Being a mom is tough. It’s not as easy and as pretty as we see in social media or magazines. Being a mom is messy, crazy, nerve-wracking, exciting, fun, confusing and fulfilling. I guess just about any adjective can be used to describe motherhood!
There are many articles on the Internet and also posts in social media groups or forums from moms who felt like losing themselves in the journey of motherhood. While some moms might seem to have transitioned into the role smoothly, there are also those who long to find themselves again after becoming a mom. Who wouldn’t lose it, right? Other than physical changes in your body (hello stretch marks and saggy-everything), you experience a whole new world. You’re now responsible for another human being aside from your husband or partner. You find yourself shopping for nice onesies, lego blocks, and Barbie dolls, rather than for stilettos and handbags. You rush home from work because the stash of expressed breastmilk you left with your caregiver might not be enough. You now feel like you’ve reached a new level of #adulting when you start attending your child’s school orientation or PTA. And an even higher level of #tita-ness when your child starts dating… Eep! Then there’s your career and the decision of whether you should give up your 6-digit paycheck to stay home full-time. And a lot more.
Is that tough or what?
Going through all these is definitely overwhelming and stressful, to say the least. Even those with a solid support system (family and friends) find themselves lost with all the challenges of motherhood. But the good news is that something can be done. It’s not rocket science and does not involve a 5-day vacation out of town. Here are some simple, yet often overlooked, steps from a mommy life coach (yours truly).
Define what motherhood means to you
Often times, our view of motherhood is based on what the society or what our immediate community (i.e. family, circle of friends) dictates. Did you grow up in a family co-led by a corporate working mom with an 8 to 5 job? Were you taught to give your all without expecting anything in return? Are your friends all stay-at-home moms? Whatever THEIR definition of motherhood is, that is THEIR own. And YOU must have your OWN. Define the kind of mom that you WANT to be.
Swallow the “Mom-guilt”, it’s low fat
There are several memes going around in social media portraying the funny yet real truths behind the ups and downs of motherhood. Sometimes, we feel like we earn a badge of honor every time we forget ourselves. I believe that moms are by nature, selfless. Love your kids, care for them, spend time with them, but please please do not forget about yourself. Remember that old saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
Some moms, including myself, learned this the hard way. We give give give non-stop until we reach the point of burnout, stress, and frustration. And what happens next? We become an angry mom, a grumpy mama, a resentful mommy, and so on. We become MOMsters in the making! We blame our husbands for not making enough money. We lose our temper when kids (being kids) do not listen. We blame the yaya/nanny for not preparing the right food. We get frustrated with Every. Little. Thing.
The point is, nobody wants a scary mom. So swallow the mom guilt, and do yourself a favor. Get help in caring for your child or running the household. Spend an extra 5 minutes in the shower. Spend an hour doing yoga. Remember, we’re human beings too and we have basic needs that we need to fulfill.
Have a dream for YOURSELF
As much as we all love and treasure our role as moms, we need to have goals and dreams for ourselves. Becoming a mom does not mean letting go of our dreams. When you think that you can no longer do this and that just because you have kids, it’s actually all in your own thoughts. Yes, maybe things have changed from the time you were single. You probably can’t spend too many weeks on business trips or you can’t have too many late-night meetings. BUT ask yourself, “Is this the only way I can fulfill my dream? What other options do I have?”
Nobody is too old to dream. Nobody is too old to make these dreams come true. The awe and wonder of a child can actually inspire you even more to dream. When you hear a child speak, it feels as if the possibilities are endless. You’ll definitely make your child proud and inspired when you tell him what you’ve done to make your dreams come true.
*Note: Cross-published from here.