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On the Coast Magazine

Getting Back to Me!

01/04/2016 01:25PM ● Published by Nancy Babin

It’s easy to lose ourselves after having kids. The dreams we once had are long forgotten and the inner drive to be our personal best gets put on the back burner as priorities change. The question, “Who am I?” becomes a life-long quest for personal happiness and what used to make us happy no longer does.

However our lives change when kids enter the scene, our core is still the same. We are still those same people who like to scrapbook, go for a run and eat ice cream. Starting a family doesn’t have to be the end all be all of your identity; it just takes a little time to get it back.

There are several ways you can reclaim your pre-mom self. With a little prodding and much delight, you will be amazed at how wonderful it feels to get back to you.

1.      Music has a way of taking you back to a moment in time that may have been stored away to make room for those precious firsts with your child. A sure-fire way to steal back a piece of what used to blast within the confines of your car is to find those old CDs from high school and college and enjoy the fact that you can still sing your favorites word-for- word.

2.      Working out isn’t necessarily something that everyone enjoys to do but, maybe you did a marathon back in your glory days? Or maybe you used to enjoy taking yoga and then taking a relaxing bath to cleanse away the day? Look into the programs at your local gym and consider reemerging into the healthy ways you used to take care of yourself. An hour of mindfulness is wonderful after a long day at home with your children.

3.      Reconnecting with old friends can fill a hole in our hearts that we had forgotten all about. If there is someone from your past, pre-marriage, pre-kids, pre-adult life that you miss and would consider reaching out to, go for it. Surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, love you and want the best for you can remind you that there is only one you and you have a lot to offer. Maybe there’s an apology you need to give to make amends or maybe you’re the one holding onto a life-long grudge. Whatever the situation, rid yourself of any negativity and reconnect with someone you want in your life.

4.      Make a bucket list. This is by far one of the best pieces of advice someone can give you. If you don’t have one, make one. If you made one a long time ago (life before kids), look back at the things you used to want to accomplish, cross off any that you have finished and add a few new things that you would like to see happen. This is such a fun and tangible way to get back to you.

5.      Hobbies can be a thing of the past when you have kids. Who has time for anything other than wiping runny noses and potty-training? Those early days with little ones can feel like a never-ending series of one. long. day. All of those times you stayed up to care for your baby and tuck your toddler in just one more time will soon be a thing of the past. As your kids start to get older, carve out small chunks of time when you can and start taking up hobbies you used to enjoy or try a new one.

It’s okay to enjoy doing the things you used to like to do before starting a family. It can be fun to uncover the layers of the person you used to be and probably, have always been. Motherhood is exhausting, amazing, but exhausting. Take one moment for yourself and turn that into two moments and three and so on. It will make you a better mom, a better friend and a better person all-around, and who doesn’t want that?

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