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lost touch with self

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I wasn't quite sure where to post this, but I'm wondering if anyone has had a similar experience. My ds is 9 months old, and ever since he was born I have felt completely out of touch with my true self. It's hard to verbalize what's going on, but it's like I haven't fully integrated the experience of pregnancy, birth, and mothering into my self-image. As a result, I feel very disconnected and almost numb at times. I have had a couple of bouts of depression since his birth, but this feels qualitatively different than depression. I have very little time to myself, and when I do, I have no idea what to do with myself. What did I do before ds came? No clue. It's like I've thrown myself so much into mothering that I have lost ME. Does anyone else feel this way?

It makes me wonder what will happen when he goes to school, and I have to continue having a productive, fulfilling life. I saw my own mother crash and burn when I went to school, and I don't want to do the same thing.

thanks for listening!
post #2 of 6
virgomama,
I think this is fairly common. I highlt suggest you take up a hobby that you have always wanted to do, or an old one that you used to enjoy. It may seem fake at first, but you will grow to enjoy spending time with yourself again. It's important to take time to care for yourself so that you can care for your family.
post #3 of 6
virgomama - I'm not sure if this is the case for you or not, but for me, the first year to year and a half of ds' life, I felt pretty similar to you, but then I got my sea-legs, if you will, and finally simply adapted and incorporated mommyhood into all of my other "hoods". Now ds is 2.5 years old and I feel almost back to my pre-baby self in terms of knowing what to do when I've got a break from being home with him and taking up a lot of my old hobbies. I think it just gets easier and easier as the child gets older to get back to focussing a little bit more on your own needs.
post #4 of 6
Virgomama,
I think for me the first 2 years were really a time of birthing my new mama self. As you get more time available some of your previous self will come back and some aspects of your old self may never return. I think it is really an opportunity to really become your best self. Be gentle with yourself, appreciate the new you and look for opportunities to invite whatever aspects of your old self back that you miss. Hobbies, activism and stuff, like suggested by Khrisday, are important because in many ways we are defined by what we do.
post #5 of 6
I have days where I feel like that too. Especially the first year. I dont know if you are single or married, but try to get even an hour to yourself. Go thrift shopping or to a bookstore, whatever you enjoy doing. Even buying yourself something small that you like...... I do this every so often and I feel so recharged! If there is no dh on the scene, I bet one of your girlfriends or another mom might help you out. And get to the library and find something of interest. Something you can read while bfding or when babe is asleep. Believe, life goes on and you will find yourself again!
post #6 of 6
I definitely have experienced what you are describing. I "lost" myself in baby #1, then baby #2 came along 14 months later. He is just past 2YO now, and I am trying to rediscover myself after more than 3 years of being in mommy mode 24/7/365.

I really didn't know where to start. Then I decided to read! I was reading all along, of course, but only parenting type books with an occasional work of fiction thrown into the mix. Now I have been reading non-fiction to stimulate my brain. I have hobbies that I used to do, but I'm not sure I want to resume them. It's a slow process.

Actually, I have found myself going back much farther than just the couple of years pre-children. I think I was also "lost" in the corporate world so now I look to my college days as a guide to rediscovering myself, since that is when I was first "finding" myself anyway. I did awesome thinkgs back then, like helping to start a women's center on campus, participating in a consciousness-raising group, being active in animal rights, writing poetry, composing music, etc. I was so fully alive, and now I am looking to incorporate that young woman's spirit with the part of me that is now mother. It is a fantastic fit, actually. Becoming a mother has brought back to life the part of me that died while I was immersed in corporate America.

Good luck!

Kimberly
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