You know that having children changes you. You know that you’ll never quite be the same again–inside and out. But have you ever stopped to wonder just exactly what or how you’ve changed? What pivotal moments in your mom-hood have made you more mom-like? And how do you really know when you’ve reached mom status? Was it when the pregnancy test turned pink or when you saw your baby’s first ultrasound? Was it in the delivery room or when you had to take your child to the ER in the middle of the night because of croup? For most of us, there will be different defining moments and that’s o.k.
Here’s a little exercise. Go ahead–take a few moments to do this. It will take about as long as your microwave works to heat your lunch. You might think you can do this just by mentally making a list. It doesn’t work that way. You need scratch paper and pen.
- Look around your kitchen or office or minivan wherever you tend to spend the most of your time.
- Are you there now? O.k., good.
- Now look around every nook and cranny. As you sit and look take notice of the things that catch your eye. (No this is not meant to be a new to-do list!).
- Write down what you see (and hear) in a list format.
- Here’s what’s happening in my kitchen: music playing (Ingrid Michelson), Amy’s Organic Indian meal=lunch, Kate’s kindergarten registration forms to be completed, new pediatrician forms to be completed, a Southern Living magazine just arrived, a Birthday card for my husband, a crude preschool drawing of Mary Poppins, and a bowl of Valentine candy. That’s it.
- Why bother? It’s a fun way to get a snap shot of your life at that moment in time. It tells you what’s important, what’s on your mind and who’s in your life.
When I was a teenager, I used to do the same thing, only it was my bedroom I was cataloging. I would sit at my desk before tackling homework and mentally go around my room jotting down things that I saw: “Catch-22” book for English, tickets to the prom, photos of me and my friends, posters of my latest band craze, tennis shoes on the floor, “Boston” blaring from the speakers…
O.k., so my high school bedroom was a little different than my mommy kitchen, but they are both a part of me. What’s part of you?
Hopefully being a mom has changed you for the better. I still hope you have parts of you that aren’t just “mom.” Look at this list of traits and see if you can identify with any of them–maybe since becoming a mom you’ve become more:
But have you found time to be “just you,” too? We all know that we can care for others better if we take care of ourselves first. What have you done for you today? Here’s another list to get you started:
- Planned a girls’ night out
- Went to the gym and put your kid(s) in the gym childcare
- Took a hot shower
- Read a book
- Created something (art/craft)
- Ate well
- Went shopping alone
- Had a coffee date with a friend (or alone)
- Had or made a hair appointment
- Surfed the web
- Watched a favorite TV program
- Listened to favorite music
- Sent an email to a friend
- Wrote a letter by hand
Can you mark any of those items off the list? Please do! Find one or two that you can actually do today and do it. You’ll be glad you put the “ME” back into Mommy.