As we get older we add more hats to our head. Growing up you might have just been daughter, friend, sister, but now you may be daughter, friend, sister, aunt, wife, career chick, mom, stepmom, chaufer, chef, launderer, maid, etc. So, moms, I ask you, how do you maintain your sense of self as a woman?
This is something I began struggling with when I got married. I instantly felt an enormous pressure to be this whole other person…a wife. Even though my husband and I had been together for nearly eight years something had changed. I could no longer think only of myself.
Then, I started going through infertility treatments and became so self-involved that I forgot about my husband and everyone else. In a way, you have to be self-involved to be successful because everything you do, eat, and drink plays a factor in your fertility.
But, the question remains- How do you maintain your sense of self?
First, ask yourself these questions:
- Who are the most important people in my life?
- What gives me joy?
- When do I feel the most energized?
- What makes me feel good about myself?
- How do I want people to describe me?
- Where do I want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
- Who do I want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
Think carefully about the answers to these questions and WRITE them down. If you want to go the extra mile, create a collage of images that answer these questions.
Then, create an action plan related to these answers. For example, sending a card to the people you care about or clling them and setting a date to catch up. Schedule a time to do the things that give you joy every day, week or month, depending on how reasonable that would be. Make an effort to do the things that energize you more. Research people you admire and find out how they go to where they are and decide what you can change about your life to become who you want to be again.
Every Sunday night I look at my calendar for the week and I schedule:
- Time to shop for, and prepare clean, energizing meals
- Time for a run around the lake, zumba, and hot yoga
- An evening date or happy hour with a girlfriend or group of friends
- A meal or two with just my husband
- An afternoon by the pool reading and relaxing
Bonus: if I can fit in a glass of wine or a bubble bath, I’ll add that, too!
This is often easier said than done, but there was a time when I allowed my want for a baby to become the only focus in my life and I don’t want to do that again. When all your energy is focused outside yourself its easy to lose yourself. As a mother, it’s easy for you to focus only on your to-do list, potty training, appointments, bills, what’s for dinner, etc. But, it’s not good for you or your child for you to lose who you are.
How do you maintain your sense of self?