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August 16, 2021

Becoming an individual again and letting go of that parent guilt

If there is one thing that I am familiar with it is mom guilt. If you are a parent you have experienced it at least once if not multiple times, my guilt is every day. I have been a stay at home mom for 13 years and I have dedicated every day and every year to putting 150% into my family and I have zero regrets of doing that. The only thing that I regret not doing was putting some of that into myself which in return helped me spiral into a deep depression. I knew that I was off and I knew that I was struggling but we all know that there is a huge taboo around mental health and you should just pretend to be okay and get over it.


What good does that even do? it does NO good pretending that you have it all figured out and that you are just fine. 


But I did that for YEARS. Pretending like I was fine and do not get me wrong I have loved being home with my kids it has been a huge blessing to have been home with them but as the days go by you start to kind of forget who you are and it takes a long time to realize that. You kind of transform into a role and we all do that in life even if we aren't stay at home parents, we stick with a role and it just kind of stays for a while. But the problem is after a while we tend to lose our true selves. We do not feel like individuals anymore. I know that sounds selfish and that is fine but it is okay to be a parent/partner/etc and it is okay to be an individual too and that is one thing that we forget. We have to remember who WE ARE and let that guilt of being someone else go.


So how do you do that? how do you shift your life and start something new while also trying to be an individual? it is SO HARD. But as I have mentioned before it is all about mindset. I had to remind myself "I AM ME. I AM SAMANTHA I am an individual as well as a stay at home mom and it is OKAY TO BE MORE THAN what I am allowing myself to be". I had to remind myself LET GO OF THAT GUILT! I had to remind myself IT IS OKAY TO PUT ME FIRST TOO.


It is okay to work on MY MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH.


Once I got that mindset and reminded myself of my own individuality I had to sit down with my family and remind them how much I have LOVED being here 24/7 for YEARS doing everything but it was now time for me to put some of that energy into myself. It was important to remind them I wasn't mad or upset or going to take away from them in ANY way I just was going to shift some of that energy. I told them I wanted to be the best mother I could be FOR THEM and in order for me to be my best I needed to take care of myself too.


Once I started going to therapy more, joined a gym everything QUICKLY changed. I was still proactive in my home but I was now going to the gym a few times a week and before / during dinner time too. That was hard because I had ALWAYS been there during that time however due to schedules it made the most sense. I felt SO GUILTY for leaving. I felt like someone would be mad at me for leaving because I had ALWAYS been there. But I had to remind myself I HAVE to do this. I HAVE to put me first.


Everyone in my home knows how to cook and clean and function and it was time for them to take on some of that and let me pull away on some of that. YES it sounds selfish but it isn't. I HAD to because my family needed to learn to do some things too and I had to learn that I DIDN'T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING. It is OKAY to let other people do things for themselves. EVERYONE LIVES IN THE HOME so everyone can help and do A part as well. You are not being selfish for wanting to be an individual as well as many other roles. It is okay to go to work and say "I WON'T BE RIGHT HOME. Figure dinner out I am going to go to the gym I'll be home later." It is okay to say "Hey after you get home from work I am going to take off for a bit and do a few things for myself" Share the roles in the home. SHARE the responsibility because you and everyone in your home should be their own individual INCLUDING your children. 


Get through that guilt of leaving and focusing on you. It can be for a walk, the gym, coffee alone, WHATEVER it may be but stop feeling guilty for wanting to better yourself. STOP FEELING GUILTY for also wanting to be an individual. You cannot be 150% all in for everyone else and expect yourself to be okay. You can still be a great parent and partner/etc and still pull some of that energy and put it into yourself. I have to remind myself I WANT to be the best I can be for my family so I need to make sure I am taking care of myself too. 


When I am home with my kids I am 100% all in. But when I go to the gym and focus on me....I am Samantha and I have to remind myself it is OKAY and HEALTHY to be both.


You are welcome to check out the forum and join in on the conversation in regards to my personal health journey! Here is the link, sign in ask questions/post comments/etc! I hope to hear from you! - Sam



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