‘Tonight, my husband took the kids to a movie. ‘Do something you enjoy.’ Suddenly, I couldn’t think of anything. I walked into the bathroom and didn’t recognize myself.’: Mom says ‘it’s a journey to get back to who you used to be’

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“Tonight my husband took the kids to a movie night at my daughter’s school. He said, ‘Have some time to yourself, and do something you enjoy doing.’

I packed my kids a backpack full of snacks, made some popcorn, got them into their pajamas, put on their shoes, strapped them into the car, and watched my husband drive off with them.

I sighed relief, for a moment. I turned to walk back inside as my slippers and PJ bottoms dragged across the wet pavement.

When I got back inside, I went over what my husband had just said.

‘Do something you enjoy.’

Suddenly, I couldn’t think of anything. I had spent all this time looking forward to a break from my kids and husband, that I hadn’t really thought about what would hit me when I was finally alone.

I walked into the bathroom and didn’t even recognize what I saw in the toothpaste soaked mirror.

I saw dark bags, unwashed, unbrushed hair, and my husband’s baggy shirt, which had now become mine.

I didn’t even recognize myself.

I stood there staring at myself, thinking, ‘Okay, now what?’

I didn’t know what to do.
I didn’t even know what I enjoyed doing anymore.
I felt like I had lost a piece of myself to motherhood.
I felt like I had lost a part of me.

I have been so busy being mom, that I couldn’t remember who I was before that.

I walked out of the bathroom to sit on the couch, shoving the many toys off.

I realized then, that I had lost a piece of myself to motherhood. A piece I need to get back.

I turned on Friends, my favorite show to watch when I’m upset, and relaxed.

It’s not much, but I felt like myself again for a little bit.

I lost a piece of myself when I became a mother, but I’m now realizing I need to get it back.

I’m more than just a mom, and I need to remember that.

It’s okay to feel lost, and question who you are after having children.

So, tonight I will watch my favorite show, with my favorite snacks, and try to find the piece of me that went missing.

Sometimes, it’s a journey to just get back to who you used to be.”

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Courtesy of Caitlin Fladager

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Caitlin Fladager, and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Facebook and InstagramSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Caitlin:

‘Anxiety is just in your head.’ ‘It’s not as bad as you make it out to be.’ This is what anxiety looks like. My raw, scratched up face and chest.’: Woman candidly shares the reality of anxiety

‘Yes, I have 2 kids. Yes, I smoke weed daily. Weed makes me a better mom.’: Mom says marijuana has helped her anxiety, ‘weed is my glass of wine’

‘I’m the backpack of the family. I carry all of your things. Put it all on me. Physically, and mentally.’: Mom pens sweet letter to children, ‘I love being your safe space’

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