Why I Hate Being Called A Mom
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Soooo here I was. At a bar for one of the first times since my son was born, feeling awkward and out of place. I’ve been to bars before, socializing was never new to me. One of my best guy friends and I were sitting at the bar counter after ordering drinks, and I was looking at the counter and made a comment. “Don’t they have any napkins around here”? My friend laughed hysterically and said, “Quit being a mom”. He said it, and it hit me hard.
I was being a mom. It was instinct. I wasn’t even in “mom mode” in my opinion; my son wasn’t with me, I wasn’t anxiously waiting for the next task to do. But here I was, looking for napkins to clean up the wetness of the bar counter. Side note that after a couple beers, I stopped “being a mom” and enjoyed the rest of my night.
Has something like this happened to any of you? Someone commenting on how you’re acting like a mom and you never even realized it? If my friend didn’t make that comment, I honestly would have never realized how my thought process had changed since raising a child. I am always the FIRST to preach self care and making time for yourself, but hardly ever followed it. I believe that to be a huge reason as to why I was always in “mom mode” because I made everyone else a priority than myself.
I Hate Being Called A Mom
Let me make this clear that I LOVE being a mom, although I hate being labeled as a mom. Which is ironic to me because when your child I born you go through that 3 month fairytale phase of being infatuated with everything it means to be a mother. You swear that if you only did mom duties for the rest of your life that you would be happy. A year goes by and you start realizing everything else in your life that has moved on, and what you’re not happy with. Maybe you’ve gained some weight. Maybe you gave up a career to stay at home with your child(ren). Maybe you had some hobbies and passions that you completely put in the corner to collect dust. For some, reason it makes you feel guilty to think about all these things and wonder what happened.
Stop. These thoughts are wrong and toxic. It does not make you “selfish” to want to have your old life back, or get things back on track with yourself. I firmly believe in the whole, “a happy mom makes a happy family”. If you end up feeling like you’ve let yourself or let your life go, you’re going to be unhappy until you make some sort of change. Yes, our kids make us happy and they are a HUGE part of our purpose, but they are not your identity. You are still you. You still have talents, goals, things you enjoy, places you want to see, things you want to do.
Plan of Action
I always hear people say it gets easier the older your child gets. Yes it is sad when your child takes on some independence and doesn’t want to cuddle and depend on you like they used to, but see the positive in that they are developing their own interests and you can have some more time to get back into yours! I realize this is not easy. Before kids are in school, it is SUPER hard to carve out time for yourself, which is why I think it is important to start small. 10 minutes a day. Just 10 minutes, and if it can be more than that great. For me, my morning coffee time is top priority. If that means waking up at 6 or 7 in the morning just to have that time for myself, then so be it. It has helped SO MUCH. I try to get in some meditation if I can, a yoga routine, or listen to a motivational speech to start the day. Most days though, I sit by the window in the morning with my cup of coffee and my planner. By the time my son is ready to start his day, my mind is clear and I am much more relaxed than if I had to get up and start doing mom things right away.
So that is just a start. Carve 10 minutes a day for yourself. Try to do it in the morning. I tried to plan my time for after my son went to bed but ended up just falling asleep with him. Once you’ve started some daily self-care, you should dig deeper into what it is you used to do or what your hobbies are. A great example is that I love to paint old furniture. I find it therapeutic. Usually I try to make it a thing with my son so that we can bond and enjoy it together. Activities don’t always have to involve cartoons and mega blocks. Think outside the box and try new things as a family.
Lastly, I think the biggest and most important thing to think about is health, which will probably have it’s own blog post. This is the biggest thing I am struggling with, and the most common thing I hear from new mothers is how they have gained weight and their self confidence has dropped. I weigh the most right now than I ever have in my life, even when I was pregnant. It has made me VERY insecure with everything in my life which can lead to depression and lack of productivity in life generally. Besides the fact that you should feel great about yourself, health is important to be aware of for family reasons; what habits are you creating for your family? What kind of meals are you eating? Do you eat in front of the TV or have family meals? Do you snack a lot and can’t resist letting your child(ren) snack with you? These things seem little now, but as I’ve been focusing on my health, I realize I am potentially creating life long bad habits. (See how this post turned into mom concerns, great example of how easy it is going into mom mode).
Who You Were/Who You Are Now
I think a great way to refocus again is to do a comparison. Realize before doing this that you will never be “who you used to be” ever again. Even if you have never had kids. As we go through life, we go through different chapters and grow. We leave parts of us behind and find new parts of us along the way. Make a list of all the things you “miss” about yourself or admire about yourself. Determine which of those you could pick up on again and work towards. (Being in shape, playing an instrument, hanging out with friends). Make time and DO those things. Keeping in mind it will be in moderation if you’ve got a little one, but it’s better than sitting on the couch wishing.
Get excited about the future and who you have the potential to become. Yes, you are a mom (or a dad) and a huge chunk of your life will be dedicated to those little, wonder-filled eyes looking at you now. But that doesn’t mean you must forget your own identity and who you are (and who you want to be). Never give up on yourself. Stop feeling guilty. You are allowed to hang out with your friends, pursue a career, and have any other passion in your life besides your kid(s).