It just hit me one day . . .
She was making herself a sandwich with an egg. I was like, “What is happening right now?” She is actually old enough to do these things and more all on her own!
Not long ago, I remember saying that I couldn’t wait for her to be independent so that I could have some time for myself. I was just exhausted. Frankly, with my daughter being my one and only, I really had no idea what I was doing as a mother. At the age of 25, I was the first of my five sisters to have a baby and none of my friends had children yet. I had no role model to look up to and social media was not a part of my life yet. As much as I wanted her to grow up quickly because I felt so alone as a mother and I couldn’t relate to any of my friends anymore, I finally felt like I was adjusting to this new life as a mother. Then suddenly, I now have to adjust again.
I realized she didn’t need me as much anymore. She created her own identity.
She didn’t need me to make all her meals, she didn’t need me to choose her clothes, she didn’t need me to comb her hair and help her brush her teeth in the mornings. And she wasn’t banging on the door while I was using the restroom, screaming, “Mama!” We weren’t going to playdates, swimming, gymnastics, and ballet practices! And she wasn’t hanging on me like a koala almost 24-7. I realized she needed me in different ways. And I wasn’t ready.
I was sad and began to reminisce about her as a child. I had a difficult time moving into this next chapter and letting her grow up. Yet I knew it was important to continue cultivating the environment she needs in order for her to thrive emotionally, physically, and mentally. Going through this journey, I discovered what she now needs! If you have a teenager, you can try these too.
- To be a good listener not a lecturer
- To be emotionally stable and know how to have a difficult conversation
- To have fun with them (remember we were once teenagers!)
It was liberating to know that I had time to do whatever I wanted to do, but I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had to reinvent myself!
A lot had changed in my life. I was now 36 and divorced with a new home, new career, and a teenager. I really didn’t have much time to think about all these changes in my life because I was busy raising my wonderful daughter. All these years of conscious parenting took up a lot of my time and energy. Once I began putting my energy into myself and rediscovering who I was, I realized I wanted a new way of living and began to create that in my life.
These are some things I did to find out what kind of life I wanted to live, what gave me joy, and what was worth my time. I’m no longer 25 and my time is extremely valuable–one cannot get it back.
1. I did something every day that made me happy.
This is how I realized I love coffee, matcha, and books. That I am definitely a nature gal and maybe even a hippie in my past life. That I love the sun! I learned that I am passionate about many things and writing is one of them. That my core value is freedom, and I will continue to do things in my life that spark joy!
2. I reconnected with old friends and made new ones.
I thought this wasn’t going to be difficult for me since I’m a people person. It was challenging because, this time, my goal was to create meaningful relationships. I realized so many people are not willing to open up and be real. Regardless, I was real, and those people who are in my life today are the ones worth my time. Choose wisely who you spend your time with!
3. I began to travel and do things (alone).
You really learn about who you are when you’re alone. I never knew how to be alone. I have four sisters and I was married at the age of 24, and I moved out of my parents’ house when I got married. Technically, I had never been alone. So I went on a women’s retreat, to a movie, and to dinner alone. I booked my own flights, went to coffee shops, and drove by myself to another city.
And I fell in love with myself! I realized I love to wander around this amazing world. I love being alone. Today I make sure to put myself in my schedule. This is a way for me to feel my cup with new energy and take care of myself.
I’m committed to me, to my daughter, and to all those I love. Without a doubt, I’m a better mom and person because I chose myself. We all have the choice to stay stuck in the past and complain about how hard motherhood was–or we can choose to reinvent ourselves and become the best version for the next chapter of our lives!
That’s what I’ve done, and I’m very proud of who I am.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.