Losing Yourself in the Seas of Motherhood

My husband and I were just recently blessed with the arrival of our third little lady, Everly. We have two older girls. Harlow is 5 and Vivienne is 3 and our family is complete. Every single person in the house adores Everly. She sneezes and one of us rushes to her side; she smiles and we all smile; she comes down wearing an adorable onesie and we all gush over her.

I am a very blessed woman! I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.

Right now my life heavily revolves around a newborn’s needs and the needs and schedules of my 2 older girls. And that means I have no time to myself. I don’t want to whine (well, maybe just little) because again I know I am incredibly blessed.

But I am also a hot mess right now. Motherhood and self have always been a difficult act for me to balance. I have serious issues with mom guilt.

At this very moment, I know I need some revitalization, but the mom portion of my brain is thinking otherwise. I breathe for my children. I am their stable parent. I made the choice to stay at home, to give up my career to see their milestones of infancy through childhood. I have a husband who works hard long hours which is great for his career.

I have many things to be thankful for but I am starting to lose myself.

Losing your old self a little with each baby–it’s something all moms go through. The pre-children days are long gone. Not that I miss that person before my children, except maybe her stretch mark-free body! But I love my kids with everything I have. However, I am forgetting to take care of numero uno and to love myself. It’s not that I’m forgetting on purpose, it’s just that I don’t have any time. Even if I wanted to do something for myself or something spontaneous (dare I say wild, like jumping on the trampoline alone at night, which I may or may not have done), one of my children would need me.

It’s all just temporary.

This is just the phase of life I am in right now. The new baby phase, nursing around the clock, through growth spurts, through sleep regression. I am dropping off a toddler at preschool then dance or piano, and the other is with me all day but has gymnastics. I’m trying to juggle their play dates, fun summer plans, and my own social life.

Honestly, I am totally burnt out. I haven’t been able to get a workout in, run on the treadmill, or remove the same pink nail polish I have been sporting on my toes for a little over a month. I’ve had to pray and cry and pray some more and remind myself this is a phase. It will all pass.

Sure, now I’m nursing my newborn baby, and the next thing I know she will be in middle school and my two big girls will be high schoolers and (gasp!) teenagers. But I have got to ask for help.

Find a babysitter and make time for myself. Forsake the housework and drag these little ladies to an outdoor run with mommy because that makes me happy. And also probably get this pink nail polish off. I am vowing to take care of myself. I need to balance them and myself because they deserve a happy, healthy mom.

Some days I’m not going to get alone time or be a pleasant person, but that’s the reality. Some days I will refuse to leave the house or wear anything other than pajamas. And you know what, that’s ok. Because I won’t wish away their littleness or these precious memories. I want them to see how important it is to love yourself, to take care of yourself and not feel guilty about it, and also make their childhoods great.

To all the moms who have given a little piece of themselves away: The product of your small sacrifices is the future of our world and those children are going to be the best generation yet.

So lead by example and take care of yourself!

About Rachel Motta

Rachel has been an Army wife for 6 years. She and her husband are at their third duty station with two little girls and another girl on the way. Currently, she is a stay-at-home mother and loves taking in all the perfect and cray-cray moments of motherhood. She has volunteered in the Army community in many ways but the biggest role was being an FRG leader for a year-and-a-half. Rachel is a licensed cosmetologist, chocolate fiend, avid runner, Kansas State University Wildcat fanatic, and a serial yoga pant wearer.

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