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How I Reclaimed My True Self After I Got Lost In The Role Of Mom

How I Reclaimed My True Self After I Got Lost In The Role Of Mom

I’m sitting on the edge of the sofa, cradling Miles, my newborn son in one hand while Jamie, my 2-year-old son clings to my leg. It’s 8 am but I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime since dawn. 

Last night was tough – another sleepless struggle. The baby cried all night so I woke up a couple of times trying to soothe him.

I live like a single mom, to be honest. My husband and I are happily married but his work requires him to travel a lot and often he spends weeks on a business trip. Now he’s in Japan for five days.

I’m left to handle the kids on my own

– “Hungry…” Jamie mumbles looking up at me with his big eyes. 

I feel a pang of guilt. I wanted to be a perfect mom, the one who could juggle everything effortlessly, the one who could give both of her kids all the attention they deserve, but the reality is far from that. It’s all so hard.

– “Okay sweetie.” I say holding Miles in my arms. 

I go to the kitchen and make a simple breakfast for Jamie while trying to keep Miles calm. I try to overlook the remains of last night’s dinner lying on the counter.

Jamie eats his breakfast and I put Miles in a bouncer for a moment. I take a deep breath trying to enjoy a short break. Just a couple of minutes later, Jamie wants me to play with him and Miles starts fussing again.

I’m so focused on my kids that I neglect my own needs and desires. Then, one day I get…

The wake-up call in the mirror

My reflection in the mirror across the room shows some unknown woman staring at me. I barely recognize myself: dark circles frame my tired eyes and my hair looks like a mess. 

I wish I could have a moment for myself, without the weight of the exhaustion pressing down on me. If only I could get some rest.

I feel like crying, but I don’t have time for that. So I blink away the tears. I have to keep going. For Jamie. For Miles. For myself.

– “Mommy needs a quick shower, okay?”

Jamie nods and continues playing with his toys. I leave Miles in a bouncer, rush to the bathroom, leaving the door open so I can hear the kids. The warm shower feels so good, but it doesn’t wash the fatigue away. I have to hurry. Miles’s cry got louder.

Wrapping a towel around myself I ran back to the living room. Jamie is trying to comfort Miles, patting his head. The sight makes me smile and gives me a small surge of strength.

– “Thank you Jamie.” I say picking up Miles. I sit down with both of them, holding them close. I feel exhausted and overwhelmed but I keep doing my best.

This has to change. I can’t continue like this. I had lost touch with who I am outside of being a mom. My passions, hobbies, and even my career aspirations seem like distant memories. I hear the voice in my head:

“You need to reconnect with yourself”

I have to find a way to make all this work. I have to remember who I was before I was a mom.

One step at a time, one moment at a time. “I can do this.” I keep telling myself.

As a designer, I always had an eye for composition and was always naturally drawn to arranging elements in a visually pleasing way. But then I got kids and buckled up my skills in the back seat.

– “I might be a great photographer.” I think to myself.

I always liked photography but never really had time to hone my skills. Now it’s the right time to give it a try.

While walking with kids I start taking photos of the surroundings. I share them on social media and receive many supportive comments. 

I have to reorganize my life first. I hire a babysitter two or three days per week so I would have time to follow my passion.

Now photography gives meaning to my life and brings joy to my days.

I have to tell you that becoming a professional photographer wasn’t an overnight process. It required small steps. I had to carve out time for reading about photography, took courses, and improved my skills in many other ways.

I had to learn to prioritize my well-being without feeling guilty about not being available 24/7 for my family. I set small goals for myself that gave me purpose.

As I began to prioritize myself and my passions, I noticed a transformation. I felt more energized, confident, and fulfilled. This positive change didn’t just benefit me, it also had an impact on my family. I became a happier and more present mother.

To all the moms out there who may feel lost or overwhelmed – it’s okay to take time for yourself. Reclaiming your true self is not a selfish act, it’s an essential part of being the best version of yourself for you and your family. 

Remember, you are more than just a mom – you are a unique individual with so much to offer the world. To be the best mom, YOU first need to be okay. Self-care is crucial, woman!

So, take that first step. Embrace your true self and enjoy the journey of motherhood. You deserve it.