One of the challenges of being a mom is finding a way to preserve your own sense of self while giving your children the attention and support they need. The truth is that sometimes being a parent is just about surviving, such as during those early sleep deprived days with an infant. However, those times don’t last forever, and it’s important to find a way to maintain your identity that is not entirely about your children and your relationship to them. Maintaining that sense of identity is not about separating yourself from your children but means finding a way to integrate motherhood with the rest of your life.

Address the Cores

Why is it so common for women to lose their sense of self when they have kids? There are a few common reasons, and addressing them can help you start to remember who you are. First, you may be too busy and not allowing enough time for sleep. Sleep deprivation will take its toll eventually, and you need to find a way to prioritize it. The other parent should be helping you with any situations that disrupt your sleep. Work on teaching your kids to fend for themselves a bit in the morning as well when they are old enough, preparing something simple like cereal to eat and finding a quiet activity. Some mothers also find that taking the time to find flattering clothes that they like or treat themselves in other ways that they may have been neglecting can make a difference.

Set Goals

Setting goals can help you stay focused on who you are when you aren’t “Mom.” These might be a combination of career, educational and personal goals, and they should vary in length from short to long-term. The long-term goals could be decades in the future, after the children are grown and out of the house, but they can give you something to quietly build toward. Maybe you have decided that when your kids grow up, you want to travel the world. You can save for retirement with this in mind as well as sell some of your assets to pay for it. You may want to sell your home, and if you no longer need your life insurance policy, you might be able to sell that as well as part of a life settlement. This can provide cash for some policies. You can review a guide that will help you navigate the process and evaluate the best life settlement companies.

Find Some Flexibility

Goals are wonderful, but in order to reach them and just so that you can stay balanced, you need some down time in your day-to-day life. Take time out to get coffee with a friend. Have a set appointment, such as a run you take three times a week with your neighbor. If you can’t afford childcare, a potentially helpful solution could be a teenager you know who can come to your house and be a mother’s helper for a few hours a week while you are there, allowing you to have some space without giving them too much responsibility.