You love being a mother, and you wouldn’t trade what you have for the world. But somewhere along the way, between diaper changes and long nights, you forgot what it was like to be you, the real you.
Believe me, I know. I’ve been there.
Before I became a mom, I had a career, several hobbies and interests, and time to travel with my husband on a moment’s notice. Life was good, but I still had many ambitions to pursue.
After my son was born, I decided to leave a conference planning career behind to pursue motherhood full time. It was scary but I knew in my heart this is what I needed to do at this time in my life. I felt so fulfilled to be able to witness all of my son’s first milestones, and as a bonus I was truly in charge of my days for the first time in my life.
Even though it felt like my son ran the schedule most days, just being able to schedule doctor appointments during the day, go grocery shopping when the store wasn’t crowded, or being there to hug him when nap time was over felt like I had made it.
Zip lining in Florida
As I immersed myself in the role of motherhood and full-time care taker of a baby, I neglected many aspects of myself that used to be important to me. I honestly didn’t do it on purpose; I just kept putting them aside as I felt they were not important at that moment.
Fast forward a couple years and I find myself in an identity crisis, feeling disconnected from myself, and trying to figure out where my old self fits in this role of motherhood.
I wasn’t clear on how to move forward. All I knew is that I still wanted to care for my son full time, but I also needed to add myself to my to-do list. Sometimes I just wanted to be able to sit and enjoy the silence!
I started doing what I do best when I need to solve a problem, and that is reading and researching. I found out I was not an isolated case and many other moms had gone through the same challenges and thrived.
After putting guilt and fear aside, I first had to find out what self-care really meant to me. Through some trial and error, I found that the more time I invested in myself, the clearer my priorities became. I was more present when spending time with my family, and I was able to set personal goals that benefited not just myself, but also my entire family.
Walt Disney World, Orlando
Visit to Savannah
The continuous practice of self-nurture and reflection opened my eyes to so many wonderful possibilities. I could finally see that the family life I longed for was possible, and the balance I craved not out of reach.
One thing I know for sure: It is possible to have a happy family life while pursuing your personal dreams. No guilt required!
More About Me
Visit to Central Park - 3 months pregnant
If you are still curious about me, here are some fun facts:
In a nutshell, I’m a wife, mother of a toddler, animal-lover, entrepreneur, yoga aficionado, wanderluster, learning enthusiast, stationary fanatic and organizing guru.
I love the smell of fresh brewed coffee, the sound of my son’s laugh, the feel of a cozy blanket as I curl up on the couch with a good book, the view of the river from the shore, the taste of a flaky, warm pastry.
I grew up in Southern Brazil and moved to the United States at the age of 19 (blame it on my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time J). Fast forward a couple decades and now the United States is what I consider my home.
My first language is Portuguese, and at the age of 7 my parents enrolled me in formal English lessons. By the time I was 15, I was fluent in English and got my first job as an English teacher for children and adults alike.
I always had a taste for adventure and curiosity for new cultures and languages. At a very young age I remember a friend of the family who was from South Africa, and had made Brazil his permanent home. I remember my excitement when hearing him speak of different customs from his country and a way of life that seemed so fascinating and unique to me. How marvelous would it be to meet such interesting people, and share in their traditions, language and culture!
Starry night in Brazil
At the top of the pyramid in Teotihuacan, Mexico
My first big adventure was travelling to the United States at the age of 17 to become an exchange student for a year in the Midwest. Nothing could have prepared me for the lessons I learned from being immersed in a culture in this way, and despite the struggles and cultural shock, I came out of this experience full of appreciation for other’s points of view, and a long-term boyfriend, who is now my husband.
While pursuing my Bachelor’s business degree in the USA, I started to take Spanish classes and participated in the university’s exchange program with a Mexican university. I lived in Guadalajara, Mexico for 6 months while attending college and living with a local family.
This was a wonderful experience that left me with life-long friends and fluent Spanish to match (just wish I could say the same today!). I still can’t handle spicy food, but I learned to be more laid back and I will always be thankful for being introduced to the wonderful world of salsa dancing.
After doing some research on my family tree, I found out I came from a family of world explorers who also had a taste for adventure! As the granddaughter of Italian and German immigrants, I found out the previous generations in my family had also lived in Poland and Sweden, and this is just one branch of my family tree! It seems the wanderluster gene doesn’t fall far from the tree!