I can say with complete honesty that being a mom is one of the most glorious things I've done, but it's also been the hardest by far. Along with all the snuggles, giggles, and childish wonder, motherhood brings exhaustion and sacrifice.
I think we've all been there. Before kids you swear you won't let them change you. You will still catch up with your friends on Friday nights. Still wear those high heels. Still make time for yourself. And then reality hits.
There never seems to be enough hours in a day. By the time the kids are asleep you are basically a walking zombie and any plans you had for some "me time" fall by the wayside. "Maybe tomorrow," you mumble as your head hits the pillow.
One day you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror and wonder, What happened? You used to be fun. Then you catch a glimpse of a curious three year old studying your face in the mirror and remember your traded a piece of yourself for the joy of watching a tiny person find their place in the world. And there's new fun to be had.
It is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of raising kids and other commitments you may have that you forget the person you used to be. Or you remember and you are desperately trying to hold onto that woman, in fear if you let her go she may never return.
I'm here to tell you that you're not lost. That woman has just been hibernating, keeping her cubs safe and warm. And when she emerges from her den, she will be stronger than ever.
But it's easy to read and write these words. When you're in the thick of parenting, you feel like you're so far in that you'll never get out. You'll never find that woman. My advice? Try.
Are you able to reclaim all of your freedom you had before kids? No, and that's okay. You make due with what you have. You have to make the time for yourself. This probably means sacrificing something else, but try not to let it be more of a burden on you. Maybe it means cancelling that play date. Or ordering that pizza. You deserve to find time for you.
Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.