Are You MIA?
Things aren’t turning out exactly as you imagined. You pictured a happy life with baby and all the joys of motherhood. But, you’re not so happy, and you don’t know why. You look around and think everyone else is doing it “right” and adjusting well to motherhood while you’re bumbling along, barely holding it together. This is not what you expected. You never thought you’d be so tired, overwhelmed, full of doubt, or detached from the person you used to be. You find yourself asking, “What happened to me?”
Take a second and answer these questions
Do you find yourself not caring about how you wear your hair or your clothes?
Is your life void of things that used to make you happy?
Do you rarely get out with friends, or your spouse, by yourself?
Do you find that you are prone to negative thinking about yourself or motherhood?
Do you find yourself getting easily irritated by small problems, or by your children and/or spouse?
Do you cry more than usual, or find yourself hiding so that you can cry?
Do you feel that you are not like other moms who seem happy or well-adjusted?
Do you feel like everyone–and their needs–come before you and your needs?
Do you find yourself wanting to run away or take a long break?
Do you feel that you don”t have the time, energy, or support to do many of the things that are important to you personally?
Do you feel “trapped”?
Do you feel invisible?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be missing in action. Deep down you know what this means. It means you’re on automatic pilot, waking up every morning and doing all the chores and activities you did yesterday…and will do again tomorrow. You love being a mom and all the pleasures that come with having a baby, toddler, or child around; pleasures unique to your relationship, pleasures hard to put into words. Yet, you can’t help but hear yourself and the negative messages sabotaging your ability to cope with the demands, responsibilities, and challenges to your “self” that motherhood naturally brings. Days turn into months, and despite the good moments, you continue to feel…bad.
Motherhood is probably the most transformative experience you’ll ever have and most women struggle at some point along the way. That’s because motherhood is demanding and all-consuming; and it requires us to engage almost all day, every day of our lives. This, in itself, is exhausting. Motherhood also changes more than your priorities, schedule, lifestyle, income, and relationships; it changes you – physically, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, spiritually, socially, and sexually. When you perceive any of these changes as undesirable (e.g., a less active social life, less intimacy with your spouse, less autonomy), you may actually grieve because you lost something important to you from your former lifestyle or identity…something you valued.
And as the tectonic plates of your life continue to slide and collide, more and more pieces of your “self” tend to slip through the cracks. You may try your best to cope, but it’s not uncommon to be bombarded with feelings of failure, frustration, anxiety, sadness, fear, and overload on every level. You may come to a point where you feel lost and think there’s no room for you in your own life. In short, you feel like the “old” you is gone, and you don’t know if or how you can get her back.
It’s all going to be okay. There is a way back.
I know you feel like you don’t recognize the woman staring back at you in the mirror or that you’ll ever again have the energy, enthusiasm, or confidence to tackle the day head on instead of just surviving it, but I promise you – it can get better. I’ve been where you are. I know what it feels like. I understand the deep self-doubt, the voice in your head whispering “you can’t do this,” and the endless list of worries hanging over your head – your kids’ well-being, your marriage, your sanity, your happiness.
Stop. Take a deep breath.
Acknowledge that motherhood is as awesome as it is challenging, and you don’t need to feel guilty about where you are or how you’re feeling. It’s pretty common (aka normal)…I’ve done the research. I’ve asked the questions. And I’ve heard the answers. The good news is…
You don’t have to figure it out on your own.
I created In Mom’s Corner (IMC) just for you. I’ve been down the road you’re on, and I found my way back. I’m here to share with you the strategies I used and provide you with the support systems you need to reclaim and maintain your identity, balance, and joy.
Join us today. Be a part of our growing community of moms who know that when they feel good, everyone wins!