Do you feel like you lost yourself when you became a mom? Here are some realistic tips on rediscovering yourself after motherhood. Take time to focus on you!
As a mom, it’s SO easy to focus on the needs of your kids and family that you neglect (or “forget”) that you are your own person and have your own self.
For me, as a single mom, it feels even harder. I often feel like any “free” time I have should be spent either working or cleaning or doing something “productive” (i.e. helping my kids).
Often, I feel like my entire life is doing whatever my kids need or want. Ugh.
Focusing on spending time on myself just for pure joy was really hard at first.
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Why Do Moms Lose Their Identity?
Your life changes overnight when you become a mom.
It’s such a drastic change that nothing will be the same again!
Not only are you now tired and probably overwhelmed, you also have to take care of a needy little human (or 2!) that you can’t leave alone.
You might feel like you have lost your identity because:
- You have little (or no) free time away from your kids.
- Your relationships with friends and family change.
- All routines change and center around your kids – their “schedule” is now your life.
- You feel isolated.
- You worry about your kids all the time.
- You worked and had an identity there, but now you stay home (or work less or feel pulled in many directions).
- You don’t have enough help to take a break.
- You want to keep to your hobbies, but now they are outside of your budget.
Signs You Have Lost Yourself in Motherhood
If you are wondering if you have lost yourself in motherhood, ask yourself:
Have you lost sight of your self and your goals?
Do you only talk about your kids or does your life seem to revolve only around them?
Do you feel that life is boring, mundane, and repetitive?
Are you wishing you had your old life back?
If you are struggling with these things and with difficult emotions about being a mom and you don’t get help, your mental and emotional health (and sometimes physical health) can suffer.
You may need to make some changes in your life to have some outside interests and spend time without your kids.
Or, you might need to see a therapist for a while.
How to Rediscover Yourself as a Mom
If you feel a bit lost, then you need to take steps toward rediscovering yourself after motherhood.
First, it’s important to set realistic expectations here.
You simply can’t have the exact same life you had when you were carefree and single without kids.
Rediscovering yourself after motherhood involves:
1. Getting Support
Despite the focus on “super moms”, no one can raise kids alone. We ALL need support of some kind.
It’s important that you build up a support system.
Reach out for help!
Find a local mom group (via Facebook, through a local church or community center, or Meetup).
If you need to, schedule time for a babysitter to come over regularly so you can have a break.
As a single mom, I realized that I needed to have regular, planned breaks away from my kids so I hired a local teenager to come at least biweekly so I could go out by myself.
This is not taking a shower by yourself!
Self-care is when you do something that gives you joy.
If you need some ideas, check out this list of hobbies for moms.
Steps to Take in Rediscovering Yourself After Motherhood
You can start small in rediscovering yourself.
Remember, your kids are watching you – all the time. They are learning what it’s like to be an adult (and a mom and a good citizen and…)
What do you want them to learn about life from watching you?
That being a mom is soul-sucking and you should never take time to do something that brings you joy?
As a single mom, I have 2 daughters and I certainly don’t want them to grow up and have bitter thoughts about motherhood.
Here are some concrete steps you can take to rediscover yourself after becoming a mom:
1. Write Down Your Passions
Take a piece of paper and write down a list of all your passions. Write down things you haven’t yet tried, but would like to.
Think about what used to spark your passions before you became a mom.
What excites you?
2. Set Goals
Set a couple of short and long term goals.
We feel better and happier when we meet our goals and check them off.
You might have some personal, financial, spiritual, or creative goals.
Save up enough money to go on a vacation to Mexico.
Exercise 3 times a week.
Meditate for 10 minutes every day.
Write your goals down.
3. Choose at Least One Goal
Choose one goal and write it down in your daily schedule right now. Focus on spending just 10 minutes a day on working toward your goal.
Don’t forget that you can include your kids in your hobbies.
4. Review in a Few Months
After a few months, review your goal and see if you want to change it or add to it.
If you are so busy and still feel you don’t have time, then encourage your kids to be independent.
Not only will their independence help you, they will learn valuable skills to become self-confident and successful adults.
Other Ways For Rediscovering Yourself After Motherhood
Here are other steps to consider and implement!
1. Schedule Time to Yourself
Moms, it’s very important to schedule a bit of time to yourself.
You can’t give to your kids and family if your own cup is empty.
Make sure to keep yours filled by prioritizing your needs, then you won’t feel burned out and can give to others.
Start by scheduling a longer block of time once a week to do something by yourself (not showering haha).
Focus on choosing something that energizes you.
But, it’s also important to have at least 10 minutes a day to yourself.
2. Get Outside
Stepping outside and getting fresh air and a change of scenery can really help your mental health and mood. This is especially helpful for stay at home moms of really little kids.
It’s best to get outside in nature, but you can also be energized by going to a store or museum – anything outside of your home routine.
You can try a new park, take the kids to a new play place or museum, or go to a coffee shop for snacks (and coffee for you!).
Spending lot of time with little kids can make you really crave adult company.
Schedule time to visit with other moms. Let your kids play together while you chat (this helps a lot!).
Have a fun night out with friends.
Get a part time job or a volunteer position (to get out and be with other adults).
Go on date nights.
Note: Dress up! I find that my mood is boosted when I dress better (think jeans and nice shirts instead of pjs or yoga pants and a scrubby t-shirt). I sometimes add makeup too!
4. Practice Gratitude
Be thankful and teach your kids to be thankful too!
5. Ditch Mom Guilt
Be kind to yourself and let things go. You can certainly set up routines and use other tricks to help you manage your life, but honestly, you just need to let some things go sometimes.
You can’t achieve a Pinterest-perfect lifestyle without killing yourself, mama!
Get rid of mom guilt and just do the best you can.
6. Try Something New
Finally, take a step out of yourself and your routine and try something new.
This could be:
- a new exercise class
- a brand new hobby
- a trip away for the weekend (or the day or an hour!)
Comfort Zone Challenge
Final Thoughts on Rediscovering Yourself After Motherhood
Don’t let yourself get lost as a mom. Take time and some steps (even small ones) to find yourself again and try some of these things. What did you find helpful to rediscover yourself after motherhood?