After being separated from my husband for several months, I decided I was ready to try dating again. I went out to dinner with this guy who innocently asked me “What are your hobbies?” Welllll, I started and then stopped. I couldn’t think of a single activity I enjoyed doing that did not involve my son in some way.
This moment was shocking for me.
At the time, I was not even aware that I had lost a part of myself – the person I used to be before my son came along. This was a wakeup call for me that I had not been taking care of myself as “Christina the woman.” I had been spending all of my time as “Christina the mom.” While it is important to be a great mom, it is also super important to remember that you are someone who once wasn’t a mom and had passions, dreams, goals, hobbies and friends. Can you relate? Maybe your story doesn’t involve a divorce. You could be perfectly content in your current committed relationship, but you have been pouring so much of yourself into your children and significant other that you have left no time for yourself.
Have you recently looked in the mirror and not recognized the person looking back at you? Do you secretly crave to have time to yourself, but aren’t sure what you would do with yourself if you actually got it?
I have 4 tips that can get you started down the path of figuring out who you are as an individual, separate from your children. Reinventing yourself is so much fun! It is never too late to change the path that you are on. You can still be killing it as a mom while having a life of your own. The two can coexist together. Spending time on your own without your children will not make you a terrible or neglectful mom. It will do the opposite! It will give you that space you need so that you can recharge and come back to your family as a fulfilled and happy mom.
- Pursue your old hobbies
What did you love before you had children? Was it dancing, cooking, art or travel? Whatever it was that you enjoyed, you can do again! The hardest part is getting started. It will require getting out of your comfort zone. That can be tough when walking into a new situation, but you can do it! I promise you that if you can get over the hurdle of taking that first uncomfortable step, the next steps will follow!
Here are a few resources you can use when trying to find events or places where you can pursue your hobbies:
Google – Just type what you are looking for in the search box.
Facebook Events – There are a ton of events happening in your area and you can look through the events section on your Facebook page to see what is out there.
Meetup.com – This website has meetups for everything!!!
- Throw out those old clothes
This is such a fun and simple way to begin the process of reinventing yourself! Go through your closet and dresser. Get rid of ANYTHING that doesn’t leave you feeling confident and beautiful. We have so many clothes that are old and ratty or just not flattering, but we hold on these clothes. Why? Send the message to yourself that you are worthy of feeling beautiful. What constitutes as feeling beautiful is different for everyone and entirely up to you!! Just do not spend another day wearing something that leaves you feeling any less than amazing. And from now on, do not buy anything from the store that leaves you feeling less than amazing either!
Journaling is such a great way to process any event going on in your life! If you have one, dust it off. If you don’t, that is okay – just buy one! Take 5-10 minutes and answer the following questions:
Who do you want to become? You can be whoever you want to be. It isn’t too late and there are no restrictions to this. Believe in yourself and allow yourself to really think about the kind of person you want to be. Be deliberate here and then each day take one step towards becoming this woman.
What parts of you or your life do you want to change/improve? For each area that you list – write next to it one action step you can take along with the date you plan to complete it.
- Pursue you passions and goals
Is there something that you have been secretly dying to do, but think that you can’t? Girl, it is NOT too late!! Go out and do it!! Whatever that dream is, whatever goal you have for yourself that you think is going to take a miracle to achieve, know that it is possible. The end result of that goal may not turn out how you pictured, but the opportunities that will present themselves to you as a result of going after what you want are priceless. You will make friendships. You will learn so much about yourself. You will wake up one morning and reflect back to this moment and be so proud of yourself for being brave and giving it a shot, even if it seemed impossible at the time.
One last point I want to make. Our children watch us. They hear what we say to them, ourselves and to others. They see our actions. They can tell if we are happy or miserable and they learn how to interact with the world through what we teach them. We want the best for our children. We want them to grow up to be happy and fulfilled. We want them to go after their goals and pursue their dreams. If we aren’t doing this ourselves, what message are we sending them in reality?