The best days of my life were the days I gave birth to my two children. Seeing their little fingers and toes brought me so much joy, I couldn’t process anything else. The unconditional love between parents and children allows to you truly comprehend what love is. My children are my blessings.
Now that you know I adore my children, I can tell you that I have a life outside of being a mother. What? How’s that even possible? With working full time and coming home to manage a house and children, it’s very difficult to have time for anything else. I get it. It is. But, it’s necessary. And I’m not just talking about a night off to meet up with friends for a drink. You need more than that. You need to learn something. You need to challenge yourself. You need to have a hobby, or a passion. You absolutely need these things in order to have an identity outside of being a mother. Why’s that so important? You need to have a separate identity so you feel fulfilled.
But, I’m fulfilled by my children.
Of course you are. However, the fulfillment you have from your children is different than personal fulfillment. To live up to your true potential, you need to find your own identity.
When my children were born, my only thought was keeping them alive. I was focused on making sure they were fed, clothed and that we all got some sleep. It’s normal. As your children start sleeping through the night and you start to have a little extra time, do you ever wonder what to do with it?
Watching TV and looking at social media for an hour a day surely isn’t fulfilling. Don’t you want more? I did too.
So I changed things. I tried different hobbies. I worked out. I read a book. I took Facebook off my phone. I started scrap booking. I stopped scrap booking. I bought a new camera to improve my pictures. I stopped taking pictures with my new camera. I went to a shooting range. I purchased a gun license and a handgun to practice my shooting. I ran a 5K. I trained for a half marathon. I stopped running. I started Cross Fit. I got pregnant again. I stopped Cross Fit. I started body building. I stopped. I took Instagram off my phone. I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Since becoming a mother in 2011, I have constantly tried different things to further find myself. I have done this for my own personal growth. Some hobbies lasted. Some didn’t. Whatever you decide to try, it should be for the following reasons.
Learning something new
Achieving a goal
Getting some time to yourself
Ideally, what you do should be a combination of the three. You’re more likely to stick to a hobby if you are learning, growing, achieving and getting time to yourself.
I am currently doing Jiu Jitsu to learn and challenge myself. You can read more about experience and challenges here. Jiu Jitsu frees my mind, gives me time to myself, and allows me to continue learning each time I go. Jiu Jitsu has also given me an outlet where I am not identified as a mom. I’m just another blue belt trying to figure out what the hell I’m doing!
In all honesty, I am the only mother at my school. It’s a shame because the mental strength and willpower you need as a mother translates very well into training Jiu Jitsu.
I’m still working on growing as a person and establishing my identity. But what I do know is that I need interests outside of my children in order to be the best version of myself.
Taking time for myself to focus on my interests allows me to understand the challenges my children face when they try something new. This allows me to relate to them on another level. And, there is absolutely no greater joy than competing while hearing your children scream “Go Mommy!”.