I know you think about the person you used to be before you were somebody’s mom. Even though you’d never in a million years trade motherhood for anything, you still wish you had your pre-mom self back. I know she seems far away and unreachable, like someone you used to know, and you’re trying to resign yourself to the fact that she’s gone forever.
But she isn’t gone forever. I promise.
Right now, you’re learning how to love and take care of another human being. You’re figuring out how to balance your own needs against those of someone who literally requires you for every aspect of their existence. This isn’t something that just happens automatically; it’s a process, and it takes time. And before that balance is reached, someone’s needs will have to slide so another’s can be met. And it’s going to be yours — because you’re a damn good mom. So stop beating yourself up and wondering why you can’t be more pulled together.
It might not be tomorrow. It might be years from now. But take heart: One day, your babies won’t need so much from you, and your attention will gradually shift back to yourself. You’ll have time to de-fuzz your bikini line and wax your eyebrows. You’ll do something just for you, and it will feel wonderful. You’ll catch glimpses of the person you used to be — fleeting ones at first, then more and more frequent — until one day, you realize that she’s back. Yes, she’s changed because she’s somebody’s mom now, but it only makes her a better, more complete version.
The season of baby and toddlerhood is hard. Expecting to make it through without letting yourself slide a little is like expecting to run through a rainstorm without getting wet: unrealistic. But it only lasts a little while. And just as surely as the sun comes out, so will your mojo — returning at last, shining through, breaking the unpolished surface.
This article originally appeared here.