I became a wife. Then a mom. And then, in the blink of an eye, I totally forgot about the girl I was before.
Hobbies? I had none. Friends? Barely any. Happy with my life? Not at all.
Because I stayed home with my kids for 4 years, my whole identity got taken over by being a mom. I truly forgot about myself. I gained weight, drank excessively, was massively depressed, but had no idea how to pull myself together.
It was like the kids took all of my energy and I had no energy left to focus on myself.
I got so lonely, so low, so down on myself, that I had no idea how to get back to the girl I once was.
I did little things over the years: I started working out and lost my “baby weight“, then I got a part time job, then I decided to start focusing more on friendships. All of those things helped put me back together.
I have talked a lot about my journey to antidepressants and I can’t stress enough how crucial this was for me in finding my way back to becoming myself again. I would not be where I am today without them.
It’s hard to say what the exact turning point was for me that made me decide it was time to change. 2017-2022 were all really tough years for me, so I decided in December of 2022 that I was done being unhappy. That this was no longer “baby blues” that I was feeling. Something more was going on.
It wasn’t overnight. And it wasn’t easy.
I started reading self help books, listening to podcasts, and journaling. Once I started focusing on filling up my own cup and spending my time doing things that truly brought me joy and made me feel like I was becoming a better person, only then did things started to shift.
I also stopped drinking every night. And started taking my Zoloft daily. And putting more energy into the relationships in my life.
The saying “it’s not one thing, it’s a million little things” rang so true for me.
It is choosing to look at things in a “glass half full” perspective. Instead of doing household chores and things with the kids and thinking “Ugh, I have to do this”, I have rearranged my thoughts to “I am so blessed I am able to have the opportunity to do this”.
Most moms work full time. Or they stay home full time. Honestly, how lucky am I that I get to experience a little bit of both working part time? I took that for granted for too long.
My advice on how to find your identity after becoming a mom is this: Remind yourself DAILY that you are a person too. Yes, you are a mom, maybe a wife, but also a friend, sister, daughter, cousin, and so many other things that define you. Being a mom is my #1 title in life. But it is not my only title. And in order for me to be the best mom I can, I have to put my own happiness first.