Today’s challenge was designed for very selfish reasons… the truth is I have to make a speech in a few days in front of 300 women, and my assigned topic is “Getting Your Life Back After Having Kids.” Even though I feel that I have successfully navigated the process of establishing my own separate identity, apart from the roles of wife and mom, I am really not sure yet what I am going to say. It is such a complicated and personal process, getting your groove back (I prefer that phrase over “Getting Your Life Back”), and certainly not something I can distill and communicate during a brief speech!
So your challenge is this… think about who you are, separate from being a mom. Have you established separate interests, activities, and/or a career? What do you do in your life that makes you feel like you? And, how did you get there? What are your tips to women everywhere who are looking to feel like their old selves again after becoming moms?
Just to get the conversation started, here are a few thoughts I have on the subject:
– Getting your groove back means evolving. Your priorities change and your ambitions may have changed since before you became a mom. A lot. You can still create an identity for yourself that is separate from the role of “mom.”
– Being a mom is and will always be the first priority in my life, but it is not the only thing in my life; it has been critical for me to make that distinction, in order to give myself permission to have separate interests without guilt.
– Scheduling and time management allow me to squeeze in work, family time, time for exercise, time with friends, and time with my husband. There is not time for much else. I have to be very diligent about scheduling in order to make it all work.
– My personal ways of getting my groove back? Working–running this business makes me feel independent and strong; running and other forms of exercise (for fun, I just started taking pole dancing classes!); spending time with friends; and date nights with my husband.
– One final thought is that I don’t recommend trying to get your groove back when your kids are really little. I remember having new babies and being totally swept up in the experience of mothering those babies, and I would not trade that for anything. At that point I did not want my groove back! It happens at a different time for each of us, and only your gut can tell you when it is time for you to start. For you, it might be when your youngest starts school… or when he/she goes to college!
What about you? What are your tips for getting your groove back?