You are a mother and a wife who cares about her family. How can you not lose yourself in your marriage or motherhood? These humans need you, especially the kids, right?
You are the first person your kid calls when he has a bad dream or falls. Your husband turns to you when he can’t find his keys, AGAIN! And they all yell, “what’s for dinner?” into a void, only the void is you, you must answer that question, all the time.
So, what do I even mean by saying, “don’t lose yourself in your marriage or motherhood?” how can you not?
I admit, it is very hard to not lose yourself but it is necessary and I will share below why. First, let us talk about how losing yourself looks and feels.
How you know you are losing yourself in your marriage and motherhood
Are you cranky most of the time? The slightest noise makes you want to bash your head against the wall? Are you looking at your spouse like, “honestly, you’re asking me this, again?” Is fatigue your new friend? Even the simple things are hard to get through?
You, mama, might be in the depths of a mama who has given way too much of her energy to everyone else but yourself. You have lost yourself in your marriage and motherhood game.
Or maybe you are the opposite. You have loads of energy, running around fixing everyone’s life and not sparing a thought to your own. You are first to rise and last to go to bed. And all you have done in between is manage your kids’ and husband’s life. And what about you, mama?
Give them the world then you’ll get back to you
Sounds familiar? maybe not the exact phrase but as mom’s we definitely do this. We put ourselves last. Of course, we promise we will focus on ourselves once… and the list of once this or that is over never ends.
I promised I would give myself some time to focus on the things that bring me joy once my husband completed his MBA. We believed he would have more time. We were wrong. He started an even more demanding job, so I guess, once that settles… And this is where you start to lose yourself in your marriage. In this one phrase, “once this or that.”
You never get to get the world. But you deserve it. You deserve a slice of the world every single day. It may not be the whole world all the time but you definitely deserve a slice of heaven daily. And I am going to tell you why.
Why it is important to not lose yourself
When you focus on the things that bring you joy, you become a happier wife and mother. Ultimately, your family benefits immensely when you are happy. Wives tend to set the tone in the home. And if you are in harmony your whole house sings in tune. Below, I discuss the 5 benefits for you and your family that take place when you take care of yourself.
What are some of the things you can do to not lose yourself in your marriage or motherhood
Okay, so now you are warming up to the fact that you must not lose yourself in your marriage or motherhood but where do you start, right?
Date yourself so you don’t lose yourself in your marriage and motherhood
This is what I did, I made a list of places I would like to visit. I made a list of restaurants I want to try, a list of things I would like to explore and a list of books I would like to read. And then I took myself out on a date. On this date, you can’t have someone tag along. This also means you are not spending time on your phone.
The date is for you to reconnect with yourself. So it is time to ask yourself questions and these questions will help you figure out the next thing you can do.
Pick up a hobby
So the questions you ask yourself on your date, the answers to those questions come in handy here.
I made a list of 20 things I used to love doing as a child. Remember, a huge part of reconnecting to yourself is listening to the inner child. I came up with things like paper doll making. I used to spend hours making paper dolls and the doll’s outfits. I don’t know who tells us to stop the little pleasures of our young lives? (Let me know when you find out because that person needs to be given a long lecture.)
Take 15- 20 minutes for you daily
Every single day carve out 15-20 minutes for you. No one is allowed to disrupt this time, it is a time to check in with yourself. I usually use this time to go through my affirmations and reset my day. You can check out some of the affirmations that help me through my day in this post.
Yes, I can hear you moaning, “where do I find the time, Mands?” Breathe, mama. I am not saying exercise as if you are training for the Olympics, nope! I am just saying consider moving your body for a few minutes a day.
This can be going on a brisk walk, dancing to your favourite music, yoga, pilates anything you enjoy, really. Anything that benefits your body through movement. Movement is also one of the best ways to shake up stuck energy.
Get clear about your needs and expectations
Many times we lose ourselves in our marriage and motherhood because we have lost sight of our needs and expectations. It is important to revisit this aspect of our lives. Before we can do that though, we need to get clear about what those are.
For example, I know I am someone who needs to be alone to decompress from life. But I have had long stretches when I don’t feed this part of myself because I am more concerned about being available for my kids and husband. The result is I end up being cranky and not so nice to them.
I eventually had to communicate this need. I stated clearly that I need time alone to hear myself think once a week. I set up the expectation that for at least two hours a week I must be left alone. This is the time I use for my alone dates.
People can’t read our minds no matter how long we have been with them so it is important to always communicate.
How to get clear about your needs and expectations?
You must have guessed by now that I am a lists mama. Yep! Get your needs on paper. Make a list of things you are not thrilled with at the moment. And next to the thing write down a solution.
For example, you need more help around the house. First get specific about the kind of help you need and from whom you want the help. So you don’t want to wash dishes anymore, the request is: I need help with the dishes and I would like to propose the kids take turns washing the dishes after dinner. Something along those lines, you get the idea.
Now do that with all your other needs and expectations. Be aware not to delegate needs to other which are personal needs. For example, people don’t know what to do with “I am just not happy.” Being happy is your business, mama. And when you do your lists you will find your bliss. Good luck.
How to not lose yourself in your marriage and motherhood without ruffling feathers?
Okay, you are fully on board now with the idea of not losing yourself in marriage or motherhood. Yay! But now, how do you even begin this conversation with the humans who rely on you so much?
You sell them the benefits.
In this conversation with your family it is important that they understand you are not running away. ( Although sometimes it can feels like you want to bolt!) Make sure they understand that when you are whole and centred everyone else will enjoy the benefit of a happier mom and wife.
Stick to the agreement
Create a plan for this time to reconnect with you. It must include the day of your date(s) and times. And then it is important to stick to the time frames and the dates stated. Unless, you communicate a change of plans well in advance, please stick to the agreement.
This is especially necessary for your children, they need to be able to trust that you come back when you say you will.
Reassure your family
You are making a big change, you are telling them that you are no longer interested in maintaining the status quo. This can be unsettling for them and so they need reassurance. Again, your kids need this more than your spouse because chances are your spouse gets it. ( We hope.)
Let them know that you are okay and you just need a little pocket of time to breathe and reconnect with yourself. Or for the kids to get it get it, tell them you need time to go hug mama for a bit. And listen to what mama has to say to mama, the same way mama does when they need a hug or to talk.
And finally, reiterate that this is good for everyone. When mama has filled her cup she can come back and pour into all your cups without being cranky.
And if you are feeling nervous about all of this, keep the benefits in mind.
The benefits for you and your family- 5 Reasons to not lose yourself
Taking time to not lose yourself in marriage and mommyville has great benefits for you and your family. And it teaches your kids some important life skills such as:
- Boundaries: When your kids witness you create a space for yourself and ways to protect your energy, they learn that it is okay to do so. They learn it is okay to step away from people and things long enough to replenish yourself.
- How to communicate their needs: if you communicate your need for space in a gentle and loving manner as opposed to blaming everyone in your house for not giving you space! Your kids learn that it is okay and important to communicate their needs. Moreover, communicate their needs with clear direction as to what they expect from the other person.
- Understand a relationship with self is important. Through watching you consistently take time to reconnect with self, it teaches them that a relationship with self is the most important one. When they experience how you are with them after your time alone, they will grasp that everything else in life flows from how you’re doing within you.
- Teaches them to listen to their needs and find ways to meet them. And not making that someone else’s responsibility
- Bond without you. When you step out of the home for a few hours, it forces the rest of your family members to interact without you. This creates moments for your kids to feel independent and create solid bonds with other family members, especially when you have young kids who seek mommy out for EVERYTHING!
And here are five benefits for you. Five Reasons Why It’s Important to Take Time to Yourself.
Mama, I know how hard it can be to find time to protect your energy. It is a constant battle and sometimes riddled with guilt, MOM GUILT anyone?
But it is necessary to not lose yourself in your roles. Think of the bigger picture, the long term benefits outweigh the guilt. And constantly getting to know yourself does a world of good for your marriage.
The children will leave the nest and when that happens, you want to make sure your marriage is not left in a rut.
I hope you are fired up! Here is a list of ideas you can download to get you started.
As always, I wish you the healing you deserve.