Sometimes I Miss Who I Was Before I Was 'Mom'

by Caila Smith
Originally Published: 

Whenever I voice my need for a break, I’m sort of baffled when everyone else thinks they know what I need before I do.

“Girl, go soak in the tub!”

“Go to the grocery store by yourself… it is wonderful.”

“Pour yourself a big glass of wine.”

“Wake up before your kids and get some time to yourself.”


Is that all I’m worth? A soak in the tub, a solo-trip to the grocery store, a cheap bottle of wine and ten minutes to myself in the morning? Really?

I deserve more, dammit. I need more. I know folks tend to forget this little detail (including me), but I am a human too. And sometimes, I crave bits and pieces of the life I lived prior to having kids.

What I mean by that is, I want to enjoy some of my old hobbies once again. I’d love to be able to sew, paint, sculpt, knit and design once more. I want a break from having to do it all and be it all. And for once in my mothering lifetime, I’d love to be able to JUST BE.

I love my little people with every fiber of my being, but I feel like the constant hustle and bustle of life with young kids is depleting me of my many selves and molding me into one title, and one title only: Mom.

I feel like, because of that, I won’t know what to do with myself as they outgrow me and leave the nest. Because the thought already brings me to soft sobs.

So I need a break to find myself again. Not all the time, but on a regular enough basis that I can feel balanced, stable, refreshed.

When it’s time for the kids to get ready in the morning, just once it’d be nice for someone else to do that for me (cough, cough, I’m looking at you, husband). I want to sleep in without having to ask for it, and I want a little bit of freaking recognition for everything that I do.

I’m tired of being the only one who knows where the pants and shorts are in the dresser drawers. Exhaustion is depleting me because nobody seems to care if Mom is at her wits’ end. And some days, Mom is at her wits’ end.

Take these kids who are hanging off my limbs and do not allow me to clean or do laundry while they are gone. Someone, anyone, please force me to take a break and leave this house, because I’ve been made to believe that I do not get one.

Even saying these words, I feel guilty and unworthy. I feel like this is what I signed up for when I became a mother, and I shouldn’t complain at all. Maybe I should just get used to it now. But a break from motherhood and domesticity isn’t really a want; it is a need.

In the event of an airplane malfunction, would I put my oxygen mask on first or my child’s? I would put mine on. Because let’s be honest, a passed out mother would not do my children any good. I know that’s a drastic example, but that’s how serious this is. Moms are often at the top of the caring-for-little-people pyramid, and when her needs are not catered to, the whole damn thing can come tumbling down.

So it’s ridiculous to believe that moms don’t deserve time for themselves just because they now have children. And it’s even more ridiculous that we have to feel guilty about such a thing. Thanks, society, but all of us moms would like a break from that one too.

I want to feel the village that everyone talks about, but seldom actually appears. Because long soaks in the tub and tall glasses of wine won’t do me any good when it is my soul that is this tired.

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