I remember life before kids (vaguely ha) and had envisaged how my life would be. I remember high school retreat thinking about goals for my future and I wrote ‘to be happy’ not realising at the time that I am in control of my own happiness. We had it all figured out. We were going to travel, get married and have kids (the usual dreams) which would fulfil our life completely. When I was pregnant with my first I really embraced motherhood, I truly believed I would enjoy every minute of it and enjoy my time at home.
Our first was born! As I’m sure you know the feeling well, I fell in love with our little guy although felt like our world was tipped upside down. What a shock to the system. I loved spending time with our bub and the thought of going back to work fulltime made me feel really uneasy. I wanted to spend my time at home watching our family grow and not feeling like we were missing out. To say I am a very ambitious person is an understatement and prior to having kids my work was everything so it was a really big decision.
I came up with a balance to work part time and in a less stressful job as my priority was now my family. Since then, baby number 2, 3 and 4 have come along and although I wouldn’t change any of it, over time I have felt more isolated and felt that I had lost myself in my role as a mum and wife and felt lost in life in general.
When our fourth child was about 6 months old, I knew that I needed to make some changes. I needed to find me again. With the pressures of juggling home, work and the never ending needs and commitments of the kids, it’s no wonder that we can feel lost. The key is to not get stuck in a lost state and tap into things that will help create a life we love.
Some things that have really helped me
1. Remember what you love to do and go do it!
Do you remember the last time you truly had fun? Sometimes we lose sight of how amazing life can be because we feel burdened by the responsibilities and mundane parts of life. It’s time to reconnect with what you love and to take action on it. No more excuses about not having the time, money, resources, babysitter etc. Make a commitment to do what you love.
2. Identify and reconnect with your dreams.
What kinds of dreams did you have for your life before you lost yourself in the busy-ness of life? Get a journal and reconnect with the dreams you once had and come up with some new dreams. In a perfect world, what would you love to be, have, or do? Narrow in on goals that you feel best fit your passion, and gradually work up to completing them. Take small steps towards achieving your goals, be realistic about what action you can take each day
3. Go on an adventure.
Whether it’s a day trip, some time out by yourself, or a week-long drive along the coast, go out and explore the world. This will give you the time and focus to really reconnect with yourself again. You’ll be away from the noise of your regular life and will be able to see and experience the world with fresh eyes. I promise, when you come back you will have far more clarity about where you are going than you had when you started.
4. Break up the monotony.
Feeling stuck is sometimes a sign that it’s time to make a change. Do something different, try something new. Trying something new and exciting, something completely different from your regular routine can help you find that spark again. Find the excitement. Meet new people. Step out of your comfort zone. What is the first thing that comes to mind? Go do it!
5. Disconnect, become quiet and listen.
Give yourself a break. Turn off devices, put on some music, read a book or magazine. Focus on all the senses. Go for a walk, enjoy the fresh air. Try to slow down and be present. There are many signs, messages and guideposts that can guide us if we are open to it. With all the mind chatter and busy-ness we have these days it can be difficult to recognize the signs that are all around, so it’s important to get quiet and listen.
6. Be mindful.
If you are able to acknowledge that feeling lost is a feeling that can change, your mindset will slightly begin to shift. Learn to be mindful. Try and stop the ‘auto pilot’ and practice mindfulness during routine activities. Be aware of your breathing. Be kind to yourself.
7. Treat your body well.
Stay hydrated and eat well. I notice a huge difference in myself mentally when I am eating right and exercising.
8. Ask for help (This one I find difficult).
You don’t have to figure this out all on your own and sometimes simply having a chat with someone can give you the insight you need. In terms of help with the kids, seek help from friends and family. I love the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Build a community of support around you. People will be happy to help.
These are some things that have really helped me and I am still a work in progress. I truly believe that if we work hard to make ourselves happy and carve out some ‘me time’, it will be a huge benefit to our children and our family life. We don’t need the mumma guilt holding us back from being the people we want to be!
I would love to hear what has helped you find yourself when you were feeling lost? Share in the comments below. It would be great to support and empower others who may be experiencing something similar.