Feeling Normal Again After Becoming Mom (it takes a while)

I’m going to let you in on the punchline now: after having kids, it took me two years to feel some kind of normal again. Yes, you read that right, two years. Actually, to be completely honest, it was more like two years and another month or two. And to be brutally honest, I’m still not to a place I’m actually satisfied with yet.


After my husband and I had our first, I read somewhere that two years was the amount of time it took a woman’s body to heal and the ideal length to wait before getting pregnant again. To that, I thought, “pshhh, sure,” and we decided to try for our second when our first was just over a year old.

It wasn’t until just recently–shortly after my second’s second birthday–that I realized I was starting to feel and do things like I did before kids. For example…

Before kids: I had no problem filling my days with several events and things to do.

After kids: If we attend one major event over the weekend, that’s it for the weekend because it’s exhausting.

Before kids: How could doing one thing possibly be exhausting to anyone?

After kids: … I was an idiot.

Before kids: I’m going to run to the store at 10 p.m., because why not?

After kids: Someone could not pay me enough to leave my house at 10 p.m. for anything.

You get the picture. Since I’ve surpassed my two-year mark, however, I’m starting to gain pre-children energy back. I want to do several get-out-of-the-house “major” events in a day again. I’m starting to physically and mentally notice things that weren’t as prominent right after kids. It’s not a big, exhausting deal to hang out with friends in the morning, take the kids to see grandma and grandpa in the afternoon and go to a painting class in the evening all by myself.

This may sound discouraging if you’re just starting your journey, but it’s more to tell you it’s okay to be fumbling around for a while. If you don’t step foot outside of your home some days, you shouldn’t feel guilty. You can be that person who’s ten minutes late to everything, with a stain on your shirt and your hair in a messy bun because you only slept three hours. It will get easier, you will get better, but that may not mean you feel normal then either.

By no means is this to say you won’t be on your A-game for years, it just takes more effort, and you, mom, are not required to function at that level of effort day in and day out. Realize you’re in the trenches of exhausting motherhood, and that generally means the only thing that gets you to the other side is time. Time to heal, time to grow and time to find your way through.

Now, (two years later) I don’t feel like I need to plan three weeks in advance, allot seven hours for everything and pray to the terrible-twos gods every time I go out. I can wrangle up my kids and go do whatever, whenever because I’m me again. I’m trying to tell you there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Day by day things get easier, but at some point, you exit the tunnel. You may be on the other side with a new view, but the relief of feeling like yourself again will come.

To the mom who has met all the “it gets easier” milestones but still feels like half the person they were, that doesn’t last forever either. Remember your other half is currently completely absorbed in your baby whom you’re working tirelessly to make into a whole person, just as you’ll be again. Soon enough.

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31 thoughts on “Feeling Normal Again After Becoming Mom (it takes a while)

  1. I can absolutely relate! I had my children very close together (16 months). Now that they are 2 1/2 and 4, I am JUST starting to feel like I could be a normal person again. Thanks for the reminder that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel! 🙂

  2. This is so true. I remember finally feeling like myself about the two-year mark too, especially since having pregnancy complications with my first it felt like an eternity before I felt like myself again. There is definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

  3. I am pregnant with my 3rd and my older kids are 7 and 8. I’m totally worried about this, and not sure how I’m am going to be able to keep up with the big kids and all their activities. But I guess you do what you have to.

    1. I also think with the older ones around to help, it will be a relief for you, too. After my first, I couldn’t function. With my second, I knew what to expect and could handle it 20x better. If I had a third now with my other two old enough to help, it would still be tiring, but I think there are a LOT more resources and experience to lean on. I wouldn’t worry too much. You’ll do great, Jessa. <3

  4. I can totally relate to this! And truthfully after 8pm, I’m in for the night. Lol. And I’m only 24. I actually went out with my sister and friends a couple of weeks ago and we didn’t get back in until about 3am. I was exhausted for the rest of the week. Before kids, I was able to hang out like that with no problem.

    1. Baha! I’m 26 and can totally agree about being in for the night by 8pm sometimes :). I’ve gotten better about staying up late if I need to, but for the most part, I actually value my sleep now much more.

  5. Being a mom is exhausting, especially as a single parent. I do not think I will ever be the same again and I don’t mind it. My kids made me who I am today.

  6. This is a great post to read. I always hear all the complaints after having children. It’s so much work, you don’t have a life anymore, you’re stressed 24/7. I don’t have children but it kind of worries me. Your post made me realize that life does go back to what it was eventually and it’s not all that bad.

  7. I can relate to this post so well….and I only have one child. He is 16 months now and wow what a whirlwind change of a lifestyle, but the best thing I have ever experienced. No one could pay me leave my house at 22:00 either. I just cant do it.

  8. This post is very inspiring. I’m not a mom, but I think I can tell that my mom changed when she had me and my brothers. Hope this post helps other moms out there, and as daughter, I can say that I admire the moms out there! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  9. I am not a mum yet, but see my friends make this transition and make the same comments about before and after being a mom! I have noted this as I am family planning and will remind myself that I will be going through similar changes!

  10. Being a Mom is a huge and tough change. I’ve noticed these changes to my newly Mom friends. Some of them is having this “love-hate relationship” with themselves because of the changes. I won’t understand them fully, but as their friend I’m with them to cheer them up – to the point be their clown, just to make them laugh 😀

  11. My two are 4 1/2 and almost 2 i noticed a big change emotionally when i stopped breastfeeding, then when the pnd got better and although im still up and down it is getting better so almost there 🙂

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