I love being a mother. It is a huge part of who I am, and I believe that who I am comes out in the way that I mother. At the same time, there are so many other facets to who I am, and sometimes I feel like being a mom takes center stage and leaves little room for anything else. When children are small, their care requires a lot of time and energy, and while I am happy to embrace this season of my life, I know that it is healthy and appropriate to cultivate who I am outside of motherhood, too. Underneath the sleep deprivation and strange smears of who-knows-what on my clothes, I’m still very much who I was before my children came along. I find that when I am not intentional about carving out a little bit of space to just be me, things feel off balance. While big things, like my dream of a solo vacation, are fantastic goals, these five things are easy to do even when I don’t have much time. Fellow moms, what do you do to simply be yourself?
I’m a mom, but I’m still me, too.
History or fiction or glossy magazine
I have always loved to read, but because of my kids’ particular needs, I find that I spend a lot of my reading time researching things that help me parent them better. I have to be intentional about taking time to read things that are fun and interesting and not parenting-related.
Delicate necklaces and dangly earrings
Elvie is in full on toddler mode, and she’s not very gentle when she sees something she wants, so I tend to eschew most necklaces and all dangly earrings while I’m on Mom Duty. When I’ve got an opportunity to go out without the kids, I put on accessories that I don’t normally get to wear.
I put on my favorite scent when I get dressed.
This is one thing that I can do every single day that both feels like a luxury and makes me feel like me. When I get dressed, I put on perfume. A bottle lasts for so long, and a little spritz makes me smell and feel nice.
A little something my ears like to hear
Both of my children like some grown up music, so we’re not stuck listening to The Wheels on the Bus ad nauseum. Still, there’s plenty that I like that they don’t. Most of the time, I compromise and pick something we all enjoy, but from time to time I pull rank and put on something that is met with blank stares instead of dancing.
I have always been a lover of sweets, and I love having something a little bit fancy that I can eat slowly and savor. Because a big lesson that I teach my kids is to share, I can’t eat something in front of them that I’m not willing to allow them to taste. It’s also hard to eat it in a leisurely manner with two little faces staring at me. So I purchase secretly and take my time with my treat after they are asleep, preferably while watching a romantic comedy or costume drama.