Last Updated on March 21, 2019 by Marie Bautista
It isn’t easy to hold onto your own identity once you become a wife and mother. As you focus your attention on those you love and their needs, your interests, needs, wants, and desires become less and less important. You stop going out with friends, you sacrifice your hobbies to support your children, you give up on career goals, you give up your personal space, your social life, and in some cases, everything that once helped you identify as you. It’s not intentional, and it’s all out of love for your spouse and children, but at what cost?
Why Women Lose Themselves?
How is it that a person could be complete and whole on their own, get involved in a relationship and bear children, then suddenly stop caring about the person she once was? It pretty much boils down to the anatomy of a woman. Her inner instincts to nurture, provide, love, and support her family goes beyond any needs or desires she may have of her own. Here is a quick look at how some women lose themselves:
Their kids are their world – Every mother wants the best for her children and to provide a better life than she had. When a woman has a child, she’d do anything for her children. From the moment she wakes up until the moment she falls asleep, she’s doing something to provide, nurture, support, and love her children. Life outside of her children, therefore, becomes minuscule.
They stop caring about appearances – When it feels like you’re always on the go, taking time to care about your appearance beyond taking a shower and throwing on something clean is pointless. Slowly, the woman who used to pick out the trendiest outfits, do her hair, paint her nails, and accessorize becomes the mom who throws on an oversized shirt, some yoga pants, and a pair of running sneakers with a messy bun and a hint of lip gloss. Suddenly, she doesn’t feel as attractive or much like herself.
Life slows down – most young women are very active. They’re used to hanging out with friends, going out, participating in hobbies, traveling, shopping, etc. So, when a husband and children come into the mix, her life has to slow down. She’s suddenly isolated from her friends and unable to take the time to do things she once enjoyed.
Dreams Deferred (Or Broken) – Prior to having a family, many adults have goals, dreams, and ambitions of where they’d like to be. When they become married and have children, however, obtaining some of those dreams might be easier said than done. This then leads to a feeling that they’ve lost a sense of self.
It’s important that you hold onto your own identity outside of being a wife and mother. There are women who have become so depressed by the number of years they spent being someone other than who they are. Some even turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. If you’ve reached this level of depression or resentment, you should get help from an Ohio drug rehab center or a rehab center near where you live.
How to Hold Onto You
Are you feeling as if you’ve lost yourself over the years? Do you feel resentment towards your spouse or children? Are you often depressed or sad and wishing you could do something about it? Well, the good news is there is hope. You can hold onto who you are as a woman while still being an amazing mother and wife.
Find time for friends – Just because you can’t go bar hopping every Tuesday and Friday night doesn’t mean you can’t still hang out with your friends. If they have children, set up a playdate. You can also meet on a bi-monthly basis for breakfast or lunch.
Make room for hobbies – Think back to who you were before the family. What kinds of things did you like to do? Whether it was painting or hiking, make room in your life to continue these things. It doesn’t matter if you can only do it once every three months, just find time to get back to what makes you smile.
Ask for help – There’s nothing wrong with needing a little help from time to time. Ask your parents to keep the kids, hire a sitter, or leave them with your spouse, just don’t get to a point where you feel like you’re doing so much for your kids that you have nothing left to give yourself.
Take care of you – You’d be surprised how far a little self-care goes in making you feel good. Make time to take a shower, color, and style your hair, and select outfits that you like. Even if you’re a stay at home mom or work remotely, you can still keep up your appearance to boost your mood.
It can be hard for one person to divide their time between their spouses, children, and themselves, but it is important that you do so. Though caring for your family brings you joy, losing yourself in the process is a huge sacrifice to make. When you have your own identity, know what makes you smile, and feel great about who you are and what you’ve accomplished, you’re equipped to be a better mother and life partner.