A conversation among a few Moms last night got me thinking…….

I am a 31 year old female and I am not yet a Mother?! Which means I cant possibly know or understand what it means to be a Mom?

Granted I may not know the unconditional love you feel for a baby. I may not understand the struggles you encounter among your children or significant other. I may not wake to crying children in the middle of the night or understand your exhaustion. I may not know what it feels like to feed an entire family, pack lunches, do loads of laundry or change diapers day-after-day.

I can tell you this for sure.. I see your life as an outsider. I hear your struggles and see your exhaustion. I was raised by a Mother and saw the struggles she faced raising 3 children and being the wife of a Fighter Pilot. I counsel many Moms on a daily basis in the Pediatric field. I hear/see many of their struggles and successes of Motherhood.

A common theme I heard among the women I was talking to last night was their lack of happiness! Granted they love being a mom and wife….. but outside of that they lost their own happiness for things they do. I feel as though you have to find personal happiness from within. Why is it that some Mothers have lost who they are? Why do some lack a personal identity outside the home? (I know, how dare I say this!)

As a Mother you put everyone first… blah, blah, blah. I have heard it time and time again. I also hear the cattiness regarding the women who go to the gym, yoga, dance classes etc. You know… those women who abandon their family for an hour or two each day or even once a week. How can they do that!? I have heard the lecture from many Moms telling me the same thing….”Forget the gym or having a life outside kiddos.”

The ones who defy this and make it happen are the women I respect the most. Those are the Mothers who have salvaged their identity and refuse to be ruled by the “societal” views of what a Mother should be. Those are the women who are most likely happiest. The women who can say they put their health and mental wellness first in order to take care of a family.

Think about it this way….. As a Mother you are somewhat like a nurse. You care for those around you; make sure they are fed, bathed and clothed. Correct?!

So imagine a patient at a hospital (Aka your kiddos/hubby). Is it selfish of that nurse to be well rested, fed, and mentally prepared before coming to work?! No? You don’t want a grumpy, tired, physically and mentally unhappy nurse to be at your bedside? Right? Then why is it ok for you as a Mother to be unhappy.

Whether this means you go to the gym, take a painting class or leave the house for an hour to regroup… it’s important for you to be happy in order to care for a family. And I do not think it’s selfish. You can only give so much before you hit a wall.

My purpose of this post is to point out that you as a Mom need to find happiness and maintain your identity outside of the family. Don’t lose who you are! I know when I am a Mother (and yes I plan on kiddos someday soon) I will always be ME and refuse to lose that just because I have babies. An hour a day does not make you a bad Mother… it actually makes you a better person for understanding what you need in order to be a strong pillar at home!

We do not live in the 50’s anymore. Women deserve to live a life outside of the family. I truly believe this helps keep a females sanity. I am not being sexist, but men rarely lose their identity when becoming a Father. So, why do some women allow this to happen to them?

I have no doubt that being a Mom is amazing. But it does not mean you must revolve your entire being around Motherhood. It’s ok to incorporate your pleasures and outside happiness too.

Granted this is my personal opinion. But my hubby and I value one another and both believe this to be true. Happiness has to come from within first before the world can see you shine!! So find that inner ray of light and allow that to shine on your family.

For all you Moms out there kicking ass…. keep it up! You are an inspiration to me and great role model for our future!