Every person wears several hats. You may be a son/daughter, sister/brother, wife/husband, artist, teammate, athlete, teacher, friend, confidante and a parent. For many of us, being a parent becomes an all-consuming role and we tend to put ourselves aside, devoting much, if not all, of our time to raising and caring for our children. You tend to forget who you are as an individual and even begin to identify yourself as your child’s parent. It’s important to fine-tune the art of staying connected with yourself, bringing your parent side back into balance with who you are as an individual.
Whether you have one child or five, you will eventually begin to experience some degree of burnout. The daily routine will become so second nature that, before you know it, you will be doing things without thinking. Don’t let it get to that point. While it’s great to have a set routine, give yourself a day off each week to do something that reminds you just how wonderful YOU are. Join a softball league or take up a hobby that you enjoy, anything that lets you get back to basics.
Bring Yourself to the Table
When you go out with family or friends, or just get to spend a day doing something for yourself, make sure YOU are the one doing it. Don’t introduce yourself as your child’s mom and dad. You have a name, a personality and a presence. Let them shine! Identify yourself by things that make you who you are, not the things that connect you to your children.
Join a Gym
One of the best ways to reconnect with yourself is to find ways to make solid improvements. Join a gym or take some exercise classes. Somewhere under the curlers, bathrobe and mega size cup of coffee, we forget there is a unique individual who used to look forward to going out to dinner or having a night on the town.
Continue to Explore Who You Really Are
When you have children, a whole new world opens up in the way of new people and new experiences. You will be introduced to different types of activities, cultures, artistic pleasures, music and ways of doing things. Every person is continually growing and changing. You are a work in progress, so it is important to continue to seek out new things to add to your list of experiences and favorite activities.
Being a parent may be the highlight of your life, but it is vital to remember that who you were before you had children is just as important. Embrace who you are, and work to keep the balance between parenthood and individuality. Who you are as a person should be the role model that your kids look up to and admire. They need to know that being a parent is only part of the dynamic of being an adult.