Finding Balance Between “I’m A Mom” and “Who I Am”

Some of you may be a little bit confused by the title of this. Even as I was writing it, I was trying to sort out what it really meant to me, personally.

It seems like once you become a mom, that’s what you are to people. Asking what else you do outside of parenting your child seems irrelevant to others and your interests are a seemingly moot point. But is it really? Don’t our personalities and passions still matter once we become a mom?

finding balance as a mom

Being pregnant with our 3rd and 4th children has made me think a lot about this balance and how I feel about my identity as not only “Mom”, but as a woman as well. Motherhood does not stop you from being your true self, it just adds so much more to it.

If you have been a reader for a while, you know that I hold nothing but the highest value on motherhood and the position that a woman has once she becomes a mom. I have shared all about my thoughts on “is motherhood a job“and I talk about my children in nearly ever post that I make. So, please don’t think this post in any way diminishes what it means to be a mom.

I think being a stay-at-home-mom is an amazing blessing. But, contrary to societal belief, my only identifier is NOT “I’m a mother”.

Being A Mom and Finding Yourself

When I first became a mom, I think I lost a lot of myself as I was trying to adjust to all of the changes that motherhood brings. With time, I have realized that there is a balance that has to occur in order to keep some sense of sanity.

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Finding things that I love to do and things that I hold important for myself are really crucial to a woman being happy with herself, as well as being happy as a mother. Once you become a mom, it is part of you. It’s not just something you do as a hobby or something that you identify yourself as, it IS YOU. But it isn’t ALL of you.

There was a period of time where I thought that continuing on with my schooling was selfish because it took a lot of time away from my children. As a mother, we sacrifice (and should do so without hesitation) on a daily basis for our kids. But, doing so does not mean giving up every bit of ourselves and what makes us happy.

It makes me really sad and somewhat frustrated when I hear moms say that they couldn’t continue with their own dreams and passions because they got pregnant or because they have multiple children. WHY NOT? Half of the time this is said with sadness, the other half it is said in a way that almost places the blames on their children (which is even more sad, just for other obvious reasons). Sure, there are adjustments that may need to be made and you may not be able to do it all right away, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still possible.

Being a mom doesn’t place you in this category of “that’s who you are now” or “that’s all you can be now”. So many women seem to feel that once you are a mother, that’s the end all. This is undoubtedly not helped in any way by the fact that society and bigger career positions aren’t extremely “mom friendly”.

I don’t know if this is the viewpoint of other mom’s out there. I could be completely off-base in my assumption that other women feel like this. But to me, it is constantly in the back of my mind as I am making decisions about my life.

So, who am I? I’m a wife, I’m a student. I’m a blogger/writer. I love all things beauty and fashion related. I love wine. I love going out to nice restaurants with my husband and having a dirty martini with friends. I enjoy hiking. I love the beach, and I love taking some quiet moments of pampering or shopping all by myself every now and then. I have (soon to be) four amazing children that see me as “Mom”. While many of these things involve my children, not everything I do relates directly to my children. However, nothing I do will ever be more important to me than they are.

It’s okay to do things for yourself and to have passions for something other than your kids. It doesn’t make you a bad mom or a selfish person, it makes you a woman who has a self-identity which includes more than the title of “mom”.

So, mom’s out there, what do YOU like to do for yourself that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with your child(ren)?

*Here’s to being all that we want to be as women, mother’s included*

joanna at motherhood and merlot

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19 comments

  1. I agree it’s important to keep your sense of “self” when you become a mom. It gets easier as your kids get older too. I think maybe if someone doesn’t have a support system, has to work full-time (since the child was born) or had a child very young and hasn’t found that balance that’s when those sentiments you refer to may arise. Life, motherhood and balancing our “self” is really key to happiness. When you have support of a partner, family or network of friends it’s easier to do.
    Theresa @DearCreatives recently posted…The Fashion Project: Helping Women With Cancer! #HelpBetterBegin #IC #adMy Profile

    1. You are so right! Having a support system really helps, especially in those early baby years when it is so easy to completely lose our sense of self in all of the new mommy duties.

  2. Exercising, blogging and date days with my husband sans kids keeps me grounded. That Me time is so important. One day they’ll be gone so if we balance it now the time for us will feel more natural in the future. Great post!!

    livingoncloudandreanine.blogspot.com

  3. I think it is so important to have things for YOU after you become a mom.. I work full time but I still wanted to start my blog since I felt like I needed my own outlet, some place just for ME. 🙂
    Lauren recently posted…Why I Love RocksboxMy Profile

  4. I’ve been guilty of putting myself into the “Just a mom” category. My main hobby is playing video games, and I used to be able to spend 5+ hours just playing nonstop. Now that I have my daughter, I can no longer be that extreme, even during her bedtime hours. I think I’ve learned to accept that and just get in whatever I can, whenever I can. =) I’m a mom, but I’m still a gamer!
    Jaime recently posted…Kroger Deals 5/20 – 5/26My Profile

  5. I could not agree with you more, Joanna! Yes, being a parent means making sacrifices, but it doesn’t mean giving up who you are as an individual. I think it is so important for parents to pursue their own interests and identities outside of their families. I do this through blogging and making jewelry, volunteering, keeping up with my bookclub (although now about 1/4 of us are moms!) and spending time with friends.
    Bev recently posted…A little gift to myselfMy Profile

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