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Motherhood: Retaining Your Sense of Self

You might have worried that becoming a mother would completely change your identity, and in a way, it did. You can't become a mother without making huge changes in your life. However, the person you used to be is not gone forever—she has just evolved.

This evolution takes time. Your transition to motherhood doesn't end when your baby is born. While the pregnancy does confer the rite of motherhood upon you, the growth over that first year is what changes you. There are ways to influence these changes so that you don't lose yourself.

Essential

Taking a break for five or ten minutes a day to do something you want is not always easy. You may need to schedule this time to ensure that you get it. You might even try setting the alarm for a few minutes before your baby is due to awake.

Time for Yourself

One of the most important things you need to remember to do is to find time for yourself. This can be difficult as a new mother. You may feel torn between home, work, and family. By the time you try to add the demands of being a daughter, a wife, a friend into the mix, you may feel that there is nothing left for you.

To ensure that this doesn't happen to you, set aside time for self. This can be merely ten minutes every day. Those first few days of motherhood you may decide to use this time to shower. As your baby grows and becomes less dependent, you can move away more easily. This enables you to get away and take time for yourself.

Sometimes you might believe that this is a selfish attitude. Don't feel guilty—just think of the long-term benefits to you. You are much more able to think clearly and enjoy your family when you've been alone awhile. It's about self-preservation, not just a preference.

Question

What if you don't have time to get out to do something?
Try the Web! For example, if you like to scrapbook, you can learn everything you need to know, from techniques to materials.

New Hobbies

One way to get out a bit more often is to take up a hobby. You might have a hobby you've done for a long time and wish to continue. Perhaps you'll pick up a long-lost hobby. Or as you evolve as a mom, you might find that a completely new hobby interests you. Any of these options is fine.

There are many hobbies that you might find interesting. Scrapbooking is a natural extension of becoming a new mother. It's the perfect time to begin to chronicle the journey of your life and your family's life. If you like singing, look for a local nonprofessional or semiprofessional singing group that performs a couple of times of year. A reading group that meets monthly might be another great idea for you as a new mother.

Whatever you decide to do, remember to have fun. If you're a type-A mom, avoid going out and immediately taking over the organization or joining the board of directors. Remember, this is a hobby. Your hobby is for fun. If it's not pleasurable, don't do it.

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From The Everything Mother's First Year Book Copyright © 2005, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

To order this book go to Amazon.


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