Though I no longer have kids at home (how can my oldest be 31?) I remember how all consuming being a parent is. You love your kids more than anything and want to ensure they are happy, learning new things, and healthy. Yet, it’s easy to get lost in the role of being “mom” and losing yourself in the process.
You’re not alone. No matter how fulfilling being a mom is, it’s also stressful. Especially when you add on the additional responsibilities of work, aging parents, and activities the kids are involved in. So, I work with a lot of women who tell me “I just want to feel like the OLD ME again!”
Unfortunately, you can’t go back to the “old you”. But that’s a good thing because you get to build on your new life experiences to create a life that feels more nourishing.
Here’s twelve ways you can reclaim yourself and build a life that is both loving and sustainable.
One – Make Time to Reflect
It is important to take time to reflect on your life and who you want to be. This can be done through journaling, meditating, or even just talking it out with a friend. Taking the time to think about yourself will help you find clarity and focus on what truly matters in life.
If you struggle with how to do this, there are a lot of journals designed to help with and have a busy mom in mind with just a single question a day to help your self-reflection.
Two – Resurrect Old Hobbies & Interests
Many parents forget their hobbies after having kids. Take some time for yourself and start doing something that you love again. Whether it’s reading books, painting, playing an instrument, or going for a run – do something that makes you happy!
Three – Spend Time with Your Friends
Having friends is essential for feeling connected and supported. Make sure that you are actively spending time with your friends. You can do this by planning regular lunches or movie nights or even just having a quick chat over coffee!
Four – Connect with Your Partner
Having a strong relationship with your partner is essential for feeling fulfilled and connected. Yes, I know you are both busy. And by the time you climb into bed together, all you can think about is sleep. (Well, and all the things on your to do list you didn’t get done.) But it’s so important to connect with your partner.
Carve out time at least weekly to sit down together and have meaningful conversations. Oh, and really listen to each other. This will help strengthen your bond and give you an opportunity to reconnect.
Five – Set New Goals or Intentions
I’m all about following a thread of desire. And sometimes the best way to do that is to set a new goal or intention. Goals don’t have to be big and grand. They can be small and simple. IN fact, that’s usually the best way to start!
Whether it’s learning something new, starting a business, or running a marathon – set yourself goals that will challenge you and make you feel accomplished. Having something to work towards will give you purpose and direction.
Six – Exercise Regularly
Back when my kids were younger, I was at the gym at least five days a week. It meant getting up early and being at the gym before work, but you know what? It sure helped me feel better both mentally and physically. And it helped me feel more confident in my body again.
Exercise is a great way to stay healthy, manage stress, and boost your mood. Make sure that you are taking the time to get active – it can be as simple as going for a walk or a bike ride! Who knows? Maybe it will spark a new career path. You could get a Cert 3 in Fitness to help you get motivated and get more out of your workouts.
Seven – Learn to Say No
Many parents end up feeling overwhelmed because they say yes to too many things. It is important to learn how to say no when you need to, so that you can make time for yourself and focus on what is most important.
Good boundaries will go a long way into the quality of your life. Better yet, you are setting a good example for your kids that you can be pickier about what you commit to doing.
Eight – Nurture Your Creativity
Creative outlets like painting, writing, or playing an instrument are great ways to express yourself and unwind after a long day with the kids. Take some time each week to do something creative – it will help bring back the spark in your life!
Nine – Take Care of Yourself
Self-care is essential for feeling balanced and content. Make sure that you are taking the time to relax and recharge, whether it’s through yoga, getting a massage, or just having some alone time.
Ten – Talk to a Professional
You don’t have to do it all alone. And sometimes, you just need help rediscovering who you are. And while your spouse may be supportive of you doing so, you sometimes need to talk to someone that doesn’t live in your house. Sometimes it can be difficult to find your way again after having kids. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to a professional – they will be able to help you get clarity and provide the support that you need.
A coach or therapist can help you cut through any mind fog and hone in on what you really want or need.
Eleven – Spend Time with Your Kids
Spending quality time with your kids is a great way to find yourself again. It can be as simple as going for a walk in the park or playing tag – just have fun and enjoy each other’s company! While there are a lot of hard things about being a mom, if you seek ways to have fun and just enjoy the small moments you’ll discover you’re happier. And feel more like YOU rather than “just a mom”.
Twelve – Create a Good a Support System
No one can do it all alone. Having a strong support system is essential for feeling connected and motivated. Find like-minded people who you can have meaningful conversations with – it will help you feel more grounded and inspired!