When I got pregnant, the planning of becoming a mother started. The baby shower, nursery, car, and everything in between was a well-planned out fun activity. I even took a Lamaze class to plan for the birth because that was the toughest part, right? At least I thought that. So I did everything I could to prepare myself for that moment of taking that baby home and becoming a first-time parent.
What the reality was, is that nothing could plan for the day I took that baby home from the hospital, and nothing prepared me for the crash of self-identity that comes with it.
Being a full time working mom and juggling new parenthood came with a rush of excitement along with a crash of motherhood burnout about 9 months postpartum when I was diagnosed with postpartum depression.
Why was I feeling this way? I am doing everything I possibly can to be a good mother, coworker, wife, and all the other roles, I thought.
All these other moms look like they have it all figured out, so why can’t I feel that way?
Why are mundane tasks not looking so joyful anymore?
Bath time became something I HAD to do instead of something I WANTED to do. I was giving all of myself to everyone else to try to figure out the mystery of work/life balance.
I asked for help.
When your husband sits you down and tells you to seek help from a doctor, you listen because that moment is a moment of love and care. I knew something was off, but the pride in me didn’t want to admit it.
Since I didn’t want to admit something mentally was off, I decided to start with my OBGYN so they could check my hormone levels and thyroid. Everything came back to normal.
Getting the referral card from my OBGYN to go see a therapist made me feel a little defeated, but I also didn’t like the mother or wife I was becoming, so I was willing to give it a try.
Asking for help has been the key to my self-growth journey, and to this day, I still see my therapist. I am a huge advocate of therapy and view it as the bravest action step to try to understand who you are and where you can grow as an individual.
Therapy was the fuel to get me started on my new motherhood journey, and more importantly, on the self-growth journey of a lifetime.
Deep Diving into Self-Growth Practices
After seeking help and being in therapy for a couple of months, I started to realize how much I was not doing for myself compared to how much I was giving to others. All the decisions I made were based on other peoples’ influence, whether that be from social media, friends, or even family members.
Who was the mother I wanted to become?
Who was I as an individual?
Realizing that I completely lost who I was as an individual was having a physical and mental impact on my life and the surrounding people. I decided to deep dive into self-growth by reading books, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos, and absorbing anything I could find.
The result was interesting in the sense that most successful people, people who feel balanced or just feel happy in their lives, have daily habits they do for self-growth. Some of these habits included meditation, affirmations, gratitude, goal setting, and self-motivation.
The entire concept of adding something to my plate seemed overwhelming and counterintuitive, so I decided to start small. My thought process was that I had to crawl before I learned to walk.
I am so glad I did because starting with a 3-minute mediation grew into an entire day of me being grateful for what I have, feeling valued for my work, and growing into the mother that I always wanted to be.
That small start of investing in myself spiraled into finding mindset strategies that help me thrive as an individual daily, which has led to me feeling happier and more fulfilled.
A second piece of the puzzle that came from my deep dive was the ability to look inward in order to change the person I was outward. In order to do this, I needed to determine what I stood for as a person and what really, truly fulfilled me to my core.
I needed to determine my personal core values to change my priorities in life because the priorities I currently had were not working for me. When I determined this, my decisions and daily tasks became empowering because I knew I was doing them for me and not anyone else.
Happy Wife, Happy Life
Doing a small act of kindness for myself every day has made me the mother that I want to become. It has opened the door for looking at mundane tasks and turning them into bonding moments. Being grateful for my present moment has made me excited for the future.
I am not the person I was two years ago, and I can happily say that I love the mother I have become because of the self-growth journey I am on.
Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make as a mother.