Friday, April 25, 2014

There's Still Me in Motherhood

It's taken me a while to write this, but I think it's important to put this across.. that's it's ok to still have "me" in motherhood.

Speaking to single friends or married but childless friends, I think that other than it being a lifestyle choice, what is holding some of them back from having a kid is that they feel that they will lose themselves; that they will have to sacrifice their individuality. No more career, no more travel, no more beauty spas.. heck, maybe even no more time for sexual intimacy.

After 5 years of being a mum, let me tell you that it doesn't have to be this way. You can still be yourself, and be a mother. You can still think, feel, have your own dreams and purpose in life. It's like being a parent with more than one kid. You may feel like your love has to be divided, but it's not. Your love is actually multiplied and there's more than enough to go around. Motherhood doesn't take anything from you {ok, maybe sleep!!}... it gives you more.

More opportunities to explore the world through a child's eyes, more chances to relive your childhood, more creativity to make the most out of the limited time & money we have, more reason to treasure even the simplest things in life.

Treat motherhood as an extension of your own self, rather than a threat. The only threat here is your idea of how a woman in a family should be. In a way, this was one of the reasons I started this blog. To show people that individuality does not end after motherhood. When you have kids, your life revolves around them but that doesn't mean you give up on yourself as a person. Your passions and interests can still exist in a family setting, and your kids can be part of pursuing them. I'm not going to fool you that it's easy, but it is possible.

How? Well, I can only speak from my experience. If you like to travel, bring the kids along, It's tough, yes, but still doable and very fun as you notice places you never knew until you were a parent. If you like fashion, then you will love shopping for the children and dressing up your mini-me. If you like food, then make it your objective to discover all the kids-friendly restaurants in Singapore or creative ways to feed your child. If you like photography, then now you have a little model to work with and can encourage the kids to explore life through their lenses as you do. 

Don't let anyone make you feel guilty about taking care of yourself, and doing what you love to do. You are not being selfish and honestly, only you know what's best for your family and how it all fits together. Our kids benefit from our strengths displayed when we pursue our passions, and happiness from living the life we want. We gotta be happy ourselves, so our kids know what happiness look like!!

I hope for Lil Pumpkin to be the hero in her own story and grow up to be whoever she wants to be, and I know that when I look in her eyes, I can say with conviction that I am living the life that I want to its utmost, thanks to being her mother. 



Masshole Mommy said...

I make time for me every day. I am a better wife and mom for it.

Susan said...

I can't agree more! I don't know of anyone who has regretted being a mum despite what we have to give up. But what I've gained is so much more!

Unknown said...

Great post! Totally agree. We change but it's an enhancement with an understanding spouse and family support we can still do the things we loved just only less often I guess!

Cherry said...

Very well said, Ai. Even in the midst of the busyness and craziness of being a FTWM, i can still squeeze in some me-time and couple time in between. The only thing I cannot do for now is to travel alone. I pro'lly do it when the kids are much older and have a life of their own. :)

mail4rosey said...

I think taking the kids along for travel makes the whole experience more interesting even. There's nothing like the excitement of a child over a castle, or even an airplane ride that can be matched. This is a great post. I'm glad you wrote it!

Ai Sakura said...

Masshole Mommy: that's wonderful to know!

Susan: I think I can gladly say the same too :)

L Lee: Yes, there will definitely be changes but it's all still possible.

Cherry: Thank you.. a strong support network is definitely a key factor too!

mail4rosey: thank you! Yes, Lil Pumpkin points out many things I would have usually missed. Maybe due to her height or innocent inquisitiveness to take in everything :)

Kaz @ Melting Moments said...

I definitely have to work on making more time for me.

Your photo is beautiful!

Kathy - yinyangmother said...

Lovely Sakura - I like how you've reflected on motherhood as being an extension of who you are - when we look it as a role, we can easily feel like it defines us (or should) and feel lost.

An Apel a Day said...

It is great to take time for yourself. Everyone needs that!

A great post!

Stacy said...

I shall play devil's advocate and say that not everyone should be a parent. Only those who want children, those who are prepared to put their children's needs ahead of their own.

Got a relative who put her kid with a full-time babysitter, later walked out of her marriage leaving the kid with ex and now plans to go work in Australia with nary a thought for the kid. No point being a parent if you aren't prepared to 'parent'! In her defence, it was an unplanned pregnancy and she never wanted to be a mom.

Mum's calling said...

So true! Being a happy mum creates a wonderful mood in the family too.

Unknown said...

Sometimes making time for yourself actually makes you a better mum because you regain perspective and energy to put in 110 % again. Great post x

Ai Sakura said...

Kaz: hope you manage to find the time :)

Kathy: I know I had those feelings too but I guess as I get older, I know more about myself and the way I would like things to be, and not subject myself to other people's expectations.

Alissa: yes we do!

Stacy: No worries! I agree with that too. We should be parents because that's what we want, and not to please others. I'm not saying our kids' needs are not important, or even less important than ours.. but I guess if possible, both are as important.

Mum's calling: Happy mums, happy families! :)

Kate: We all need a break every now and then xo

June said...

I can't agree more. When we take care of ourselves, we are also in a better position to care for our family and others. I find that even spending 10 minutes of me-time reading a book or doing something relaxing helps me return to my "post" with a fresh energy and perspective, and even joy!

Have a great weekend, y'all!

oomph. said...

i totally believe you need to take care of yourself first. a happy mom makes for happy kids, right?! BUT, my mom doesn't see it this way. she feels like i should put my life on hold for the kids :(

Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me said...

Such poignant words Ai, I haven't had much 'me' time up until now, well for the past 6 weeks but as my three grow I'm trying. Lovely post xx

Grace said...

Great post, Ai. It's a great reminder for many mothers to not feel guilty about spending time for themselves.
I need my "me time" so I can be the best mother I can be.