Last updated on March 24th, 2021 at 10:44 pm
Motherhood is a full-time commitment. It’s not like you can press pause, pretend that you’re single, and your responsibilities as a mom will disappear into thin air. However, you don’t have to think of motherhood as the end of your independence. You can still maintain your own identity and enjoy some freedom while being responsible for your children.
Before the stress of being a mom burns you out, here are some simple ways you can keep your independence during motherhood.
Maintain Your Means of Livelihood
If possible, mothers should maintain their jobs after having children. Although challenging, it’s possible to juggle work outside the home and caring for children. Daycare and childcare services are usually available, and sometimes a willing family member can help out with the kids. Keeping a job means mothers can maintain their financial freedom, and continue to reach their goals, like saving money for retirement.
However, many moms feel they need to take time off work during their childrens’ first few years, especially if they can’t find reliable childcare services. According to the National Women’s Law Center, during the pandemic, the number of women who decided to leave the workforce in August and September of 2020 reached 865,000, which is about four times greater than the 216,000 among men.
If you are a stay-at-home mom, there are ways to earn money in from home. You can sell things online or do freelance work. There are also web-based money-making opportunities, such as signing up with the best survey sites that pay you for participating in their polls.
Don’t Let Mom Guilt Get the Better of You
One of the shackles that many women cannot break free from is mom guilt. This term refers to the nagging feeling that a mom has when she feels she’s not doing enough as a parent. There are times when mothers think they’re not doing what’s best for the kids even though they’re doing the best they can.
As a mother, you should accept that you cannot do everything perfectly. You’re bound to make mistakes along the way. Lose the mom guilt, and acknowledge that you’re not perfect–no one is. Be open and honest with your children, and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Deal with Stress
Stress is something that most mothers know all too well. However, if you want to maintain some semblance of peace, you need to manage your stress. One way to achieve that is by taking a break and having a few minutes or hours each day to focus on yourself. To feel recharged during the day, you can do yoga, meditation, or exercise before your kids wake up.
If you feel that you are near your breaking point, take a deep breath, step away from the stressfull situation for a minute or two if possible, and then regain your composure by giving yourself some positive reinforcement or affirmations.
Keep Your Identity
Many women will tell you that the best thing that ever happened to them was becoming mothers. Although being a mom is indeed a joyous experience, some get lost in the role. Giving birth to a child can trigger an identity crisis. Because they want to be the best mom possible, some mothers start to lose a sense of self as everything in their lives revolves around their kids.
It’s only natural for some things to change when you have a baby. You cannot splurge on luxuries like you did when you were single. You can’t get together with friends on a whim because a toddler depends on you for survival. Nevertheless, you should not completely turn your back on your previous life. Take care of your well-being, and don’t neglect your appearance. Continuing to do the things you like and enjoy every so often will help preserve your well-being and self-identity.
Comparing yourself to other mothers or comparing your children to your neighbor’s kids will only prevent you from being content, happy, and independent. You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses. Your family is unique.
It’s okay to look at others’ parenting styles so you can learn and maybe even discover some life hacks that can help you do the mom thing easier. But if you start to feel bad about yourself because you can’t bake the perfect cake for the PTA bake sale, then comparing notes with other moms might be doing you more harm than good, particularly when it comes to your self-confidence.
There’s no doubt that motherhood is one of the biggest joys in a woman’s life. But for you to fully enjoy being a mother and not treat the role as a burden, you should note the simple ways in which you can continue to love yourself and preserve your independence during motherhood.