. I have simply just been a mom.
I am a mom 24/7 and I feel as though I have lost touch with who I am. I have lost touch with the outside world, I have lost touch with friends and I have lost touch with what it is like to be an individual person. I don’t know how to balance everything and I don’t know what it takes to make that happen. I think it is one of the most challenging things I have had to deal with in my life.
I see how unbalanced my life is sometimes and I have seen the effects it causes. I don’t give myself a chance to clear my mind or enjoy time with other people. I don’t give myself time to spend with Dan and work on our relationship and I can start to see how our relationship has changed. By not taking the time to be with each other and do things without our kids, we lose the relationship we had and the connection we worked to build for so many years. We just end up becoming 2 people raising kids together.
This is something I know I really need to work on and actually make it a priority. I need to figure out a way to take time for myself, to focus on me and reconnect with who I use to be. I have to learn to step away from my kids and learn that it is OK to do so.
Guilt has played a big role in my struggle of finding balance. I feel guilty, thinking about anything other than my kids and I feel guilty for thinking I could do something without them. I feel guilty for thinking of me and for the thought that I haven’t done anything for myself.
I start to question things and ask myself, how could I think about anyone other than my kids? And what do I need that is so important that I have to stop and think about or do for me that is more important than them? I tell myself I don’t need to go out and I don’t need to be around other people because when I do go out with them I talk to people and that is the same as if I was to go out by myself or with friends, when in reality it’s not the same thing. It feels like a never-ending cycle that I can’t seem to break.
Dan likes to refer to this stage in my life as “mom mode” and it is a pretty accurate title to have. Right now my mind is focused on my kids and being there for them. I know I will be in mom mode for the rest of my life and I don’t think it will ever go away, but I do think that the intensity will decrease with time. As they get older I know I won’t worry as much and will be more comfortable leaving them, but when will that time be?
I have always said I wouldn’t let having kids stop me from doing anything and it’s true, Dan and I have done so much with them. From going to the movies and out for dinner, to shopping and driving to Florida, we have continued to do the things we did before. Little did I know, that it has stopped me from being my own person. I want to find the right balance between every aspect of my life and I feel it is something important that I need to work on. I don’t want to lose sight of who I am and I don’t want to end up so disconnected from the outside world. I hope I can find a way to go out and enjoy time as myself with friends and Dan and be able to do things for me without feeling guilty for leaving the babies. I know it will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I need to take on and make it work.
How have you been able to find balance between your life as a parent and your life as an individual?
How long has it taken you to feel comfortable leaving and not feeling guilty for doing so?