Today is Mother’s Day. A day where we tend to scroll back through pictures of our kids, forgetting all of the sleepless nights, picked-at dinners and defiant stomps of the feet…focusing only on the positive. We see images of that first smile, faces covered in spaghetti sauce, dance parties in the kitchen and little feet chasing bubbles in the yard.
It’s an emotional time, going down memory lane, but so nourishing for the soul. It can remind us of the magic that’s right in front of our eyes, even if most days we ask these crazy kids of ours to please not steal our last thread of sanity!
I find it interesting that most of us stop the reminiscing when we get to that first picture taken of our first child. We look at their scrunched little face under the hospital lights and think “that’s when it all began.”
And we are right, so much changes after we become parents, it’s not a new chapter, it’s an entirely different book! But the thing is, the main character is still a part of the story.
This Mother’s Day I want you to try something new. I want you go even further back. I want you to look at pictures of yourself BEFORE kids. Try to remember who that person was. What excited you? What made you laugh? What challenged you? It is so important to refresh our memories about this as well, so that these old pictures of ourselves don’t become truly unrecognizable.
I am not trying to diminish how large of an impact becoming a mom makes on our hearts, our minds and our souls, however I think it’s necessary to honour who we are individually. No one ever stays the same, we learn and we grow (thank goodness in many ways!!), though there are parts of ourselves, the parts that make us so fantastically individual, that we need to nurture. If you look back and feel that you used to be so free-spirited until you had kids (not a personal example, I’ve never been free-spirited lol), you don’t want to resent parenting for dulling that part of you…you simply want to be conscious of it and find ways to feed it in a way that’s good for your family. Maybe you need to take more family trips, stay adventurous and instill a love of life in your children. If you look back and see a picture of you painting, it may be that you completely forgot that you LOVED to paint or maybe every picture shows you surrounded by a group of friends, but you never get out of the house these days.
In looking back at the person you were before kids, you can find hints and reminders of who YOU are, not as a mom, but as yourself. When you care for yourself, your kids will notice, and they will be inspired. Yes, I am a mom….and usually that’s the only “name” I have most days, but I always want to be ME as well.
What do you see when you look back at these pictures of yourself? That person is still in there!