Before I became a mom, I was an avid trail runner and an ambitious reader. I wrote cookbooks for a living. I hosted dinner parties. I traveled. And, given the chance, I would spend all night dancing.
When I became a mom, I stopped doing those things. It was almost like that woman died and the new mom version of me took her place.
Like a lot of mothers, I gave up old activities because my priorities shifted when my baby started relying on me for survival, and for love. Then there were the realities of my suddenly limited time and, yes, money. But I also see now that I pushed those interests aside because I didn’t think a good mom would prioritize such shallow activities over spending time with her baby.
That went on for a few years. But then something shifted in me when baby number two turned one last January: I decided that in 2015 I would stop waiting to be more than a mom.
It was certainly a challenging time to start prioritizing myself. I had two kids under the age of 4 and a husband who worked long hours at a demanding job. We’d recently moved. And I was trying to grow my life coaching practice on top of all that.
But while all that was going on around me, there was another reality I had to acknowledge.
If not now, when?
It was that single thought that propelled me into action and helped me find time and space for me in my life.
So now, at the end of this year-long experiment, I've discovered how I can be a good mom and still carve out space to engage with the old me again. (And if you want to learn exactly how I went about balancing motherhood and me time, you find out HERE.)
These days, I might not consume an entire novel in a weekend but I do read a few pages before bed each night. I don’t go out dancing but I do dance daily with my girls to music I love - even if it's not always appropriate for little ears. I ask for help. I delegate. I let things go. And I made all those changes in my life so I can spend more time doing the things I love – the things that I need to feel whole again.
It’s easy for moms to stay silent as we struggle with the loss of our old lives and our old selves. But staying silent only encourages guilt and shame about having these very real feelings about motherhood. When we talk about these challenges instead of hiding from them, they stop being so taboo. And when they stop being so taboo, we can support and encourage each other as we find ways to be a mom and an individual too.
You don’t have to give up everything about the old you when you become a mom. That woman you used to be? She’s still there. And she’s waiting for you to find her again in ways big and small.
And if that all sounds great but you're wondering how you could possibly make it happen for yourself, I'm here to support you. Just CLICK HERE to get a FREE copy of A NEW MOM's GUIDE TO BALANCING MOTHERHOOD AND ME TIME so you can discover exactly how to get back to you starting today.
To believing your time is now,