While I was pregnant, I had quite a few people tell me, "make sure to still find time to be you when the baby comes." To be honest, my internal thoughts after being told that were always conflicted. I obviously knew that I would still need to take care of my desires, goals, etc. But, at the same time, I thought, "Well...I will be a MOTHER and isn't that supposed to be my most important job?" As with so many other things, as a first-time mother, I didn't know how valuable that advice was.
When my daughter did arrive, I completely went with the "I am a mother now and that is my role" side of the spectrum. I wasn't ever unhappy, but slowly, as the months went by, I just started to feel restless. Before I even noticed what was going on, my husband did. He started suggesting that I take time to leave the house after he got home from work...but I almost got offended by it. I had literally convinced myself that taking a break wasn't necessary, that I was the supremo mama because I never needed time away. It was completely irrational (I'm going to blame some of it on the postpartum and nursing hormones whirling around inside me)! My sweet husband continued to gently urge me to find something to do for myself, or to get back into the things that I loved doing before I became "mom." It took a few months. I am stubborn. (Bless you my husband, bless you!) But, I finally went out for yogurt one night with my friend....with my baby. HAHA. Being there with her, and not being able to completely focus on my friend, helped me to realize what my husband had been talking about for months. That night, I realized that I wanted to be there with my friend, and be able to not worry about a full diaper or when my little human needed to eat again. So, I went home and talked my feelings over with my husband and finally accepted that even when I need time to be away from my mom duties, I AM NOT ANY LESS OF A MOTHER. It took a few months for me to figure out how to incorporate "my things" into my mom schedule, but even just working on putting them there helped me feel the ME that I was missing! So what do I do for my ME time? Working out is my number one, so I schedule that in first; every day at 9:30 a.m. Baby girl goes to the kids' room and I kick my own butt. Some nights, I run to the grocery store after baby bedtime just to grab more milk. Even that simple act helps me re-center and find me. Obviously, date nights with the hubby are at the top of my favorite list as well!
The bottom line here is that it is 100% okay to need time to not be "mom." Obviously once you have a baby, you will always be mom! And to me, that is so wonderful! BUT, mama needs to be her best self and a little self care goes a long way. DO NOT feel guilty when you need a little break. Maybe you shouldn't go running for the door the second your husband is home from work. However, there will be those days where even just laying on your bed alone, behind a closed door, can re-set your systems and prepare you for another day! So, here I am passing along the same advice given to me, FIND TIME TO BE YOU EVEN AFTER BECOMING MOM!