Hello, Emmy. Are You There?
Remember that carefree, selfie-takin', bubble-bath lovin', plans-with-friends-makin' woman you were before marriage and motherhood? She's still there.
Shortly after having my third baby, I found myself overcome with extreme bitterness on a daily basis. Bitter that my husband was able to get a full night's sleep (or at least more than I was getting), bitter that I had to return to work in a few weeks, and bitter that my mom-friends seemed to have it all together, with babies "sleeping through the night." On top of all of that, I was ESPECIALLY bitter with my husband and the fact that he somehow found time to have a beer with friends, play video games, or listen to his favorite podcast. Every time he did something for himself, I would feel myself getting physically hot and filled with rage that would then manifest as some serious passive-aggressive behavior.
“It was my lack of personal interests and passion that had caused all of the bitterness I was feeling.”
Flash forward a few months, and the reason for my bitterness was all too obvious; I was jealous, a tad-bit insecure, and according to multiple suggested articles on Pinterest- I was projecting. Yep- in my search to find support in the fact that my husband was being selfish, I was instead presented with the idea that maybe I was the one responsible for the anger I was feeling.
While that was not necessarily the answer I was looking for, it was exactly what I needed to hear (read?) and it didn't take long before I realized that my husband's interests and passions said nothing about him being selfish. Instead, it was my lack of personal interests and passion that had caused all of the bitterness I was feeling.
If you are a mom- you probably know exactly what I am talking about. Our entire existence begins to revolve around our roles as mothers and wives; rarely ever do we take time focusing on ourselves. Take a look at your OWN social media feed- does it look more like your children's account than your own? Mine did.
Don't get me wrong- I adore my children and am absolutely in love with being a mother but losing my self of self was proving to be a detrimental situation for myself, my marriage, and in turn, my children. I was not the happy-go-lucky girl I used to be, I was on edge all the time, and when asked the question "what do you like to do for fun?" I couldn't even think of how I would spend free time if I had it.
Redefining Your Identity
Once I was able to identify the source of my unhappiness and utter lack of interest in myself, I was able to then focus on ways to, once again, remember who I was- not as a wife or a teacher or a mother, but as Emmy.
“I was able to then focus on ways to, once again, remember who I was- not as a wife or a teacher or a mother, but as Emmy."
My husband- the wonderfully supportive man that he is- suggested that I find a hobby- any hobby. He also signed us up for a gym membership and encouraged me to get out of the house without the kids, even if all I did was sit in my car in the gym parking lot. After a few days of going to the gym, (unhappily I might add), I began feeling more and more like myself and was realizing how important it was that I was also taking time to take care of me.
It's Not You- It's Me
Once I started focusing on myself and my own happiness, I no longer felt bitter with my husband when he sat down to play video games (although I still don't understand them), or when he made plans with a friend. Those are his things. My things are taking bubble-baths while aimlessly browsing Pinterest, trying on outfits I'll never buy, watching chick-flicks with totally mushy story lines, and now this- blogging.
Every once in a while, my bitterness sneaks up and taps me on the shoulder, and although my natural response as an imperfect human is to pass blame onto someone else, I am quickly reminded that it's not them- it's me.
Now, go on- post that selfie, make plans with those friends (don't flake), and watch that movie you've been dying to see! So, what's "your thing?" Share in the comments below!