How Did I Get Here?
This is a question I was asking myself as I was sitting at the dining room table one day having lunch with my kids. I was frustrated, and sad. I had just made my 3-year-old her third meal because she was not happy with her first two, and my 1 year old was whining because I was not feeding her fast enough. My dogs were barking in the background because the kids were whining, and I was getting hangry because I had yet to feed myself lunch.
Usually I am a very happy and bubbly individual, but postpartum depression can be a B*tch sometimes, and can go kick rocks. (I will be touching on that subject in another post.) I have been a stay at home mom now for a little over 3 years, and to be honest I have a hard time remembering what it was like, or what I was like before kids. Haha! You might be wondering how that is possible since it has only been around 3 years, and 3 years really isn’t a very long time.
But when you have been focused solely on being everything to everyone for years it can be a long time. I have spent the last 3 years focusing on cooking, cleaning, and taking care of kids. I can list on one hand the book’s I have been able to read in those 3 years, and the number of times I have been out by myself. (Mom guilt can also go kick rocks.)
What caused me to realize I had lost myself a little bit? Finally realizing and acknowledging I have a slight case of postpartum depression, and a shopping trip. I had to go shopping for business casual work clothes for a training I needed to attend, and I felt out of place and completely lost on what to purchase. (Currently my wardrobe consists of jean and t-shirts because taking care of kids is messy.) It was frustrating! I had never had this issue before.
It made me think back to the last time I purchased clothes for work, and it was before having kids. A light bulb went off in my head. Before kids I was confident and happy about my body. I had the time, money, and energy to take care of it. After kids I don’t even know what is going on with my body since it has changed so much and is still changing.
The Book, “Me Before Mom”
But this post isn’t all about me. It’s also about all moms who feel the same as me, and a book. That book is “Me Before Mom: Putting on Your Oxygen Mask First” written by Bert Anderson. (By the way. If you do not follow her on social media you are missing out. She is an amazing and inspiring individual.) If ever a book has spoken to what I and many moms are experiencing right now it’s Bert’s book. Why? Two reasons. The first is because Bert is a mom who has gone through what I and many other moms are experiencing. The second is because Bert took those experiences and wrote a book about rediscovering who you were before you were a mom.
Bert’s book is my kind of book, short, sweet, and to the point. (I don’t have a lot of time to read so short books are my jam. Haha!) The book is not long, about 45 pages, but it doesn’t need to be long to get it’s point across. Bert discusses motherhood, self-loss, using self-assessments to help discover who you are now, the importance of self-care, and finding your passions again. Each chapter ends with questions to help you to keep the conversation alive within yourself as you read, and beyond. You can even purchase a companion journal to write down your answers and thoughts as you read her book.
Some of My Favorite Parts
There are some parts which really spoke to me after reading her book for the first time. (Yes, I have read it multiple times, and I highly encourage you to as well if you read it. You will walk away with different thing that speak to you every time.) Here are some of my favorite quotes that have sparked much discussion within myself.
In the section Loss of Self Bert writes, “What happens when everyone is gone and I’m the only one left standing in my kitchen? Will I look at my life and wonder where it went? I teared up a little after I read this sentence. I do not want this to be me. After my kids are out of my house I don’t want to look around and wonder where I am, and who is this man I am married too. (Personally, I want to look at him and ask “Where are we vacationing next, and why aren’t your bags packed?” Haha!)
“Your passion can involve your children but it needs to be bigger than just your children.” This is another of my favorite quotes from Bert. I am not going to lie. This one is hard for me. I am slowly discovering my passions again, but with kids sometimes they have to come along. Haha! But it is a quote I am going to keep repeating to myself because it helps me to remember I need to have my own passions, and to make time for them.
There are so many other great quotes from Bert’s book that belong on letter boards, and inspirational social media messages. Her book has fueled my quest to rediscover who I was before I became a mom, and to also help me learn the person I am after becoming a mom. I plan on using Bert’s book as just one of the many tools in my tool belt to better myself, and hopefully in bettering myself it will help me become a better mom. If you have any interest in purchasing Bert’s book or it’s companion journal click here. (This is NOT an affiliate link.)
If you are in need of another good read and are interested in a funny take on motherhood I did a review of, “Don’t Lick That!”, by Erika of Dorky Mom Doodles.