The trap of losing your identity is all too common during motherhood. You may have been an independent and successful woman but, these days, you’re usually referred to as So-and-So’s mom. Your top priority is this new little one and everything else is now in second place. That said, is it possible to balance motherhood while maintaining your own sense of worth? Yes!
Maintaining Your Identity Through Motherhood
That is one of the main reasons I started blogging way back in 2010. I knew my role of caring for the family and homeschooling my daughter was important. Yet, something was missing. Being out of the workforce for nine years, I felt incapable of anything non-mom-related and found myself in a rut. Blogging was my means of self-validation. I found out that I had a voice again. I could make conference calls, handle myself professionally in person and online, and I unknowingly became an entrepreneur who runs two small businesses. It’s not easy, though.
Knowing the struggle of wanting to be the best mom possible but still have a life, I was excited to attend an event with Dana Vollmer. Dana is a four-time Olympic gold-medalist swimmer who retired after having her first child. Yet, after bed rest during pregnancy and a year of motherhood, Dana found herself missing the sport. She decided to get in shape and aim for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. How does she balance motherhood and being an Olympic athlete in training? That was the burning question I couldn’t wait to hear her answer to.
Interview with Dana Vollmer — Becoming a New Mother
Before we started our official interview, four other bloggers and I took a little tour with Dana. The event was held at the Babies R Us in Emeryville, CA. We started off in the diaper section. Dana is partnering with P&G and Pampers for the games. As every mom knows, you can never have enough diapers those first few years so the relationship was a natural fit.
Her little man crawls, walks, and climbs over everything but they haven’t had a blowout yet. She also found how wipes are good for EVERYTHING. New parents can never have enough Pampers baby wipes.
I never thought I’d be one of those parents that talk about poop but, yeah, it’s all about poop for a while.
— Dana Vollmer.
She explained a bit about the baby registry she used at Babies R Us. 10% of everything bought from that registry accrues in the form of credit for the registrant, you can try out the wide selection of products in person (comes in handy for car seats, strollers, and cribs), and you have up to one year after the baby’s expected date for returns.
As we walked through the aisles Dana shared some tidbits from her first year as a mom. When she had to give her son a bath, she found it difficult since he seemed so fragile. So, she ended up getting in the bath with him. She also joined a “mom” group. Then, we learned that Dana and her husband each chose a newborn outfit which meant something special to them. They still have both of those outfits even now.
Heading to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games w/ a Toddler
Then it was time to get down to business. With nerves going and cameras rolling, we started asking Dana about how she is able to balance motherhood and something major like training for The Games. This is what she had to say:
Off camera, Dana shared a bit more insider info with us. How does she get in shape? She started with little things like pulling in her stomach while exhaling. Dana noted that fitness can be fit into day-to-day activities such as doing squats while taking dishes out of the dishwasher or picking up the laundry basket.
When did she introduce her son to the water? From a young age, she would swirl the water around him in the bath and dip his feet in at the pool. He’s already in swimming lessons and is even starting to paddle. The most important aspect of water safety is for children to feel at ease near the water.
Interview with Dana Vollmer — How to Balance Motherhood & Personal Goals
Dana realized that she’s much stronger than what she gave herself credit for. Instead of motherhood inhibiting her goals, it has enhanced it. Lessons she learned as a mother helped put things in perspective when it came to her training. It doesn’t make you a bad mom if you’re having a hard time. In the same way, it’s okay to have bad practices and bad races. It doesn’t define who you are since you can get up and be a better person tomorrow.
Being a mom has helped her embrace that sometimes it’s hard and that it doesn’t always go as planned. Still, things will be okay. Dana is living proof that you can be a mother and, at the same time, achieve great things. She qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and will be competing for more gold medals, but this time as a mother. It was a pretty amazing sensation to see her compete on television this past weekend and say, “Hey, I met, chatted, and took photos with her!”
It was such a treat to chat with Dana, both about her experiences as a mother and about life as an Olympic athlete. It helped me to realize that pursuing personal goals does not have to mean sacrificing being a good mom to your kids. It is possible to balance motherhood with other aspects of life. I wish her the best in the upcoming Olympic Games and in raising that adorable baby boy.
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with P&G, Pampers, and Babies R Us. All opinions are my own.