I realised something the other day. I was pondering why motherhood is so shocking and why many of us struggle with depression and anxiety postpartum. I had the thought come into my mind that the transition to motherhood is like an identity crisis. We have a different body, different priorities, different circles of friends, among many other changes. We suddenly care that the music we listen to has more than a few cuss words or sexual innuendos. We suddenly understand our mothers so much more, which, let’s be honest, is its own identity crisis in itself. We forget what it was we used to enjoy doing before kids came along, probably because we simply don’t have the time to invest in many hobbies anymore.
I remember when I started seeing a therapist after my second child was born and she asked me the simple question what I like to do for fun. I listed off the things that I had always said, and then she asked me another question that absolutely floored me and left me speechless.
“How often do you do them?”
For a moment, I couldn’t speak, a phenomenon that is so uncommon the whole earth might have actually stopped spinning. “Never.”
“Then that’s what we need to change.”
Once she said that, the fact that I was struggling with postpartum depression made complete sense to me. I heard music and art and things we enjoy described the other day as vitamins for our soul. So, if I am not taking those vitamins for my soul and doing the things that make my soul light up, of course I’m going to feel down and hopeless. I need the boost they give, and so do you!
So let’s start there. What do you like to do for fun? And how often do you do them?
If you can’t think of what you currently like to do for fun, what did you enjoy doing before your little one(s) came along? If that still doesn’t inspire an answer, perhaps you can think of something you have always wanted to try and make plans to try that thing.
Finding a babysitter you trust is worth it. If you can’t find a babysitter, there are tons of online courses that can teach you different things from the comfort of your own home (after the kids go to bed). My friend’s sister has started creating pottery courses online, so I think that’s something I want to dive into soon. What have you always wanted to try but never got around to? I want you to be brave and just imagine what it would be like to do that thing. Just imagine it. I am not asking you to take steps to try it out unless you are just fired up to do so, but just start thinking about you, the new mother version of you, doing that thing and totally rocking it. Imagine you have found a new niche and a new form of therapy, vitamins for your soul.
Now, if you feel brave enough to share, I would love to hear from you in the comments. What is the thing or things you love to do? What are the vitamins for your soul (or the potential new ones?)