I think I’ve lost myself in mothering

I hate to admit it, but in all my years of mothering, I think I’ve lost myself.

It sounds depressing, but it’s not.

It’s actually been a gift.

Leaving TV news to stay home and raise our 4 young children is one of the best decisions of my life, and I’ve never regretted it.

Truly.

But lately, I’ve found myself asking, ‘What happened to me?’

‘Where am I?’

‘What do I even like anymore?’

It’s been 8 years since I stopped working outside the home. The decision to quit was never one I wrestled it. I wanted to stay home.

For the next several years, I threw myself into motherhood, believing with first-time mom naïveté that if I worked hard enough, my kids would be perfect.

‘I don’t even have a real job. How hard can it be to put dinner on the table? I’ll have so much extra time, I’ll finally be able to grow my own vegetable garden!’

‘Being fit will be easy. I’ll just workout when the baby naps! I’ll be such a freaking MILF.’ *laughs out loud as she types this*

‘I won’t even have to get dressed everyday. Playing with a baby all day sounds fun and relaxing.’

These are all the things I believed as I left my career and dove headfirst into motherhood. Over the next 8 years, I gave birth to 4 amazing children.

And while those dream scenarios didn’t pan out exactly as I’d expected, mothering my children has truly been a dream come true.

The days are tough and messy and frustrating, but they’re also awesome and sweet and worth it.

And so, it’s with mixed emotions that I find myself wondering, ‘What happened to me?

Do you ever ask yourself, ‘What happened to [your name here]?’

Not mom, not wife.

But Janie. YOU.

It’s not a bad thing that I spent years feeding and diapering and laundering and cleaning up blowouts and quelling tantrums.

Many days have been so crazy that I don’t even have time to shower, look in the mirror or pee.

But I realize now that as I was surviving motherhood, I forgot about myself.

I forgot about the Janie who danced on bars in Tijuana because it sounded fun and adventurous.

I forgot about the Janie who will school you with her tennis serve because she’s a lefty and she never quits.

I forgot about the Janie who braided her little sisters’ hair every morning before school, and made sure no one messed with them on the bus.

I forgot.

Did you forget too?

The great thing is I’m still here. (And you are too.)

I may not dance on bars (I mean, #pushing40) but I WILL drop it like it’s hot and belt out Mariah as I make dinner.

I may not beat you at tennis, but I WILL be the most hilarious one on the court and my backspin is still on point.

And I may not get to see my sisters every day anymore, but I DO braid my baby girl’s hair. And as her silky strands weave through my fingers, I remember the fierce protectiveness I have always placed over my family.

Who are you?

Where are you?

You’re still there.

Has anyone else ever felt this way? Head over to the Facebook page and share your comments with me, and if you feel led, join our closed Facebook group where we share real and raw stories from the trenches of motherhood together.

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