When I became a mom, I instantly lost sight of nearly everything other than my daughter. My husband will attest, I basically forgot he existed for the first six months of my daughter's life. It wasn't intentional, it's just when my daughter was born my focus narrowed and thinking about keeping her alive and thriving was enough to take up my whole brain. But take it from someone who's done it the wrong way: there are things you absolutely shouldn't lose sight of now that you're a mom.
I had waited years to become a mom, so once we adopted our baby girl it was the realization of a long-time dream. When that dream was realized, everything else fell away. I instantly forgot about family and friends, who I was pre-baby, and that I had responsibilities to my partner as his wife. After about six months (and a few kind reminders from my husband), I came out of the baby fog and remembered who I used to be. I used to be a writer, a wife, a friend, a sister, and a daughter.
Of course, who I used to be was only a part of who I was as a mother. But it was so important to not lose sight of certain things in order to hold onto some of my identity as a person, and not let being a mom supersede everything else. Being a mom can give you tunnel vision to taking care of your kids, especially if you have the opportunity to stay home with them for a little while. Keeping sight of certain things allows you to hold onto some slices of your non-mom identity.
Who Or What You Were Before
Before I was a mom, I was a writer and a blogger who traveled (at least monthly) around Europe. It's natural to lose sight of what you used to do before you took care of a tiny human's every need around the clock, but it's also important to remember the parts of the former you that made you happy and fulfilled. Fulfillment as a mom is different than it used to be, but when I realized I missed writing all the time and was able to get back to it, I felt such a relief.
That You'll Get Back To You Sooner Than You Think
You don't have to look as far as your kids moving out, to see a time when you'll start to have more parts of your old self back. When your kids start school and start to be able to do more things for themselves, they won't rely as much on you for every single moment of the day. That can be a little scary, but it's also reassuring. The baby phase when you're a new mom is a short season, even though those days can feel very long.
That Some People Don't Have Or Want Kids
Yeah, I totally forgot this when I first had my daughter. Some people don't have kids! Some people don't think about babies all day, every day! Some of those people don't want to talk about babies all day with you! Try to keep in mind that other people don't have kids and you might still want to be able to interact with them in your new mom state.
That You Get A Clean Slate Every Day
I found it really hard not to forget that each day presented a new opportunity to start over. Regardless of whatever mistakes or frustrations I had the day before, I got to start over with a clean slate every morning. Now, it was a little difficult to feel that clean slate feeling
That You Have A Partner
Realizing I had been neglecting my marriage since I became a mom was a big "whoops" moment for me. This was partly a result of not having babysitters near us who were certified to take care of our baby girl when she was a foster baby before she was adopted. However, I definitely used this as an excuse not to leave her in order to spend time with my husband. I think this is a natural reaction to having a first child, but it isn't terribly healthy to allow to go on for the child's life. Spending time with my husband without our child is helpful and healthy for our marriage (and our collective sanity).
You Still Have Family And Friends
Before I was a mom, I was a sister and friend and daughter and granddaughter. Being a new mom takes up a ton of time and energy, but I quickly missed my role as a person my friends and family could confide in or look to for advice. I needed to remind myself to check in with my sister and talk about other things than all baby all the time.
You're Doing An Awesome Job
Never lose sight of the fact that you are doing an awesome job as a mom. You are exactly enough for your baby and you are probably doing a much better job than you'll give yourself credit for. If your house is a mess and you haven't showered in a week, you're still doing an awesome job. Getting from morning to evening is reason enough to give yourself a huge pat on the back.
You Are Your Toughest Critic
It's easy to lose sight of the fact that you are really your toughest critic. No one else is going to be tougher on you about your success and role as a mother than you are. So go easy on yourself.