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Every single relationship if I'm being honest. If you don't know, I help unhappy moms who feel lost in their marriage to be happy again, and a lot of times, we get to that place of feeling lost, because we're no longer getting our needs met anymore. If you have that go-to coping mechanism of stepping into a victim mentality, you might ask yourself, why aren't they giving me what I need anymore? Why did they stop? What happened here? And what we really should be asking? On top of that question is, what have I done? To get us here? Not from a place of blame, but from a place of awareness? What part did I play? To get us to where we are right now? Because it takes both of you to get there.
Because our partner stopped doing something, and why did they stop doing that thing, because we stopped being the person that they married. Right? We are all supposed to change over time. Sometimes that change isn't intentional, sometimes that change isn't positive, or in the direction of growth, or in the direction of the connection, deepening the connection with our partner. So naturally, if you are no longer the person that they married, and you're like this shell of a person, it means that you've lost yourself. And if you stop being yourself, your partner may have lost the motivation to do what they used to do earlier on in your relationship.
So I'm going to share with you my experiences of losing myself because I feel like all moms can relate to this. I feel like we've all gone through those moments where we feel like we've lost ourselves to motherhood because it is such a normal part of the journey, and while it is normal, I don't want to give you license to be like, “Oh, well, I'm just gonna stay like this.” Because normal is not equate to something that serves you. I actually started out as a stepmom before becoming a mom. When I first started dating my husband, he already had a one year old from a previous relationship. When we decided to date, it was very much a conscious decision, there's more at stake than just us because if we didn't work out, we could just break up but now we have a child who is involved. And so we had to really speed up how we thought about things, we experienced more relationship maturity quicker than most relationships I would say because there was more at stake.
I said to myself, “I'm going to be the best damn stepmom ever.” In that process, while I didn't realize that I started passing on parts of me. I started sacrificing parts of myself in an effort to be a quote unquote, good mom. I stopped saying yes to going out with my friends because we were now in a different phase of life. They were very much still partying, shopping, and doing all the things, and I felt like that's not aligned with what a good mom does. So I need to say no to those things because that takes away from family time. I stopped teaching yoga because that happened during family time. I stopped practicing yoga because that happened during family time. So as you can see, I was very responsibility focused. If it didn't have anything to do with work, the house, or the family? I didn't do it. Over time, I started losing myself with every decision I made every, no I said, that really made me me. And I became more and more irritable, more and more impatient.
I didn't realize that was what was happening. I just assumed it's normal to lose your shit on your child because they pushed you too far because they're not listening. I normalized it and basically gave myself permission to just accept that that was a tough season in my life.
I then got pregnant with my son. When he was born, I went through the newborn phase, for the first time. I had no production issues, with that came, its problems and struggles, back then fed is best was not a thing. So my mind went to, “well, I'm supposed to breastfeed my son, and if I do not, I'm not being a good mom.” I spent a lot of my time and a lot of my energy judging myself and doing everything that I could to increase my milk production levels. When I wasn't nursing, I was pumping. And it was just a full-time job. I literally felt like a cow. Not in a good way. I was not a happy cow. Other than that, my son was also allergic to sleep. He would nap for 20 minutes. He would take two hours for me to put him down at night, every single night. I just lost myself even more in that process. I didn't feel well, I didn't feel like same. I was sleep deprived. I was even more irritable, irritable, than before I would snap at my husband, I would probably pick fights if I'm being really honest, too. I would just lose my shit so much more often on, you know, on my older son, on my husband, everything just seems so awful. In a time where they paint in society that motherhood is all that. This sucks. Why do people do this? This is so hard. I feel like I'm just like this empty vessel to take care of this child. I don't feel like myself anymore. I stopped brushing my hair. I stopped caring about how I dressed I stopped doing things for me.
I felt really like isolated because I didn't really hang out with my friends anymore, because a lot of them didn't have kids yet, or some were like having difficulty conceiving. Me having a child was triggering for them. It was just a really hard time for me. So it wasn't like I woke up one day and just decided, I'm gonna lose myself. It was, not a conscious decision that I made. It was in the tiny decisions that I made every single day. That led me to that point. What it created was someone who was overwhelmed, burnt out, and unhappy. When I realized that I lost myself, it was in the moments where I was like, wow, I am feeling more disconnected from my family than I feel connected. I'm fighting with my husband more when before that was not really a thing. We would have our disagreements, but we wouldn't fight. And it wouldn't get to that level where it was, escalated. I felt like what was happening right now. It didn't feel like us. I was showing up as the mom, aka, the monster that I didn't want to be.
It was from that, that I realized just how important taking care of myself was, and how it impacts all my relationships. My relationship with myself, my relationship with my husband, my relationship with my kids, and to be honest, my recent birth, and by recent I mean two years ago. My daughter’s newborn phase was the first time that I truly was able to take care of myself and a child. That felt like a massive win, and it's so different. The experience of raising her has been significantly, exponentially positively better than the other two times that I was taking care of young children. I really attribute that to prioritizing myself.
Let's talk about why women put themselves last. Why we tend to put ourselves last is because of what happened, we learned this from our parents, more specifically, our moms or our female caretakers. In that generation, martyrdom was big, so big. If you put everyone else ahead of you, you are a good woman. Which is complete bullshit, right? If you have a clean house and obedient children and appear perfect, everything is all good, even though you're miserable inside. You don't care about your own happiness, you just suck it up. What kind of life is that? That's a terrible life. It is their sacrifice, and that mentality that has gifted us this amazing thing called mom guilt. Sarcasm, right. I hope you noticed that one. Becoming a mom does not have to mean the death of your womanhood. I hope that if you take away any message all from this episode, it is that.
When you're comparing a baby versus a grown adult, of course, you're gonna be like, Oh, the baby needs me because they're defenseless, and they need me, and they literally can't do anything without me. Whereas your partner's like, yeah, you got it, we'll be okay. You know, we'll reconnect when the baby's older, we'll reconnect when the kids are more independent, we'll reconnect when the kids move out. We have our house to ourselves again. That's begging on the assumption that your marriage connection can actually sustain. Waiting that it can actually sustain being put on the back burner for that long. If the roles are reversed, let's say you were the dad, or you were the other parent, and your partner was like, “hey when we get married, I'm gonna put you on the back burner for 18 years when we have kids. Okay?” We don't do that.
When I don't take care of myself, I still fall into this from time to time, because of society. I am really not the best person to be around, I'm cranky, I nitpick, I criticize, I get passive aggressive. I am not transparent about my needs. I pick fights, I blame, I do all the things that you're not supposed to do. All the things that are bad habits that I've picked up and reinforced over time. That really creates disconnect rather than what you actually want, which is a connection. When I'm that version of myself, of course, my husband's like a disconnect, I don't want to be here, around you, it's way more stressful than enjoyable. Let me know when you're back to yourself. If you think about it this way, and also like how you are as a mom when you don't take care of yourself when you're fully depleted, then there's only one thing that you can really come to accept is that self-care isn't actually selfish.
It is actually in service to your loved ones. So taking that time to yourself to rejuvenate yourself, whether it's sleeping in, whether it's going out with your friends, you know, doing things that don't have to do with the family. While it means spending time away from them, you got to do what it takes to be the best you possible.
let's talk about what self-care is. Self-care is just the act of taking care of yourself. If that's the intention of taking care of yourself, you have to ask, “What do I need to do to take care of myself? How do I feel taken care of by myself?” Let's cover why moms don't do self-care in the first place. We're busy as hell. We have so many responsibilities to meet. We have people to take care of. You know what I hear when someone gives me those excuses. I am not a priority to myself.
Things take time, regardless of what we're doing. Energy-wise, some things actually give us energy. For example, going to the gym. We're dreading it, were dreading it, were dreading it. When you go and you come back, you're like, I have so much energy, I'm gonna go do this, I'm gonna go do that. It just has this positive result on you. How's a positive benefit? So here are examples of how you can take care of yourself in ways that actually have longer lasting benefits and build off of each other if you do them consistently.
Number one is your health. Getting enough sleep, hydrating, eating nourishing foods, and moving your body. Then there are things like prioritizing your joy, versus responsibilities, and what does that look like? It looks like what do I value in life? And scheduling the rest of the stuff that needs to happen around that? And even questioning your responsibilities to me, do I have to do this? Or do I just feel like I shouldn't do this because this is what my mom did? Or this is, what I think people need to do in order to be a good mom, or to be a good housewife, etc, etc. Right? Really questioning that, and working with your partner to make sure your schedule for how things run in your day, as family supports that.
If a family connection is a priority, then prioritize that. It's really about making things a priority, making time for what's a priority, and not finding the time. Notice the difference? It could be doing things for yourself, going outside, getting some sun going to hang out with friends that really support and uplift you. It could look like turning your passion into a business, right? And then there are things that self-care also counts as but is uncomfortable, but necessary. It's the unsexy work, the stuff that we want to avoid because we didn't witness our parents doing it. Such as feeling your feelings, versus suppressing them. I get that it's inconvenient sometimes to go through your emotions but make time for them, because when you don't, they can do some damage to your body, and your body keeps score.
And if you don't deal with it, it kind of keeps coming up in the most inconvenient ways. In your relationships, in you say no to things that you really want to do with your self-worth? It's just really flexion up in your life. It just really fuck shit up in your life. I don't recommend it.
Then there are setting boundaries right with yourself with other people. Keep your promises to yourself. You know, telling yourself to release relationships that are more toxic than supportive. You don't need to keep being friends with people who are not a positive influence on your life just because you've been friends with them for a million years.
People are sometimes in our lives for seasons. Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever. Sometimes they're here to teach you a lesson about yourself, or to help you expand. Clearly communicating is a huge part of setting boundaries as well as making it clear what you're okay, with and what you're not okay with advocating for yourself. So those are some different ways that you can practice self-care that isn't so, surface level attractive, but have really, really lifelong, positive impact on you, and your experience of life, right? Well, what happens when you don't take care of yourself? What's the impact on you? What's the impact on the family? What's the impact on your marriage? For me, it was very much hating myself for losing my shit, often. feeling disconnected from my husband, feeling disconnected from my kids. It's not something I wish on anyone, but I know that I'm not alone. On the flip side, what happens when you do take care of yourself? What's possible, then? Literally anything, you love yourself. You're kind, compassionate, patient, fun, flirting, and playful. So the question now is, what do you desire out of your life as a woman, wife, and mom? Really take a second, close your eyes, and picture.
Hold on to that picture that vision to help you carry yourself through to actually being committed to taking care of yourself. That's what's at stake, what you envision for your life as a woman, wife, and mom, that's at stake. I want you to decide from that place not from, oh, I'm tired. I don't want to this is too hard. I'm uncomfortable, I'm afraid. You can do that. But only if you're willing to give up what you want. Only if you're willing to give up what you want.
I really hope this helped you out to reignite your worthiness to take care of yourself to ask for support to be able to take care of yourself. I know that you can't just ignore the kids, especially if they're young, but sometimes it does take support. Maybe it means having a conversation with your partner or having a conversation with your parents and being like, “Hey, can you do XYZ?” You deserve it. The woman in you deserves it and just go take care of yourself. Everyone will be happier for it and we need you to be happy. You are out there breaking a cycle of sacrificing moms. And let's end that. Okay.
Really set the tone for the next generation to be like, “Oh, I know what to do this because I was shown how and because I was taught how.” We didn't get that. So let's be it.
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