Finding a balance between me as an individual and me as a mom is something I have struggled with from the very moment I became a mom. I jumped right into the role with both feet and never looked back. I threw who I was to the curb, never thinking twice about the person I left behind. I was so focused and determined to be the best mom I could be and thought that was all that mattered. Now here I am, 3 years later, thinking about that person, trying to figure out who they were.
As I said in the post about my life for the last three years, it has been filled with everything baby. From the moment I wake up, to the moment I go to sleep, and even in my dreams, it is all baby. I have a difficult time steering my thoughts away from anything baby related and the moment that I do, I feel instant guilt.
For 3 years I have put everything I am and everything I have into being a mom and I have enjoyed every moment, but I start to think back and slowly realize I really haven’t done anything for me… and I felt guilty just writing that! I haven’t taken the time to go out and do something that I love, I haven’t stopped to focus on helping me become a better me and I most definitely haven’t put time towards my relationships. I have simply just been a mom.
I am a mom 24/7 and I feel as though I have lost touch with who I am. I have lost touch with the outside world, I have lost touch with friends and I have lost touch with what it is like to be an individual person. I don’t know how to balance everything and I don’t know what it takes to make that happen. I think it is one of the most challenging things I have had to deal with in my life.
I see how unbalanced my life is sometimes and I have seen the effects it causes. I don’t give myself a chance to clear my mind or enjoy time with other people. I don’t give myself time to spend with Dan and work on our relationship and I can start to see how our relationship has changed. By not taking the time to be with each other and do things without our kids, we lose the relationship we had and the connection we worked to build for so many years. We just end up becoming 2 people raising kids together.
This is something I know I really need to work on and actually make it a priority. I need to figure out a way to take time for myself, to focus on me and reconnect with who I use to be. I have to learn to step away from my kids and learn that it is OK to do so.
Guilt has played a big role in my struggle of finding balance. I feel guilty, thinking about anything other than my kids and I feel guilty for thinking I could do something without them. I feel guilty for thinking of me and for the thought that I haven’t done anything for myself.
I start to question things and ask myself, how could I think about anyone other than my kids? And what do I need that is so important that I have to stop and think about or do for me that is more important than them? I tell myself I don’t need to go out and I don’t need to be around other people because when I do go out with them I talk to people and that is the same as if I was to go out by myself or with friends, when in reality it’s not the same thing. It feels like a never-ending cycle that I can’t seem to break.
Dan likes to refer to this stage in my life as “mom mode” and it is a pretty accurate title to have. Right now my mind is focused on my kids and being there for them. I know I will be in mom mode for the rest of my life and I don’t think it will ever go away, but I do think that the intensity will decrease with time. As they get older I know I won’t worry as much and will be more comfortable leaving them, but when will that time be?
I have always said I wouldn’t let having kids stop me from doing anything and it’s true, Dan and I have done so much with them. From going to the movies and out for dinner, to shopping and driving to Florida, we have continued to do the things we did before. Little did I know, that it has stopped me from being my own person. I want to find the right balance between every aspect of my life and I feel it is something important that I need to work on. I don’t want to lose sight of who I am and I don’t want to end up so disconnected from the outside world. I hope I can find a way to go out and enjoy time as myself with friends and Dan and be able to do things for me without feeling guilty for leaving the babies. I know it will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I need to take on and make it work.
How have you been able to find balance between your life as a parent and your life as an individual?
How long has it taken you to feel comfortable leaving and not feeling guilty for doing so?
10 thoughts on “Finding Balance Between Life as a Mom and Life as Me ”
Do what Dave and I do, we have a deal with our family that our birthdays, anniversary, Valentine’s, mothers and even Father’s Day and New Years are couples dates for us sometimes weekends away… I used to feel guilty too but honestly I need it! If I can’t have the weekends or frequent date nights with Dave at least we know there’s special days every few months that we get to plan night outs or even over nights away (prolly why we are on baby5 lol)! Even mothers and Father’s Day… We send the kids to grandparents because I work hard every day for my kids and so does Dave, and traditionally you would think to make it a day to spend with the kids.. But that’s why we have family day lol! Mother’s Day is a day for Dave to pamper me and appreciate me and my work as a mom and Father’s Day is the same for him (this year for Mother’s Day we went for pedicures and massages and had dinner at borealis.. Father’s Day we both went golfing cuz I had never been).. Don’t feel guilty! You need a break to for your sanity and your healthy we are the moms we def need it even more than the dads! lol and start telling Dan to start bringing you to this rap battles or things he goes to! I make Dave take me to work events and things all the time lol! Talk to your family and make them understand that you need regular sitters people you can ask any time to come and watch the kids for you guys to go out! Aside from that girl, that’s marriage with a big family ..
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You two are an amazing couple and it’s so exciting you are on your 5th baby, so clearly what you are doing works! That’s a good idea to make the holidays a couples time away, I never thought of that! I hope you two are getting some good time together before baby arrives!! Thank you for sharing your secret 🙂
I am struggling with this as well.. And I only have one!… I think it must be a learned skill maybe when our kids get more independent and go to school? … I’m started by trying to do one thing a week for myself- a fitness or yoga class.. Coffee and Chapters for a bit- a shopping trip ALONE! Anything lol.
I find my yoga class gave me the best results honestly. And making sure you take 30 minutes to work out ( could be dance could be weights etc) at home.
Please don’t feel guilty. You are amazing! It’s not easy, it never is. Try to find a bit of ME TIME to do something just for you, and ask for help to ‘book’ special moments for the two of you without the kids. A quiet lunch, a stroll, a concert … Anything to remind you of the couple that you are. Your family is an inspiration to many of us, but you need to remember you are not JUST a mum. All the best in your journey.
I feel guilty because I don’t feel guilty. I relish any time I can steal to be away from my kid. I miss and prefer who I was before my poor choices threw me into mom mode.
I really liked your previous two posts. They are very honest and they reflect completely my feelings and I have only one child.
For me the first year was hard because I really missed the Me-Time. The whole day alone with the baby which was never really satisfied until he started crawling, made me really mad. But it was also not easy for me to put him into foreign hands.
It started to get better when he went to daycare and I went back to work parttime. It makes me feel like a “regular” human being.
I’m really impressed how you manage your luve with the four kids. You are doing such a great job. And thank you for your honest words.
Wish you a nice day from Germany
I think that you’re a wonderful mom because you do feel guilty about leaving them. My friend once asked me the following questions when I left my son and cried… is he fed? Is he clean? Is he healthy? If yes…you’re good 🙂 it’s important they know you’re coming back.
That being said…I haven’t left my son for more than 3 hours (he’s only 6 months). It’s really hard to be away from them, knowing that no one does things quite like you do. What about play groups? Mom friends with kids? Hang out andlet the babies play while you chat. That really helps m as well 🙂 they truly “get it”.
Great post! – You are amazing, and I love how genuine you are.
I watch my two year old daughter plus 2 other two year olds. While it’s not 24/7 it could be for 8 hours a day. 2 things have really helped me stay balanced.
One was advice from “The Surrendered Wife” by Laura Doyle. She says that in order to be a good wife and mother, you have to focus on self care and make time for you to have girl time, showers, manicures, dates, etc. “Sharpening the saw” as the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People would term it is integral to doing your job as a wife and mother. She also has some really good suggestions for bringing your marriage back into focus.
The second piece of advice came from a veteran SAHM. She said that while she almost never got a break from her kids she didn’t really need it because SHE SPENT THE TIME WITH THEM SHARING WHAT SHE LOVED WITH HER KIDS VS. TRYING TO FOCUS ON THEM WHILE LOSING HERSELF.
I used to go to the Children’s Museum almost every day. Now we go on field trips to places I enjoy. While getting out of the house with 3 is hard and I’d imagine with 4 it’s harder, now that they can all walk, they all know to hold hands and move as a pack and I take 1 single stroller for whoever is tired out. We’ve even taken public transit as an adventure together. Make sure everyone stays together. Plan extra time in your transitions. Relax and make sure you are having a good time. The kids will follow suit.
nice thoughts 🙂 Mom mode is really the thing which is existing! I have two kids and we live far from our parents, so no regular babysitter available. We plan to go out everytime, when someone is visiting, but so many times one of the kids is sick or just is worried with something and not letting us go 🙂 Thats how it is with 2, I only can imagine with 4!!! But we have a daycare as well, and we try to have 1-2 days a month where my husband is off and kids go to daycare anyway, this way we can have our alone time, go out like adults, even it is during the day, but makes a difference to eat with two hands in a grown ups restaurant or just walk in the street and hold hands, not needing to concentrate on children. Thats a good option for us as a couple.
As for myself, I like to paint, so when I have time (and not tired) I reserve it for my activities, or phone a friend. Just a telephone conversation can already make a difference and go off mom mode 😀 Or sleep in, when dad is home (earplugs are magic!) Shopping alone can also be very relaxing. Just be ready once you are back, everybody will jump back at you at the same time 😀