So many women lose themselves in motherhood. Some call this the “Silent War,” the process of slowly fading away from yourself, your interests and your passions without even realizing that it is happening.

At some point, all mothers face this crossroad in parenting. We come up for air and realize that we can’t answer even the most basic questions like: When is the last time you read a book and finished it? What is your favorite place to shop for clothing? What are your hobbies? When is the last time you had fun doing something that you love?

Mommyhood is a busy, never ending, demanding world of diaper changes, bottle and breast feedings, sleepless nights, laundry, dinner, carpooling and homework checking. Not to mention our role as chief love-magnet and nurse.

According to  a survey, mums spend the equivalent of three 40-hour work weeks changing diapers per child per year and are forced to stop and attend to their toddlers 210 times every day. It can be quite taxing.

Upon becoming pregnant, we mums are so focused on preparing for the new baby that we very seldom consider how to navigate this transition and affect our own personal growth once baby is born. Most of us spend our time planning pediatrician visits, searching for baby items and interviewing potential sitters. It would sure be nice to have compassionate mum mentors telling us of pitfalls to avoid from the beginning of our pregnancy.

Every mum gets it wrong before she gets it right, but many mothers still struggle with being vulnerable. We must redefine who we are once we become a mother—all with less sleep, clarity and the greatest responsibility that we have ever had to assume. And it isn’t just new mothers that struggle with having to constantly adjust either.

One mum who can relate said fourteen years ago, when she was six months pregnant, her mother explained to her that she had lost her own identity in motherhood. Her mum said, while she was in pursuit of being a good mother she forgot to be kind to herself. She asked her daughter to always take care of her own needs first (a radical thought for a new mum) and she told her that the best gift that she could her family is a whole mum: A woman that liked herself, knew herself and respected herself enough to experience her own life.

This to the mum who shared this story translated to weekly “me dates” where she learned to move away from all of her roles as wife, mom, business owner, etc. for a few moments. It meant that she had to get to know “herself” and to think about her life.

When we think about identity theft, we think about an impostor posing as another person. Yet in motherhood, we are the imposters in our own lives. And it is the result of the admirable quality of wanting to give everything to our children.

We forget the most important rule of self-preservation: you cannot give long-term what you do not have. Also, you share more of who you are with your children as you connect with the woman you once were.

Making the decision to end the “Silent War” is a decision that each of us has to make in our own time and season. We get to decide what happens in our own lives.

You can reconnect with who you are after motherhood in various ways, create a weekly ritual that allows you some time alone, ask yourself, “What can I do right now to make me happier?” Whether it’s being happier at home, at work, finding a new hobby or volunteering, your next step is to act on what you have realized.

You can also create a vision board of simple goals that you have for your life. Include your plans like graduate school, starting your business, losing 5 kilos from pregnancy or completing a 5k marathon. Find ways to balance your needs as you enjoy the parenting journey.


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