Finding yourself after having children

Writing about this topic brings me so much excitement knowing I can help a mom who is struggling to understand who she is postpartum. So let’s get into it…

I feel confident writing about this because I too felt so lost after becoming a mom. It took 3 children and a panic attack to get me to take a step back and look at myself for the first time in a long time.

The thing that confused me the most was when I looked at myself, like really looked at myself and I had no idea who I was. I knew I didn’t relate to the person I used to be. I didn’t have the same values, same likes, same dreams. I didn’t like doing the things I used to do before kids anymore. It was like a woke up from a 6 year coma with a very faded memory and was handed a husband and 3 kids. “WHO THE HELL IS THIS PERSON IN THIS BODY I POSSES” I exclaimed as I looked at myself.

After sitting with these feelings of confusion, madness, and sadness I rested and reflected on every moment of my life after I became a mom. The only life I saw was a life of working, taking care of children, and house chores. I was stuck in martyrdom and I didn’t even realize it. Maybe I naturally lived like this because this is how I saw my mother living her life and I thought “well this is life after kids.” Maybe I really was so busy that I just neglected the fact that I was a person too with needs & wants. Maybe it was a little of both reasons. One thing that became clear to me was that I was done living like this. I didn’t have a plan but I knew that I wanted to start living and I wanted to get to know who this new person was I was sharing my body with.

Before you even begin… I want you to know that you are not selfish for starting to prioritize yourself. A lot of mom guilt and feelings can come up when we start prioritizing ourselves as people instead of being someone’s spouse or mother. You need to do the work of changing your mindset so you can do this work with less guilt. The guilt will always come up, your awareness of it and your mindset shift will help you grow mindful that what you are doing benefits yourself and your family.

Helpful tip: Get your kids on some sort of schedule. This will help you plan the time you need for yourself. If you don’t start a routine/schedule you will easily forget to take time for yourself (that’s how we got here in the first place.)

How I started discovering myself postpartum

The first step I took to figure myself out was to step out of motherhood. No I don’t mean take a long month vacation away from your family. If you can, spend an hour a day to yourself. Go for a walk, go to the library, go sit somewhere by yourself for an hour a day. Just sit with yourself and your thoughts. Stepping outside of motherhood is an important step for self discover. You can’t cling onto who you are as a mother to who you are outside of motherhood.

The second step is to start journaling. You can even journal during these alone times you take. Write down any feeling you are having. Have a few journal prompts to ask yourself. Journaling still is a big part of my lifestyle. It helped me get to know who I was now. Prompts that helped me were the following…

Ask yourself these questions to get to know yourself more and discover the things you like doing.

The third step is to take action and try new things. To know if you like something you have to actually try it. Go for a run, if you don’t like it… now you know running isn’t your thing. Try yoga, if you loved it start to practice yoga at least once a week. If you didn’t like it at least you tried it and now you know you don’t like it. Start making a small lists of things you can try every week to learn more about your likes, and your dislikes. This is how I discovered what workouts I liked and that benefited me the most, and what kind of self care worked for me too. I would have never known if I didn’t try a few things first.

Important note: This isn’t something you’re going to get the hang of or even learn from one day to the next. Please please please be patient with yourself. Just like growing a baby and recovering from a baby takes time, learning about yourself will also take time. If you feel like you are struggling please feel free to contact me. I am always here for guidance and support.

We can do hard things, like discovering ourselves postpartum.

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