I woke up one day and realized I was drowning. The kids were about one and two, I was nursing them both and felt like I haven't stopped to think for nearly a year. I was touched out, stressed out and I realized that I was blaming the children. I resented my children. I would scream, "If we are a team, why are my needs always shit on, why does nobody care about what I want?" But in realizing this was my light bulb OH MY GOSH moment because, this was not my children's fault. This was my fault. I was not honoring my own space, I was willingly giving them whatever of myself whenever they asked . I gave them all my power, all my essence. I thought this was what being a mother was. But, you guys, I was wrong. What good would come of resenting my kids? What good would come of me giving everything away and waking up the next morning raw, touched out and angry? We all deserved better.
So I started making boundaries, I started speaking my needs and my throat chakra spun for the first time in....ever?
When Ezekiel asked to nurse (I still nursed Escher on demand, mostly) and I wasn't ready I would say "I am not going to give you milk right now, but how about we cuddle? How about you play with XYZ toy or how about a big hug?" No more tugging on my shirt and me stopping everything no matter what. There were tears at first and I would say "I need you to respect my body. I am a person and my body belongs to me." This paved the way for many important lessons about body autonomy that without my boundaries, with my self martyrdom, would not have occurred.
It is essential to maintain a sense of self as a mother, especially a mother of young kids. You are still you, a different version perhaps, but that's the fun, growing up WITH your kid into another part of yourself, discovering a new strength through hobbies. Follow your passions. This will do more for your children than sacrificing everything for your kids ever will. They will see you happy, they will see you as an individual, and believe me, they will begin to respect your boundaries when you are persistent and then build their own boundaries and it is a BEAUTIFUL thing.
You will be a mom forever, but you will be yourself even longer. If you continue to fill yourself and follow your bliss while the children grow, you won't have to face the absolute terrifying heartache when your kids grow up and move out of WHO AM I, WHAT GOOD AM I. You won't hate your kids for stealing your "good" years, for making decisions in life that YOU actually chose to make. You work together as individuals and you both grow.