How Moms Can Take Back a Bit of Independence

Being a mother can be a wonderful and beautiful experience. But one of the biggest complaints that I hear from other moms is that they feel like they lose their own identity once the kids are born. They suddenly become this monolithic being called “MOM” and have to spend every moment of their day focused on their kids to the point that they don’t really have time for themselves.

The good news is there is a way to work past this so that you can reclaim a bit of your independence and become a fully realized individual. The key to all of these is to find a way to manage your time. But once you do that, you can take back your independence in several areas.

Here’s how:

  1. Physical Independence—It’s a fact that as we get older, our bodies start to fall apart on us. One of my favorite quotes from Dolly Parton in Steel Magnolias is, “Honey, time marches on, and sooner or later, you realize it’s marching across your face.” But with that in mind, we still want to hold onto our youthful looks and physical energy and being a full-time mom can really sap that out of you. Exercise may not be on your radar, but it needs to be. If you have small kids, load them up in a stroller, give them a bottle or some juice, and just walk around the neighborhood. If your children are old enough to walk, have them join you. (A little exercise never hurt anyone.) But while you are walking, plug in your headphones and tune out the world a little just so you can focus on your physical well-being, but also so you can stay inside your own head for a little while and just think about the things that matter to you.
  2. Mental Independence—You’ve got to work your mind a little each and every day or else it’s going to atrophy. This can seem hard if the highlight of mental activity for your day is reading “Goodnight Moon” for the millionth time. It’s important to always have a book handy so that you can keep your mind working on more mature ideas. If you are rolling your eyes thinking, “How am I ever going to read a book?” then don’t worry. Today, you can easily get an audiobook to listen to in every minute of “me time” that you have. This can be when you are taking those neighborhood walks I mentioned in my last point, when you are cleaning the house, or when you are driving the kids to soccer practice. Reclaim every moment that you can and do something that will help you grow independently.
  3. Spiritual Independence—This one is a little trickier because it’s not something you can really multi-task. But set aside ten minutes each day for quiet, personal reflection. Once the kiddies are tucked away for the night, turn down the lights and just listen to the world around you. If you choose meditation, that’s great. If you call it “vegetation” instead, then that works too. Just spend some quiet time with your own thoughts and you will be amazed at how much of yourself you can liberate.

These are three areas that any woman needs to work on to help find the fully actualized version of who they are and who they want to be. Motherhood should not be seen as an impediment to these goals. Instead, you just need to work on your time management so that you can reclaim a little bit more of yourself and choose independence.


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