Posted by Duff

Will your child have any idea what an incredible and interesting person his/her mother is? Apart from being a mother, I mean.

Think back to before you were pregnant: before you chose the nursery paint, discussed names, and consulted “do not eat” lists, because pregnancy begins the shift of a woman’s focus away from herself, as it ought to, and onto her child.  Can you remember who you were? What you used to do with your free time? What you used to talk about?

When was the last time you had a conversation with anyone without mentioning your child?  Exactly. We’re staging an intervention, because we miss you. And we know you miss you, too.

Having been there, we know how to get you back.


  • Listen to a song from a time when you were inherently ‘you’. That means a song that reminds you of your relationship with yourself. Nothing gets the moxie back like music.
  • Read an escapist book (nothing child-related). Free time may be minimal, but 10 minutes a day will suffice to get your mind working in another direction.
  • Plan a child-free and self-indulgent activity. Start dating yourself.
  • Get a haircut. Especially if you’ve fallen victim to the ponytail. Preferably something that works with your hair’s natural shape and texture so it looks ‘done’ with minimal effort.

These steps will boost your sense of self enough to put yourself back into circulation as you

PHASE 2: The 24-Hour Challenge:

Practice the art of child-free conversation. You certainly know a lot about poop and sleep deprivation, don’t you? But when was the last time someone, other than your pediatrician, was interested?

Read the paper or some gossip mags, watch some reality TV or the news, and start talking about the things people really want to talk about! Ask a lot of questions about the other person and listen without applying it to yourself or what your child did yesterday. If someone asks about your child, redirect the conversation.

Hard, isn’t it? That’s why it’s necessary.

You may feel guilty about devoting time to yourself and your interests. But your identity and your role as a mother are not mutually exclusive states and over time they can co-exist healthily within the same person.  

And that person is a better Mother for it.

Have you passed The 24-Hour Challenge or another self-imposed intervention? Share your stories with us.