For moms who feel as if they are giving too much away and losing themselves in motherhood. Stop losing yourself in motherhood with the tips included for redefining who you are and enjoying some of what you did before you had children.

I was losing myself in motherhood.


A collection of ups and downs, highs and lows, joy and sadness, frustration and love – there is just so much that comes with motherhood that is unexpected and not easily describable.

Think for a moment about how many parenting books are currently on the market. I know there’s a lot because I used to buy them trying desperately to better understand myself as a mother and why my daughter was wailing day in and day out. (A sleep deprived mother will go to great lengths to find a solution to get their kid to A) stop crying and B) go to sleep for more than a few hours!)

Of all the things I’ve experienced as a mother I think what has been most unexpected and surprising about motherhood is how easy it has been to lose myself in it.

I remember bringing home my first daughter and thinking how easily she fit into my life. Sure, she brought a crying, pooping and screaming aspect to my life I was previously unaccustomed to, but, hey, we adapt and overcome right? All that aside, she fit into my life as if she had been there all along. I actually forgot at times she hadn’t always been there nestled in my arms or falling asleep on my chest.

Early on in my motherhood experience I somehow got it into my head that in order to be a great mother I had to give up everything about myself that made me “me”. I was a new, overly ambitious mother and I wanted to be the best. This meant focusing less and less on myself.

In some ways, this was a good thing. When you become a mother you have to give up some of what you prized in the “before baby” life like regular date nights, staying up past the late hour of 9 pm and showering every day. You give up sleeping through the night and watching television shows without annoying talking puppets.

It’s all part of being a mom.

In my experience, many mothers fall victim to what I did-losing myself in motherhood. They become people they don’t recognize because they allowed every single part of themselves to become completely consumed with being a mother. I can say this with authority because I too have struggled with losing myself in motherhood and have only recently found my footing. It’s a slippery slope. It’s something that happened silently and steadily without me recognizing it.

Losing myself was easier than I ever imagined. It snuck its way in and took up residence in my life.

I am naturally a guilt-ridden woman. I feel guilt even when I shouldn’t. I can feel guilty for things others do. You can only imagine what having children was like in the beginning!

With my first daughter I felt at a complete loss as to why she cried all the time or got sick all the time or never slept. The guilt I felt for the inability to figure it out, and also not being able to help her was overwhelming. To alleviate the guilt, I would give up a piece of myself. I would push myself a little harder. I would focus more and more on my daughter. This coupled with my husband being deployed, and my daughter and I became an island. An island, no one could reach or was invited to. I knew her better than anyone, leaving no room for her dad or anyone else. I felt that since I was a mother I no longer needed things if they didn’t revolve around my daughter and her well-being.

I gave up things I liked to do even when I didn’t have to.

I let myself go. I stopped taking care of myself. I refused to workout. I ate crap. I ate a lot of crap. I ate away my feelings.

I thought it was selfish for me to get my hair done or want to take a shower without her in the bouncer seat beside the tub. I no longer did things I enjoyed even on the rare occasion she did sleep. I became short with my husband. When I did make time for friends I could only talk incessantly about my daughter.

I let motherhood become me.

It’s a struggle to not feel selfish when you want to do something for yourself. To this day, I feel guilty when my husband watches the girls while I am at work. It has been my job to care for them for so long that letting it go, even a little, makes me feel like I’m not doing “mothering” properly. (I do realize that he is their father and I shouldn’t feel bad or guilty especially since I work from 7 to 2 and then take over all mothering responsibilities until after they go to bed. See, I can’t even take my own advice. It’s a struggle.)

I’m here to tell you taking care of you will go a long way towards taking care of your children and your family. I became a burnt out mother desperately trying to understand why I no longer had interest in things I always liked to do. I wondered why I lost friends or no one wanted to hang out with me. Losing myself in motherhood made me feel miserable.

We have a huge and important job in raising our children. We are the person they run to with skinned knees and other boo-boos. We are the ones they confide in. We mold and shape them into the adults they will one day become.

Therein lies the importance of not losing ourselves. If we completely lose who we are when our children are younger, who will we be when they no longer need us to hold them or rock them or fix every single problem? Just as important, if we completely lose ourselves in “mothering” how will our children fully understand how to not lose themselves? The “selves” we as mothers worked so hard to develop?


How Can You Stop Losing Yourself in Motherhood?


Do you feel as if sometimes you’re losing yourself in motherhood? If you don’t, how have you avoided feeling like this?

Are you losing yourself in motherhood? Is it consuming all that you were before having kids? Stop. Regain who you are and more now that you are a mom.

Mom Motivation Mondays is a weekly series where contributing writers share their motherhood experiences to encourage you to find the joy in being a mom.

{This week: Post by Heather}

Heather of Just Becoming Me contributor to Mom Motivation Mondays series at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide Heather lives in Florida with her husband, two girls and two pups. She is a lover of most things in life, too many to name here without scaring you, but a few include working out, learning new recipes, Pinterest, organizing (yes, it’s true!), home decor and learning to lead a more minimal and purposeful life.

She started Just Becoming Me as a venture to better understand herself and what will lead her towards a more fulfilling life. Her motto is: “We only have one life, and I want to learn to live mine in a way that gets me excited to jump out of bed.”

Heather’s previous Mom Motivation Mondays posts:

Less than Perfect Mom

The Part of Me My Children Will Never Know

I Don’t Enjoy All Moments of Being a Mom

View the archives of Mom Motivation Mondays:

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.