Post # 1
I’m planning on TTC next year. You always post such helpful and insightful replies to all of my posts, so here’s another one for you. I read and hear about women “losing themselves” when they have babies/children. It is one of the things I fear the most. I am a writer and a creative person, and the idea of not doing that is horrifying to me. The idea of being a “slave” to a baby scares me–I’d be lying if I said otherwise.
Bees who have had children…did you lose yourself? Is your time truly “no longer your own?” Or is that an overstatement? How do you retain a sense of self after becoming a mother?
Post # 2
I am not yet a mother – hoping to be one soon! I have been around close friends who have had babies over the last few years and I would say yes, for a time, you do lose yourself. One of my friends had a baby recently and is completely overwhelmed by how much work it is to take care of this demanding little human who is on their own schedule and so needy. I think it’s important to be prepared for the realities of having a baby and know that at least for a while, your world will likely revolve around them as you figure them out.
But I do not think you have to lose yourself forever! You might be all about the baby and toddler because their needs are so high, but as you figure out parenting your attention will be able to turn elsewhere.
I also think this question depends on your personality and priorities. If you make a concerted effort to have more in your life than your child than you are more likely to have more in your life.
Post # 3
The first year for sure can be tough and pretty much revolves around the baby. But that time goes by so quickly. Our almost 2 year old goes to bed at 7 PM so it’s not like we don’t have any free time. Honestly our world does revolve around our daughter but we’re happy with it that way. You may find your priorities shift quite a lot.
Post # 4
I have 2. No, I don’t feel that I’ve “lost myself”. I mean, I still have my own thoughts and beliefs. But yes, there is not as much time for yourself as before kids. With 2 kids and working full time I pretty much am lucky to have an hour all to myself each day (you know to do what I want to do). They do go to bed by 8:30 ish but then I have to do some chores so… But my youngest is only 6mo so he’s still pretty needy. Definitely had more time to myself when I only had one child but it’s still a big time commitment. One of my friends has 2 kids and is a writer (on her own time since she works FT). And yeah, I know it went on the backburner for like 3 years. But I think here and there she is able to still do some. But it won’t be like it was before. But as they get older you can get more time to yourself. When they’re young it’s hard. I like to read and bake. Do I still get to do it? Yes. Do I get to do it as much as before? NO. You can prioritize some things but not everything. I also like to run and since that helps to keep me mentally “sane” and it’s good for my health I prioritize that over reading. So I’m able to keep that up somewhat (not as much as pre-kids) but still some. Sometimes I take them with me though! Some things will change but you will be more than okay with them. Do I want to go out to happy hour for drinks or go out to brunch every weekend with friends? No. Would I rather use the nice day to go to the zoo or other local area with my kids? Yes.
Post # 5
msmeow85 : Your life changes as do your priorities after a baby comes. We’re relatively affluent, but it’s impacted our finances i.e. we moved to a more expensive neighborhood to be in the best school district and as a result take a couple vacations a year vs 4-6. We can’t take our 3 year old to certain restaurants so that requires a sitter or rethinking your favorite Friday night routine to be child friendly. Frequent happy hours are a thing of the past, but I love to throw dinner parties instead now. I haven’t lost myself, but my life has changed. The first year was the hardest and I had the least energy for me time, but it gets better. The ease of transition will be pretty dependent on your lifestyle before kids and if you have the financial flexibility to accommodate the child without altering your routines significantly. I’m older and settled so well past the bar hopping, wild camping trip, etc phase…
Post # 6
There is a newborn period where your entire life is keeping a tiny human alive. But that ends.
n my experience, if something is really important to you, you won’t lose that part of yourself. I love to work out, and still manage at least 4x a week. Because it matters to me, so I make it happen.
That being said, your priorities do shift, and some of the things that matter to you now won’t anymore.
Post # 7
Hell yeah you lose yourself. I dont think it’s possible otherwise. However, you get yourself back over time. My kids are 8 and 10 and I am back to my old self for the most pART. But in that freaking baby stage? Uggh…you literally have no time for yourself. It really is all about the kid.
Post # 8
i have a 14m old and another one on the way. though my schedule does mostly revolve around working (i’m a full time mom) and taking care of DS. i still have time to be me.
i used to be a triathlete, and though i haven’t done any races in a few years. i still have time to bike, swim, and run. Just maybe not on the same day. I am a member of 2 theaters, (a local theater and a broadway touring theater) and enjoy going to shows.
We travel, go out to eat, etc. Many times we take DS, sometimes he stays home with my mom.
Your life doesn’t have to change if you don’t want it to.
I will say, the first few months were a tough adjustment. But once we found a rhythm, everything was great.
We took DS to the beach the first time at 6 weeks. He flew on a plane at 6 months.
Post # 9
My life is definitely different. But I love being a mother. I can’t imagine my life not being a mother, but I would consider in some ways that I did lose myself. I don’t have the time to write like I did before. But I love being a mother.
Post # 10
Oh yeah, forgot to add,
You ‘lose’ yourself less if/when you have help (grandparents or a network of people you trust that can help). I had noone (unless I paid for babysitting).
Post # 11
I currently have a 3 month old. On the one hand I definitely still feel like myself, but on the other I have very little truly “free time”. My son isn’t a good napper and won’t nap during the day unless I’m holding him, so I don’t get time to myself until my husband comes home from work and can take him for a bit. But, I can do things like check all the sites I read (like this one!) while he’s napping so it’s not like I don’t get any spare thoughts either. The good news is that I know he won’t always be this needy, the older he gets the better he will sleep, the more he’ll be able to play independently etc. Life is different now than it was before, but very worth it.
Post # 12
I have a 2.5 month old and am so happy and don’t feel like I’ve lost myself. I go to the gym every day (they have childcare) and get together with friends and take my baby lots of places. I have met other mothers who don’t really do much and are afraid to take their baby anywhere, so I think it just depends on the person. My priorities have definitely changed and I’d rather stay home and cuddle with him than do some things, but that’s my choice. Honestly I lost myself a whole lot more in the 3 years of TTC/infertility that it took to have him!
Post # 13
I haven’t lost myself. I’d say there are plenty of situations where you temporarily put yourself on hold, but inside I’m just the same. I still have plenty of daydreaming time 🙂 I’m a Stay-At-Home Mom and I’m with my son almost all the time but I have absolutely no trouble fully switching off when he’s napping and doing whatever I want to do. And I’m perfectly able to go out for dinner with my friends or with my husband (if granny babysits) but a lot of the time I don’t really feel the need to.
Post # 14
RunnerBride13 : I feel the same. I think the most important thing is to not be afraid to do things with your baby. If you let that overwhelming ‘newborn stage’ fear overwhelm you then I think you can lose yourself.
Post # 15
amanda3334455 : Ooh I agree with this. My friend doesn’t do much with the baby–she’s still young at 7 months but I might feel like doing short trips and at that age, wouldn’t be afraid to leave the baby with a sitter if I could pump enough milk. Bf and I have both agreed, we will have date nights whenever possible where we get a sitter! Also she is a Stay-At-Home Mom and I will be returning to work no matter what.
Thanks SO much for all the lovely replies. I enjoyed reading all of your unique situations and perspectives. 🙂