Missing Persons

As a mom, have you ever felt like you've lost yourself?

Each day, for years on end, we are up with the sun (and sometimes BEFORE that), attending to the needs of others.

- Changing diapers
- Wiping noses
- Fixing breakfast/lunch/dinner
- Serving breakfast/lunch/dinner
- Cleaning up after breakfast/lunch/dinner
- Shuttling off to daycare/preschool/elementary school/high school
- Driving the Mom-Taxi in between soccer/pediatrician/speech therapy/Gymboree
- Washing laundry
- Folding laundry
- Putting laundry away
- Cleaning the house
- Organizing the house
- Re-organizing the house
- Paying bills
- Buying birthday presents
- Keeping the family schedule
- Keeping the family ON schedule

Watching the schedule slowly but surely eat away at your soul because, if you let it, the family schedule can consume you leaving nothing left but the shell of the woman you once knew. Instead of a vibrant, multi-faceted dynamo, you devolve into a nagging, haggard task master who hates the sound of her own bitching voice almost as much as your kids do.

Yes - it is easy to let this happen as a mom and at some point during the early years it WILL happen to you. It may be for a few days, few months or few years, but rest assured it WILL happen. The key is what YOU decide to do once your recognize that is HAS happened.

It is in YOUR control to change your family situation. No, you cannot change the way your kids or partner behave all the time (check that - AT ALL). But you can LEARN to control how YOU react to it. It is not an easy process. Trust me - in my current position as the BadAssMama on the milk carton, I know full well that once you become a missing person it can feel almost impossible to find your way home to your true self - the person you were before you had kids, the person you are when no one is around. But it is a battle we MUST fight and we MUST win.

Losing ourselves in the day-to-day details of raising a family not only wounds our souls, but sets the wrong example for our kids. Do you really want to give your kids the message that it's OK to put yourself last? That it's OK to burn the candle at both ends, so much so that at the end of the day you have absolutely nothing left to give to anyone - let alone yourself? Do you want them to believe that a good parent is one who works themselves to the bone for everyone else, putting their own health, sanity and happiness on hold?


We have the power to break the vicious cycle. I am not telling you to throw caution to the wind, ignore your family and let the dishes pile to the ceiling. I am telling you that at least once a day - EVERY DAY - every mom must make time for herself. Even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom with a magazine for 20 minutes, DO IT. Find a window of time to do something that only you enjoy - only for yourself.

I don't have the secret of how to have it all. I know that I am a woman, a wife, a mother and an executive all at the same time. I cannot prioritize one over the other because they are all vital parts of my being. But what I have learned, through trial and many an error, is that while I can be all of these things at once, I cannot DO all of these things at once. Sometimes the lines are blurred, and it is when I try to be all things to all people all at the same time that I begin to lose myself. When I try to be the perfect wife, perfect mother and perfect boss all in the same day, someone is going to catch hell and I will end the day crying on the bathroom floor.

I don't have all the answers. But I do know that all of these things are important to me - but not important enough to lose myself in the process.

Let's take this journey together, Mamas. Tell me how YOU find time for yourself in the midst of the craziness that we call motherhood. You are not alone. We can help each other.

I need your help too...
Me said...

Well, I am a 40 year old mommy of a 20 year old girl and a 14 year old boy. I have been mothering for half my life and taking time for yourself is a MUST. I tend to feel guilty if i don't do things with my children and this feeling was especially strong when they were younger but I had to force myself to get over it and live for me sometimes. I love taking longs walks alone. I'm talking LOOOONNNNNG walks. I love sitting and reading in a park or bookstore. My favorite thing to do hands down is taking full advantage of an empty house. I will papmer myself, deep condition my hair and put it in rollers, do my nails, drink a tall galss of wine and RELAX. I love to read your blog on my laptop over a glass of wine too:)

hellocindy said...

Moms feel way too much pressure to be it all and have it all. Such an unhealthy way to live. We must give ourselves permission to take a breather. Our family will thank us!

Post a Comment