I started this blog because I felt I had lost who I was and wanted to find myself. It was time to be me. I realized today I had gotten away from that journey and it was affecting me.
Today a woman who is struggling with some issues in her life, commented that she needed to get her life back, that she had lost herself in raising her kids and felt she had gotten boring. I assure you this woman is far from boring, but I got her point. I told her this is something many stay at home moms suffer from, in all age groups. We lose ourselves somehow when we devote ourselves to being great mommies and we wake up one day, at 30, 40 or even 50 like I was and wonder what in the heck happened to us ? It made me start thinking about how I got here, and what caused me to lose who I am ?
We adore our kids, we are told they come first and we put them first. For me, I woke up later in life, and met a fat, on the edge of unhealthy, totally lost version of myself. Who is this woman that looks back at me in the mirror ? That cannot possibly be me. Ah, but it is.
How sad, that the one treasure in our life, our precious kids,they are such a wonderful gift, are also the one thing that bring us down as the creative , inventive, curious, fun loving women we could be . In our love for them, we lose some of our love for ourselves. Many women learn to hate the woman they have become, which is especially sad. We are all lovable, even in our scattered, lost state, we deserve to love ourselves, and each other. We deserve to be loved by our families. We are lost , perhaps, but not worthless or unlovable. Many times the weight is from metabolic changes caused by childbirth, yet women blame themselves. Yes we are partly to blame, but it happens so slowly while we make sure our kids have what they need. Weight goes on slowly and one day, like the frog in the frying pan, that when the heat is slowly raised, does not sense it and boils to death, which by the way is a myth I read, but a good way to describe what happens. You just do not see the weight adding up. It really is a shock when you see that video or photo of you, and you say, oh my gosh, who IS that woman , Me ???
We are told, we cannot have it all and do it all well. Why not ? Men have for centuries. They could have a fulfilling career, fame, fortune, or just a great job they love, making good money and then come home and spend the weekends playing with the kids and enjoying having it all. They feel no remorse over housework not done. They do not worry about the laundry. Women on the other hand, tend to take it all on. They work, come home, do the housework and cook and do laundry while the husband in many cases has been playing with the kids, or watching tv, but many times when he does offer help, the woman says No, I’ve got it. Guilt is a terrible thing. I do not think, a lot of the time, that the men do not want to help, they just do not agonize over it like women do. When they do offer a few times and are told no, many times they stop offering. The women starts to feel she has no help, but she has actually caused it by not letting him help. NOT ALL WOMEN DO THIS, and not all men help either. But I have seen it again and again over time. Or if he helps, she gets mad that he did not do it right and re does it. I am embarrassed to say I have been guilty of that a time or two as I have a wonderful husband who was always willing to help. Once I realized what I was doing, I stopped it. I appreciated the help he was giving and took it the way he did it. It was not wrong, just not MY way. Sometimes things can be done HIS way and they are just fine.
Some women are married or partnered with a man who does not feel he should have to help. I like to think this happens less as time goes on, but it still happens. The women is expected to cook, clean, take care of kids, and maybe even work outside the home as well. That kind of situation makes it much worse and the result is a complete loss of identity sometimes because they just do what is expected of them with no thought of what they want.
No matter how it happens, somehow, many women lose the sense of who they are. What they enjoyed , things they were interested in. The spark goes out and they feel let down by life. They do not even realize why they are so unhappy. They just feel guilt all the time, no matter what they do and feel a sense of something missing. When you are home everyday, no adult conversations, cleaning up kids messes and not doing anything you love, you lose more of yourself each day.
Many Dads do not feel guilty for working. It is what they have to do for their families. They go to work to get a check to pay the bills. But many women feel such guilt when they work. They feel they have to make it up when they get home, being supermom, and they burn out fast.
Cooking, cleaning, soccer practice, they work all day, come home, and work until they drop in bed at night. It never seems to end. No down time, no time to be themselves, over time, they just disappear . They may even look the same, but they are not the same inside.
I wish as a whole, that society would support moms more. Women can be meanest to other women. Stay at home moms criticize working moms, working moms criticize stay at home moms. Why can’t we just support each other as women and help each other to be the best we can be no matter if we stay home to raise our kids, or go out in the world and pursue a job or career ? We do not need to put other women down to justify our choices. Many choices can be good ones, you have to pick the best one for you !!
It is time for women to realize thier value. To give themselves permission to find themselves. To ask their spouses to support their journey to find themselves. They will benefit from this discovery as well.
We fall in love with our spouse and some people wake up one day and do not like who they are looking at. But I believe we all take some responsibility in our spouses changing in ways maybe we might not like. Did we encourage them to follow thier dreams, or to even have dreams ? Did they ask them how they are feeling, or what they want to do with their lives outside of their parenting roles. Men and women , we need to do this. Lets be clear, men can go through this as well, but women seem to really have a corner on losing themselves. It is just as tragic when men lose themselves, but it seems more common with women. I could be wrong, but that is my experience !!
So, we have to give ourselves permission to be happy. We have to love ourselves just the way we are. Fat , thin, young old, it does not matter. We are worthy of being loved and cherished and we are worthy of finding out what makes us happy.
Reba McEntire has a song that says it all, Is there life out there ? I love the lyrics to this song. A woman talks about how she longs to see what is out there in the world, she does not want to leave her family, just wants to find herself. This song really speaks to me.
I started on this journey to find myself and got lost again and let this blog just sit here , unused. . Life happens and we just sort of let go of the search and let life pull us along.
I decided that I am going to work on me.
Exercise, eat better, no drastic food changes, but small positive ones. I am lucky, my husband is on this same wavelength, so we are doing this together.
pay off debt, a goal with my hubby, we want to be debt free to open door for us to things we would like to do.
I am blogging and praying and meditating to find myself. I am not sure who I am anymore. I am being kind to myself. I have a lot of weight to lose and I refuse to call myself names or put myself down. I would never talk to someone I loved like that, why would I talk to myself that way. Yet I hear women call them selves horrible names all the time. I do refer to myself as fat, but as a descriptive word, not as an insult. Saying I am fluffy is not going to give me incentive to lose weight. Stating the fact I am overweight, or fat, puts the fact out there and helps to push me.
So, I know this was a rambling post but I just feel so strongly that something needs to be done for women. We should be able to raise our kids, and not lose ourselves in the process.
If the woman I mentioned at the start of this happens to read this, then thank you, you got me thinking about my own journey again. I have been feeling a bit lost and now I can start to work on finding myself again. That is the worst part, when you lose yourself and forget the journey you started to find yourself. Life can take back over in a second, we have to be diligent, but we can be happy, we can be fulfilled, we can be interesting and are probably more interesting then we realize, we just have to get out of our own way !!
We can be moms and can love our kids, and give them a lot, but we have to give to ourselves too.
I have always heard when you are on a plane the instructions are, in an emergency, put the mask on yourself first, make sure you have air, so that you can save your kids. this is the same thing. When we are interested in life. When we enjoy our life, when we are happy, the kids benefit.
We have to put ourselves and our relationships with our spouses first , the kids need us to do that. We have to give ourselves that oxygen first. Then, and only then, we can take care of them . They will be better people if we show them an example of a happy fulfilled mom. What a great gift to give our kids. To show them how to live well and keep themselves intact while they raise a family. It is hard to do, but we can do it. I am praying we can see the next generation coming up not suffer from this.
It is never to late to find ourselves. We need to be a shining example to other women.
So, I start, and will take it , one day at a time, on breath at a time, and I will get there, and the discovery of who I am will be all the more precious for the journey I have been on !!
Thanks for bearing with me, but I feel so passionate about this, I appreciate you stopping by and would love to hear your input. I do not claim to know it all, just know how I feel. I would love to hear how other women deal with this, and the men who love them. So, comment away, I would love to hear from you !!