Losing Myself in Motherhood

My kids are with me around the clock.  There is no part of this that I would change.  Though I feel like I am losing myself in motherhood.  This is what I am doing to connect with myself while mothering my children full time.

I feel like I am spinning.  I have slowed things down so much, and life still feels too fast. The more quickly I move through it, the more distanced I become.

Something washed over me this past weekend that left me no choice but to evaluate where I am.  I concluded that something is missing, and the longer I go without it the more profound the sense of loss.  The more time it takes me to identify it, the more difficult it is to remember that it was ever there.

An unknown voice assures me that if I do not pay attention starting right now, whatever it is will not be able to be recalled. I do not want to forever lose what was headed for permanent disappearance: me.

I have become melancholy, almost complacent and bored.  I am a stay-at-home mother.  My kids are homeschooled.  We three are together all day and all night.

There is nothing about this that I would change.  Each and every time my children enter the room, my face lights up.  Without exception.

I bask in the joy of my kids.  I choose for them to be my world, my focus, my priority.  The love that comes from this is immeasurable.  Still, this melancholy has been increasing, and I fear that soon love and melancholy will intersect and one will rob the other.  No matter who wins, the result is loss.

An inner voice alerts me that if I do not recall her now, she will slowly and quietly disappear, absorbed into everything around her.  While this image is beautiful for those who receive her, it is grievous for the one who unintentionally goes missing.

And so starting this week, I am doing  a few things that I did for most of my life; things that kept me grounded and intentional and will give me a chance to exercise my grown up imagination.  Things that connect me with myself so that I can remember who she is, discover who she is in this ever-changing role of mother.

Starting today,

  • I am keeping a non-parenting related book on hand.  One whose writing style and story I get lost in.
  • I am keeping a journal.  I have kept a journal for nearly all of my life until Owen was born.
  • I am keeping track of what I am grateful for.  Five moments will be included in my journal each day.
  • I am keeping on hand a book, podcast or magazine that helps me to relax and turn inward.  Something that reminds me to connect with myself.
  • I am giving myself permission to take a few minutes multiple times each day to engage in one of these things.  Even if it means the kids watch TV while I do.

Life is so precious and short and it becomes so complex when others rely solely on you.  It is easy to get lost in meeting their needs.  I have to learn and know who I am within this role of mother.  Before my kids were too young for me to do this, but now I can.  So I will.

Have you experienced anything like this?  What have you done to connect with self again?

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7 Replies to “Losing Myself in Motherhood”

  1. Melancholy is the word that came to mind for me recently, too. I realized I’ve been that way for the past two years since we moved to Texas and the people I know here don’t know me any other way. 🙁

  2. Good for you! It is much better to discover this now than later. A mom who is centered and content in who she is as a person other than “mom”, makes a better mother. She teaches her children to love who they are, that their identity is who they are in Christ.

    This is my 18th (and last) year of homeschooling. My baby graduates this year. Like you, I don’t regret one single nano-second of the decision to be an at home, homeschooling mom. No regrets. None. But what I have found as two of my three married this year, and my “baby” is about to fly, is that the one downside of this wonderful course I’ve chosen is the loss of identity when this season has passed. I mean, who am I now? I’ve always been mom. My entire life has been wrapped up in my children and family. Now what? I am still “wife”, but I’m learning how to be “mom” in a different way. God reminds me that though my life has changed, my life isn’t over. Maybe I will write that book I’ve got tons of notes for. 🙂

    • Drewe,

      I have often thought about the day my children are no longer at home. I do trust that while it will be a new period of defining myself, it will be easier than I thought before having children. I hope that because we are spending so much wonderful time together and I am following my intuition instead of the crowd, it will be only sweet rather than bittersweet.

      A book is a great idea! Writing one, or just reading one 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting.

  3. Maintaining my sense of self continues to be one of my highest priorities both as a person and as a parent. I want my child(ren?) to value and know her own self, and how can she do that if I don’t model it for her? I think to love ones own self is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child.

  4. This rings so true for me. My little one is only 4 months old but since she came into my life, signalled by that faint blue line, my focus has moved ever inward. Now it feels as though we two are in a bubble drifting along. At times I attempt to connect with myself as l was, but she is gone and although every day with this new life is full of deep and previously imaginable joy, a small corner of my mind mourns. It is a puzzle to be solved; as my daughter’s personality and needs slowly unfold, so l find new capacities and limitations within myself whilst losing track of others. Thank you for your post. Today l will begin a journal; just taking time to record and reflect on a precious period and taking note of who l am as each day passes. Heather

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