besides “Mom,” who am I?

A few weeks ago the Friends theme song came on the radio in the car… it reminded me how much I used to love watching that show and it made me think about who I was before I became “Mom.”

Ya know how they say no one is happy unless mom is happy? I think it’s true. And definitely not because I’m the most important person in the household or anything, but because I’m the one home every day with the kids and if I’m cranky, it totally rubs off on them. If they’re cranky… and mommy is cranky… daddy is likely to become cranky when he gets home from work. (Although he is pretty awesome and WAY more patient than I am and he rarely gets cranky.)

It’s just one giant cycle… the kids get cranky from me and then I get even more cranky.

What makes me cranky? Probably a lack of sleep. Ryan is up between 5:30 and 6am every day and I stay up way too late at night because it’s my only free time to sit in peace and get blog work done.

But I think another major factor is… losing myself. I’ve become “Mom” and have let it completely define me. I’m off work for the summer (and actually haven’t worked in the past year because last semester we had a baby and the semester before the college cancelled the class I was supposed to teach). Every day, I get up and I am immediately “Mom” to two kids. I’m Mom all day. I read Thomas books, I watch Sesame Street on TV, I talk to Ryan about birdies and vacuums, I change diapers, I kiss boo-boos, I ignore tantrums, I breastfeed two children, I cook meals, I do laundry, I clean. I am Mom.

But I’m not only Mom and that’s too easy to forget. Of course I love being a mom and I’d do anything for my kids, but sometimes I feel like I’ve lost myself. I’ve read articles before about how important it is to schedule some “me time” to help you rejuvenate and to help you be YOU. I used to think I’d schedule something once a week… maybe a solo trip to the coffee shop? a pedicure? But that hasn’t happened in awhile. And I really think you need to actually try to schedule something every.single.day, if you can. Even if it’s a 15-minute soak in the bath (sans kids, of course).

So… who am I (besides Mom)?

  • I love watching episodes of Friends. Over and over and over. But I can’t remember the last time I did that–even though I have almost every episode on DVD.
  • I love music and going to concerts (The Who, DMB, Aerosmith, Phil Collins, Offspring, etc.), but can’t remember the last time I blasted a favorite and sang & danced along. (I DO, however, have tickets to see Aerosmith next weekend!!! WHOO!)
  • I love rainstorms and lilacs and being barefoot. I love fancy (fast) cars and am fascinated by tornadoes and the human body. I’m a science nerd with a masters degree and I miss doing research. I love reading–particularly Stephen King (or 50 Shades of Grey).
  • I love adventure and spontaneity. I’ve jumped out of a plane, I spent a month traveling Australia and New Zealand, I’ve been ziplining, swimming with stingrays and sharks and wild dolphins, crawling/swimming through an underground cave, sleeping under the stars of the outback while wild dingoes howled. I’ve had two kids 😛 (what’s next?)
  • I looooove coffee and am a gold member at Starbucks. I enjoy pedicures and manicures, but will rarely ever paint my own nails. I’m not much of a girly girl.
  • I’m a “miracle baby.” I was born with hyaline membrane disease and they told my parents I was going to die. I was a very determined little baby and I am still a very determined person.
  • Someday I’m traveling through Africa. And taking my family to Norway (I’ve been once with my parents & brother).
  • I love my alone time, but I love spending my time with friends and family, too. I trust everyone, to a fault.
  • I used to play tennis and I used to run. I used to play the piano, the flute, and the trumpet. I wish I could play the violin.

So what are some things I can do each day or each week for ME time?

  • Put on some headphones and take a quick walk or run.
  • Pick a book and read it (even if it takes me a month).
  • Sit in a coffee shop (alone) and enjoy my mocha.
  • Schedule a spa visit–for a pedicure, manicure, massage, whatever.
  • Paint my own nails?!
  • Do a home facial… I’m sure I can find a good recipe on Pinterest!
  • Watch my Friends DVDs. Or some old episodes of Gilmore Girls or Dawson’s Creek, lol.
  • Take a photography class.
  • Make some dates with my girlfriends (oh, and my husband ;))
  • Sit outside with a cup of coffee and a magazine.
  • Enjoy a solo hot shower or bath.

Those are pretty reasonable, right? Some of them I can do during the week, once Steve is home from work, and they don’t take long. But I think that little break from “Mom” (where I’m NOT working on the blog! Computer must be OFF!) will help me feel more like ME and that will help everyone’s sanity 😉

I read a post the other day by my bloggy friend Nikki about something quite similar: “I’m realizing I don’t need to change my whole entire life to be “mom”… I can still be me, too.” And I’m really glad she wrote it. It got me to pull out this draft I made a note about weeks ago and it made me feel like I’m not alone in having given up “me” to become “Mom.”

5 comments to besides “Mom,” who am I?

  • Oh Em, of course you are more than only a mom. But you’re such a GOOD mom that it must be easy to let it crowd out the parts of you that were there pre-kids. You are smart, and interesting, and gorgeous inside and out. Pre-children those qualities meant that you told me about your research using crazy science words that I didn’t understand, provided endless conversation about topics serious and silly, and your good honest soul was constantly visible on your smiling wide-eyed face. Now those qualities mean that you can teach your kids new facts, entertain them with games, and make THEM smile every day. Hope you start to get more you time soon 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Beth

    Awwww – nice reply, Kristin!

    [Reply]

  • I remember struggling with this after I quit my job to stay home with my kids…I no longer struggle with this…and wherever we we are if I hear the word, “Mom!” I turn to look!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

    [Reply]

  • Great post and I can certainly relate! It’s a difficult struggle to be myself and mommy at the same time, but I feel as if I balance fairly well. This is mostly thanks to my husband and all of his help, even while working 50hrs a week.

    For me time, I wake up early each morning just to exercise and shower. On the days I rest from that, I read a bit while everyone is still asleep and enjoy the quiet. It’s a great way to start the day. I also get at least a pedicure and eyebrow wax once a month, as well as grocery shop each Sunday morning all by my lonesome.

    [Reply]

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