I don’t even know who I am anymore. Probably the most jarring realizations a mom can have is when she realizes she’s lost her sense of identity.
So many moms, especially new moms, fall into this pit at some point in their motherhood journey.
And when it hits you, it can be a super depressing realization. The good news is, if you feel like you’ve lost your sense of identity, it is totally possible to get it back.
I don’t mean your “mom” identity.
Many people jump straight to the conclusion that being a mom is their identity.
To some degree that’s true. But you also have an identity as an individual.
What makes up who you are besides the fact that you’re a mom raising kids? This is what we so often forget about and end up losing sense of that identity.
But before we can talk about ways to get that sense of identity back, we need to discuss some reasons that moms lose their sense of identity in the first place.
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Why Moms Lose Their Sense of Identity
1. They center it around their kids
Too often, moms fall into the trap of thinking their identity revolves solely around their kids.
When you think the kids are all that matter in your life, you lose sense of your own identity.
Yes, you are a mom, but you’re also an individual.
You have needs as well. Yes, sometimes those needs get sacrificed for the good of the kids.
But at some point you have to remember that you need your own identity aside from the kids.
2. They pour all their energy into their kids
When you pour all your energy into your kids, you quickly find that there is no energy left for you or others who need you.
While your child may take up a lot of your energy, remember that your husband also needs you.
There are likely others who need you as well, such as friends and family.
Remember that you don’t have to spend every waking second of your day playing with your child.
It’s okay and even healthy to let them have some alone time to play (within eyesight, of course).
Don’t fall into a guilt trap by thinking that you have to constantly be with them and taking care of them.
It’s okay to let someone else watch the kids for a while. Let your husband or family or friend watch them for a bit while you take a break.
3. They have no hobbies of their own
When you have small children, it’s difficult at best to find the time to invest in your own hobbies.
As a result, many moms end up dropping any hobbies they had pre-kids and never return to them.
This is definitely not healthy for anyone.
Moms need to take the time to do the things they like as well.
When they don’t, they get sucked into a vortex of having their identity stuck to their children and the activities their kids participate in.
4. They fail to do self care
Again, time is limited when you have small children.
Many moms end up sacrificing precious self care time to clean up yet another mess and supervise their kids.
But when you fail to practice regular self care, whatever that may look like for you, you start to degrade little by little.
It’s important to take care of yourself and do the things that help you to recharge.
When moms neglect this, their identity begins to slip.
5. They let their own sanity slip
Personally, I think sanity and identity are tied together a bit.
Your sense of identity easily slips when you start to feel your sanity slipping.
Maybe your sanity is slipping due to disorganization.
Maybe the kids won’t stop arguing.
Whatever it is that makes you start to feel a little crazy, also begins to chip away at your sense of identity.
How To Get Your Sense of Identity Back
1. Set aside time for mom
If you find you’ve centered your identity around your kids, try to make intentional time for you.
Let dad or a friend take care of the kids.
Begin to make regular time to take care of yourself and do the things you want to do for yourself.
It doesn’t really matter what you do, just be intentional about making the time for yourself!
This will allow you the time and quiet necessary to regain your sense of identity.
Feel like there’s no time in your day to spend on you? I highly recommend getting into a healthy routine with your child.
Don’t know where to start? Check out the new course I’m creating, designed specifically to help you establish healthy routines with your child, and give you all the tools you need to help you succeed.
2. Take time to re-energize
Feeling run down and drained can definitely zap your sense of identity, which in turn can make you feel even more run down.
Intentionally take the time to re-energize yourself.
Feeling energized does wonders for your self esteem and self confidence.
3. Find a hobby
A lost sense of identity is often found when moms drop their own hobbies in favor of their kids’ activities.
Don’t let this be the case for you.
Find something you enjoy doing and make the time to do it.
Maybe it’s something you enjoyed doing pre-kids, or maybe it’s something entirely new.
If you don’t know where to start, try reading a book, go for a walk, or try a new craft.
4. Make time for self care
Self care is so, so important for moms, but so often neglected.
Carve out a section of time each day to do some form of self care solely for you.
You can’t save the world if you’re drowning yourself.
5. Stay organized
One great way to help you regain a sense of identity is to make sure you stay organized.
If your sanity is slipping, your identity likely is too.
Find and implement an organization system that works for you, and then use it!
Do you struggle to maintain your sense of individual identity? What do you do to help yourself keep feeling like your own person? Share with me in the comments below!