How do you feel like “you” again? (And do you ever?) I might know.

Because I went from being pregnant, to nursing, to being pregnant and nursing, to being just pregnant, and now to nursing again, I am currently at 2 2/3 years without having a “normal” hormone level.  I’m not really sure if there will be long-term repercussions of living like this (and I have no idea how Michelle Duggar has survived!), but I can say that I struggle daily with my identity as “Christine” and not just my identity as “Mommy” or “housewife” or “maid.”  So sometimes, no, often times, I find my sanity comes from doing things that I did before kids.  I must say that these little mini-breaks are my current life preserver.

Today’s time to myself was a visit to the salon for a cut and color.  There is something super-restorative about having someone else figure out how to make you look amazing and then do it for you.  I have the BEST stylist in the world (Holly, you rock!), and every time I get my hair done, I leave feeling like it has never looked that good.  And the process – OH THE PROCESS – of getting a head massage, and sitting and reading (yes, US Weekly or People, and no, I’m not sure why because now it seems like every page is full of “stars” I don’t know), or sitting and knitting (which I also did), is pure bliss.  Someone else was feeding and playing with Zach.  Someone else was entertaining Eliza’s constant chatter, demands for attention, and temper tantrums.  And I was doing … whatever I wanted to do.  It’s a flashback of what life was like before kids, and I would be institutionalized if I didn’t do this.  Some women have endless supplies of God-given mommy patience; some get medicated; I get a babysitter.

The point is that we all have to find what makes us tick and then make those things priorities.  I try to schedule a hair appointment for every 9 weeks, get regular pedicures, and go shopping with a friend once in a while.  But more often, I find respite by getting to the grocery store alone, or taking a bath at night, or having Greg take the kids for 2 hours while I run needed errands by myself.  This weekend, I’m taking a trip to visit my college roommate while Eliza stays back with Greg.  We’re taking a cooking class and going to tea, and having a babysitter for Zach while we do these things.  And it is going to be magical.

I know that I am a better mother when I get breaks from my kids.  My life changed forever nearly two years ago when Eliza was born, and though my hormones might not be the same (and I probably am a different person now), I take every chance to return to “normalcy” that I can.  What do you do?

2 thoughts on “How do you feel like “you” again? (And do you ever?) I might know.

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