For many of us, we were born to be mothers. We grew up playing dolls, and we just knew someday we would have children of our own. For me, this dream became a reality 3 days before my birthday. I had graduated college, lived alone, been married for 5 years, and moved across the country all in my first 28 years. I had interests, a career, and so much in my own life. Then, I became a mom, and I soaked up being a mom with all I had. I quit my job and started this new adventure. Here, I sit, over 3 years later, and it’s hard to remember that girl before. Sure, she’s still me, but how do we hang on to that person we were before kids?
Continue Your Hobbies
What did you like to do with your free time before kids? Free time with kids is usually non-existent, but it does exist if you look hard enough. For me, I loved to read. I would read before bed. I loved Christian self-help books. Now, I still love to read. However, these days I start a book and it goes back on the shelf unfinished or my reading consists of bedtime stories to my little girl. Running was also a favorite hobby of mine. I ran with my friends, we did local races, and I made a point to keep my IPod up-to-date with the latest tunes. Today, if I run, it is with a double jogging stroller that is a beast to push. I run at the local YMCA on a treadmill, and I don’t really listen to my IPod because it has songs from 2011 on it, and my 3-year-old likes to play with it. Whatever you enjoyed before kids, try to continue doing, even if it seems a little different than it was before.
Before kids, I loved spending time with my friends. I loved to go out to eat or to a movie. Going to concerts, grabbing Starbucks, or walking around Target was my cup of tea. These days, when I see friends, it is other moms who I am close with. When I do get time with my good friends back home, it is limited or with my kids. However, this time is still precious and these people are still valuable to me. Maintain the relationships you had before. Sure, some people will move on and not understand this whole new role you have taken on. But the good ones, the really important people, will be there for the long haul. These are the people who buy your kids birthday presents and don’t get annoyed when you send yet another video to them of your kids doing silly stuff. Hold these people tight.
Be Kind to You
We get one body, one life, one chance at this thing. Sure, we gain weight and get wrinkles. But, mommas, we need to be kind to ourselves. We are still in there. I may not wear as much make-up. My pants may be a size larger. I may accessorize in Chewbeads and Ju-Ju-Be rather than fancy jewelry and trendy bags, but I am still Karyn. Under the wrinkles and saggy eyes, there is a 31-year-old woman. Every once in a while, wear something nice. Do your hair. Put on some make-up. If not for you, do it for your spouse. He will appreciate it. Remember that life changes so quickly and time is so precious. It’s okay to be in the stage you are in, and honestly, that person before mom was pretty boring anyways. (Even if she did nap and have much more pleasant meal times.)
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Northeast Indiana where she reads, runs, and loves being a mommy.