As a wife, your partner and your children are the most important things in your life. You enjoy cooking dinner for your husband after a long day of work, putting your children to bed at night and getting them ready for school in the morning. You feel accomplished. You feel whole. But, what happens when all you start to feel is “I have no time for myself” after marriage?
Juggling wifely responsibilities, work obligations, and preschool activities is a full-time job in and of itself. Even if you are happy in your marriage and feel fully supported by your partner, feelings of loss-of-self can still creep in.
If you are feeling lost after marriage or motherhood, you’re not alone. Most mothers and wives eventually go through a span of feeling like they come last on their list of priorities. Can this start to deteriorate your marriage? If so, how can you make time for yourself when you have so many responsibilities to attend to?
No time for Myself After Marriage – The Issues
Putting your husband or children first in your life may seem like the selfless path to take, but neglecting to take care of yourself emotionally and physically can have a negative effect on your ability to be a good wife and mother.
Loss of self
Becoming attached to a partner can bring many benefits. Security, happiness, and support just to name a few. But some people can start to lose a sense of who they were once they become a married couple. This is a natural process of growing together as a couple, but just be sure you don’t lose too much of your single self.
Forgetting about your own dreams, hobbies, likes, and friends can make you feel lost after marriage or motherhood. You feel like all you are is a wife and caregiver, instead of a woman with her own goals and dreams.
This can be detrimental to your romantic relationship as well. If you are not in touch with the woman that you once were, how is your partner going to be in touch with her? The farther you are from the person you used to be, the harder it will be for your husband to connect with you or see you as the woman he married.
If you feel you are too exhausted or busy to take time for a hot bath, you may start to resent those around you. Without meaning to, you may start to resent your children for scooping up your time, or your husband for not being as helpful or as supportive as you would like. Exhaustion clouds the mind and makes you think or say things you would never dream of saying if you were well-rested and in touch with yourself.
If you don’t have children, you may start to resent your mate for your choice to put their ambitions or needs before your own. Relationships should be “give and take” on both ends. One person should not come before the other.
Loss of Attraction
A harsh truth is this: if you don’t take care of yourself physically, your partner may be less attracted to you. You may also experience feelings of physical insecurity. It’s important to take care of yourself. Shower, exercise, eat well, drink water, and dress up even if it’s only once a week. You need to stay in touch with who you are.
How to Make Time for Yourself After Marriage or Motherhood
Making time for yourself will help you be a better wife and mother down the road. If you feel like you have no time for yourself after marriage or having children, you’re not alone. Here are some suggestions on how to make “me time” after getting married or having kids.
No Time for Myself After Marriage
If you are married without children, it’s still important to take time for yourself. Your partner fell in love with you because of who you were. It’s important for both your relationship and your sense of self to take some time apart to rejuvenate your inner person. Here are two ways to do this.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder: Just because you are married doesn’t mean you always have to hang out together. Plan one day a week where you do things apart from one another. This will let your partner have a much needed guy’s night with his friends and allow you the freedom to take some time for yourself. Use this to get together with the girls, write, go to a movie, see a play, play an instrument, or soak in a hot bath. The choice in yours.
Explore your passions: You’re married, not dead. Don’t use being a wife as an excuse not to explore your passions. Make plans for travel, learn a new language, go to the gym, listen to your own music or work on a DIY project. Don’t forget the woman that you are and all the little things that make you who you are.
If You are Married with Children
Once you have children, all bets are off. Do you feel like having a set schedule? Does time to do your nails seems is a thing of the past? Don’t ever let this be the case! The best thing you can do for your own happiness is to set a schedule and stick to it.
Setting a Schedule: Children respond beautifully to routines and schedules, especially at a young age. If you are having trouble sticking to a schedule, try introducing “quiet time” in the evening. Quiet time is one hour where the children are sent to go play or watch a movie while you get to spend time with yourself. Use this time to read, exercise, and relax.
Plan a date night: When you have small children it’s important to keep the spark in both you and your marriage alive. Take turns planning date nights around you and your spouse’s interests. Not only will this strengthen your marriage bond, it will also remind you of your needs and passions as an individual.
Take advantage of Friends and Family: These are the ones who you can call upon as designated babysitters. This can relieve stress from your day and give you some much needed alone time.
Don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself after marriage or after becoming a mother. Your ability to become a better mother and wife depends on your being happy and whole in your sense of self. Don’t think of it as putting yourself before your family, think of it as taking time to remember who you are.
Author Bio: Rachel Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.