Getting Back to Me: Six Ways to Reclaim Your Pre-Mom Self

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It’s easy to lose ourselves after having kids. The dreams we once had are forgotten and the inner drive to be our personal best can get put on the back burner as priorities change.

However our lives change when kids enter the scene, our core is still the same. We are still those same people who like to scrapbook, go for a run, and eat ice cream. Starting a family doesn’t have to be the be-all end-all of your identity – it just takes a little time to get it back.

There are several ways you can reclaim your pre-mom self. With a little prodding and much delight, you will be amazed at how wonderful it feels to get back to you.

  1. Music has a way of taking you back to a moment in time that may have been stored away to make room for those precious firsts with your child. A sure-fire way to steal back those moments is to listen to the songs you used to blast within the confines of your car or bedroom: dig up music you played in high school and college and enjoy the fact that you can still sing your favorites word-for-word.
  2. Working out isn’t necessarily something that everyone enjoys, but maybe you ran a marathon back in your glory days? Or used to enjoy dance or yoga, or loved taking a relaxing bath to cleanse away the day? Look into programs offered by your local gym or studio and consider reemerging into the healthy ways you used to take care of yourself… or develop one of the new self-care habits you’ve been telling yourself you need to. An hour of mindfulness is a wonderful addition to long days with your children.
  3. Reconnecting with old friends can fill a hole in our hearts that we had forgotten about. If there is someone from your pre-marriage, pre-kids, pre-adult life that you miss and would consider reaching out to, go for it. Surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, love you, and want the best for you can remind you that there is only one you, and you have a lot to offer. Maybe there’s an apology you need to give to make amends, or maybe you’re the one holding onto a life-long grudge. Whatever the situation, rid yourself of any negativity and reconnect with someone you want in your life.
  4. Make a bucket list. This is by far one of the best pieces of advice someone can give you. If you don’t have one, make one. If you made one a long time ago (before kids), look back at the things you used to want to accomplish, cross off any that you’ve finished, and add a few new things you would like to see happen. This is a fun and tangible way to get back to you.
  5. Hobbies can become a thing of the past when you have young kids. Who has time for anything other than wiping runny noses and potty-training? Those early days with little ones can feel like a never-ending series of one. long. day. All of those times you stayed up to care for your baby or tuck your toddler in just one more time will soon be a thing of the past. As your kids start to get older, carve out small chunks of time to take up hobbies you used to enjoy – or try a new one.
  6. If you’ve put off your education to start a family, consider some of the many ways to pursue learning, whether your goal is to obtain a degree, develop a business idea, or simply gain more knowledge about a topic you love. These days many colleges offer online and blended learning options that make it easier for busy parents to enroll. Classes offered through small business associations, recreation departments, and various certification programs make expanding your knowledge possible in workable chunks of time. Books on tape and self-paced online courses are also ways to pick up the education thread and revive your goals.

Give yourself permission to enjoy doing some of the things you used to like to do before things got so hectic. It can be fun to uncover the layers of the person you used to be. Motherhood can be exhausting … amazing, but exhausting. Take one moment for yourself and turn that into two moments, then three, and so on. It will make you a better mom, a better friend, and a better person all-around, and who doesn’t want that?

Meagan Ruffing
About Meagan Ruffing

Meagan Ruffing loves being a mom to her three kiddos Dylan, Hannah and Elinor but looks forward to finding more ways to reclaim her pre-mom self. She enjoys rocking out to Jewel in her minivan while waiting in the car line to pick up her kids from school.

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