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I Had To Save Myself From Becoming Consumed By Motherhood

Photograph by Twenty20

For two years, being a mom consumed me. As my daughter started approaching 2 years old, I realized that while I loved being a mom, I missed the things I used to be. I felt like I was wandering around indescribably happy, but wondering who I was now that I was solely responsible for raising a tiny human.

My life was centered around activities involving my daughter, like cleaning up crumbs and stuck-on peanut butter, and rushing to the bathroom before another pair of underwear became peed in (hers, not mine, though ask me sometime about my pelvic floor since becoming pregnant).

Since life no longer revolved around breastfeeding every few hours and the constant barrage of diaper changes, I decided to take back some of my own life. I don’t necessarily mean trying to find the person I used to be. The woman who went out at 10 p.m. at night and could pound back drinks without batting an eye was in the past. And that was OK.

I wanted to have something else to talk about with friends and family besides the latest adorable thing my daughter did.

But I wanted new hobbies. I also wanted to return to old hobbies (though drinking was limited to two glasses of wine because nobody has time to be hungover with a toddler) and have something else to talk about with friends and family besides the latest adorable thing my daughter did.

So, I dove into my freelance writing business and, for the first time in a long time, I felt truly fulfilled. I’ve been reading more books and embarking on new adventures that don’t involve my baby. I love her and I love being a mom, but I’m also happy being able to do things for myself.

One of the most important things I can show my little girl is that her mom is a whole person—one with hopes, dreams and solid goals. I want to show her that I’m not afraid to go after the things I want and that she, too, will be able to grow up and pursue her own dreams.

I’m still trying to find that balance between being a good mom and my own person. I think we, as moms, can absolutely have both. We can make sacrifices for our kids and still make time to do whatever else makes us happy.

I’m chipping away at it, little by little. I can’t wait to see the person I become.

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