Once upon a time there was a girl. She was wide-eyed with big dreams. She was sharp as a tack, quick on her feet, a go-getter, a do-gooder, and she was on the path to greatness.
She got married and had a baby and woo mama! found herself on the craziest roller coaster you could imagine! Let’s just say there was sleep deprivation, no playbook, and stuff was hitting the fan.
Those early days were glorious, beautiful, and scary beyond words. She knew she had been entrusted to do the most important work she should would ever do. She was overcome with a new, broader understanding of love and the crazy realization that she was totally making this up as she went along. Slowly, gradually a rhythm was formed and slowly, gradually sleep reentered the picture and the fog began to lift.
She looked in the mirror one day, between tickles and snuggles and diaper catastrophes, kind of recognizing the warrior standing before her. “Don’t I know you?” she thought. “Aren’t you that girl with the big dreams?”
Then someone cried and she ran off to save the day.
For some of us moms (and, of course, some dads too) that’s as much as we see of person we once knew. We give ourselves utterly and completely over to the caring and rearing of our families, at the expense of neglecting the whole person inside.
What a shame, though, to deny your family the opportunity to know that girl in the mirror.
I’m not suggesting we don’t give our all in parenting. See every other word I’ve ever written on the subject for context. 😉
If in the midst of giving your all to this parenting gig, you feel like you’ve lost sight of who you truly are, you’re certainly not alone. The good news is, you don’t have to leave your kids in a ditch in order to go figure out where exactly you went.
Instead, here are eight simple daily habits you can implement to begin to reconnect with your whole self, the mom and beyond.
Wake Up First
If you’re not the first one up in your house, you’ll be lucky to find your shoes much less your long lost self. You need the quiet, the white space to relax and think and dream again. Make it happen. Wake up first.
One way to enjoy the glorious white space of a house with nobody up is to jot down your thoughts in a journal. Give yourself the freedom to put down whatever you want in there-don’t over edit. Be free and do this with consistency. What appears may surprise you.
Honor Your Spirituality
Whatever your spiritual beliefs, honor them. Study, practice, question, dive deep. Allow yourself the freedom to ask the very biggest questions.
Life with kids can make maintaining a healthy lifestyle challenging to say the least. Get more movement in your life and more whole foods on your plate. You’ll feel better and look better and remember even more readily that chick who was going to take on the world.
When is the last time you took a break? And, no, the bathroom doesn’t count.
Can you manage to get away for a weekend? an afternoon? an hour? It is astonishing what a stroll through nature or your favorite book shop can do.
Ask for Help
If the last suggestion seemed ludicrous, it’s time to ask for help. People that care about you generally find great honor and value in being helpful, so go ahead and ask.
Find Your Spouse
You’re both in the thick of it, so chances are he’s lost too. Make a date and reminisce about those early days and all those pieces of each other that got this whole thing started in the first place.
Make individuality something that is celebrated in your home. Let your children know that you appreciate and applaud the true and unique characteristics of every family member. A culture where people are celebrated and appreciated for who they truly are is one that breeds confidence and great compassion.
You showing up in your entirety for your family may just prove to be the very best thing you can ever do for them. It’s not out of selfishness, just truth. Happy searching.