I think as mothers it is very easy to lose sight of who we are. We wear so many different hats as a mother – mother, cook, cleaner, wife, sister, friend, stay-at-home mum, working mum – the list just goes on and on, and sometimes our identity just starts to blur in to all of these different things.
A few years ago I felt a little bit lost. It was a combination of having a medically complex child had made the direction my life go in a way that I hadn’t been expecting, and many of the plans I had made or presumed would happen one day didn’t seem all that likely any more.
I’m the sort of person who likes having a goal or a direction and suddenly everything being very unsure and difficult to plan with made it all very difficult.
Even things which I thought were just certainties changed – like the type of mother I expected to be, the type of wife I expected to be, what I did in my spare time, even my personality, things were just not as I had expected them to be. Which is hard.
Feeling a bit lost is really hard.
Just to make it clear, that’s not a bad thing, I love all the children to bits, and I think everyone get’s to a point in motherhood where they just feel a bit lost, we all just have different reasons.
It’s a few years later now, and there are still the odd days or even weeks where I still feel a bit lost – especially when trying to work out where something is heading (AKA this blog – it caused me a lot of confusion at the start!) but I feel that on the whole I know who I am now, and in what direction I am heading.
Which is such a lovely feeling.
There are still definitely quite a lot of things that come up and do make me question everything every now and then but it usually only lasts a day or two.
So what changed?
A friend and I were chatting one day, I’m not a fan of reality TV but we were talking about one of them and joking about imagine if someone was filming our families and our lives.
And for some reason, I just couldn’t get that thought out of my mind. If someone had a camera in your house and you didn’t know about it (in a non-creepy way) What would they see?
I didn’t really like what I “saw”.
I saw a mum who complained that she never had any time to do anything, spending way too much time on her phone.
I saw kids glued to screens when the sun was shining and we could be outside.
I saw little things that could be done RIGHT NOW and instead were just left and I knew that that mum would be really stressed out trying to get them all done in one go a few days later.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have time on screens – anyone who tries to take instagram off me, I will fight you – or that we should be constantly doing. But the majority of our time should be spent doing things that are important to us, and while watching the latest cute dog video on instagram is nice – it’s not in my top ten of important things.
Which brings me, in a long-winded, rambly way, to Values.
This is the important question.
What are your values?
Your values, so what is important to you, and the way you are living your life should be the same.
If you value going outside everyday with the kids and exploring nature, but you are constantly on screens indoors – something is not going to feel right for you.
Or if you think of yourself as someone who is into health and fitness but your diet isn’t the best right now and you can’t remember the last time you had time to exercise – you are going to feel a bit lost.
How do you work out your values?
Think about the hats you wear, wife, mother, friend, stay-at-home mum, cook, cleaner, housewife etc.
Now pick the most important ones to you.
Things like daughter, friend, sister, etc you can lump together as ‘social’.
For those in your list you have deemed the most important – write down what your values for those are. I suggest about 5 areas.
– Important that I listen and spend time with children e.g. baking
– Being outside as often as possible is important to me
– Making sure the kids are are healthy as possible is important to me
– Not being a shouty mum is important to me.
– Having family time is important to me
-It’s important to me that we spend time together
– It’s important to me that we listen to each other
Housewife/Stay at home mum –
– Having a clean tidy house is important to me
– Having routines and systems in place is important to me
– Eating healthy and exercising is important to me
– Having time alone to read my book is important to me
This list is just an example and one I just did off the top of my head so you have an idea of what kind of thing values are.
These values are your daily guide book.
You should check in on them often and anything that isn’t aligning with your values, you can change.
Just remember that some things you do need to be intentional about. For example, I feel that I am a happier and better mother when I make a point of baking or cooking with the kids, but it’s not something I just do because the mess puts me off and making sure it is Anest-friendly makes it more of an ordeal in my head (it’s never as bad as I think) but I do have to plan it in to our week or it will not happen.
The same for family night or date night. You have to plan it in.
Once you have worked out your values and you are making a point of making sure you are living your life in line with your values, I can guarantee you will feel so much better and happier.
A lot less lost.
If you need any help working out what your values are, comment below, I’d love to help you!