Early on in motherhood, I started to feel a sense of mourning. There were so many things that I felt pressure to give up, just so that I would fit the “mom” mold. They weren’t necessary to leave behind in order to be a responsible parent, they were just things that I felt made me look or feel younger. Like excessive ear piercings. Or wearing my husband’s t-shirts.
As I began to grow as a mom throughout my son’s first year, I realized that I didn’t need to give up the things that brought me joy, just for the sake of fitting the mom stereotype. Instead, I started to give up the things that made my life more complicated or miserable. Here are 10 examples of things I’ve left behind after becoming a mother.
- Saying yes to everything. This lesson took far too long to learn. In my 20s, I was fearful of saying no to any plans. I had constant FOMO (fear of missing out). Now, I say yes to the things that make sense with my schedule, and don’t dwell on the plans I decline.
- Eating out constantly. It’s expensive, it’s fattening, and it caused me constant guilt. On the plus side, I’ve learned a lot of new, easy recipes!
- Putting myself last. I am a nurturer. I like to see everyone else taken care of, usually to my own detriment. Self care is a wonderful thing, and I’m embracing its different forms.
- Self doubt. Instincts in motherhood are incredibly powerful, but my instincts in other areas can be just as incredible.
- TV binge watching. Admittedly, I’ve given this up because my toddler shouldn’t be exposed to some of the shows I like to binge. Still, I have to admit that I’ve found better ways to spend my time instead.
- Cutting my own hair. I don’t even want to revisit some of my hair cutting snafus. At 30 years old, it’s time to face the fact that bangs are never a good idea.
- Late nights. Saturday nights now have the same bed time as Sunday nights. I’m chasing a toddler around all day. I’m tired.
- Not drinking water. Chronic dehydration doesn’t look good on anyone.
- Constant stimulation. Meditation has been a life saver for me recently, and so have sitting quietly on my deck and enjoying the sounds of nature. Sometimes it’s nice to just be quiet.
- Perfection. I don’t have everything figured out all of the time. Forgiving my mistakes makes it easier for me to move on and try again the next day.