It was a dream come true when I got married in November 2012, and I was the happiest woman when I became a mom to a baby boy in August 2014. Both had the kind of joy that's hard to express, but they made me feel complete and fulfilled. I didn't mind the sleepless nights or the lack of time for myself.
That’s why I never thought that I would reach a point in my life when I wanted to be someone else.
I didn't know who I wanted to be exactly, but I just felt this longing that came and went throughout my journey as a mom and a homemaker. There were days when I felt complete content, and then there were days when I would find myself crying while doing household chores. I would release a deep, weary as I lied down on the bed.
I would browse my Facebook feed and see my former colleagues — and their stable careers. They were so proud to talk about their accomplishments that I couldn't help wonder, “How about me? What have I achieved? Can’t I do more than just take good care of my son and doing household chores?”
Don’t get me wrong. I love being a mom to my son, and I love my husband. These roles remain my top priorities.
It’s just that I think I reached a point in my life when I realized that I need to establish a "life balance" to be a worthy homemaker. I am not sure that means exactly. But I feel the need to know myself more — my strengths and weaknesses — and rediscover the passion that will keep me moving.
I took a few steps towards that goal recently, and while it is very much a work in progress, I wanted to share it with my fellow moms who have felt 'lost' how I slowly found myself again.
1. Pursue a creative outlet. Sometimes we're afraid to do "something creative" because we think we will never be good at it. You have to let that go, and do it! It's about doing something for yourself, and whether you decide to show it off or not, it's up to you.
In my case, I loved to write so I would do it undisturbed for at least four hours in a week. Even a simple blog post every day awakens my artistic soul. Right now, I am writing my children’s storybook. I am hoping that someday, my son will hold a book written by his mom.
2. Go out of your shell. It's advice you've heard before, but it works. Don't wait for the opportunity to discover other things that you never know you can do come to you. You have to find it!
I started cooking simple dishes. I also looked for ways to expose myself to indie movies, visual arts, and spoken poetry. As you do other things, you open a new perspective on happiness and self-fulfillment.
3. Love yourself a little deeper. Nurture your mind and body. Read good books. Exercise. Eat healthily. Look good. Express yourself — just how you want to —without waiting for the approval of other people.
I want to be a good writer because I want to be someone who can express herself freely and craft beautiful stories. I want to discover my other strengths, so I can do more. I want to love myself more, so I can love more.
All these things I want to do because I want to be a better mom and wife.
This piece was submitted by Smart Parenting reader, Katherine Marfal-Teves, a mom to a soon-to-be 4-year-old boy.