Navigating the Wilderness: Finding Yourself When Lost in Motherhood

Motherhood is often described as a journey, a beautiful adventure filled with love, growth, and endless joy – But what about those moments when it feels like you’ve lost your way in the midst of this journey? When the demands of parenting overshadow your sense of self, leaving you feeling adrift in a sea of nappies, tantrums, sleepless nights and later, a taxi service? Being lost in motherhood is a common experience, yet it’s one that often goes unspoken. In this article, I will explore the complexities of this journey, and offer some guidance on how to navigate through the wilderness of motherhood to find your way back to yourself.

The Myth of Perfect Motherhood:

From the moment we become mothers, we’re bombarded with images of perfect parenting – smiling mothers with impeccably dressed children, Pinterest-worthy crafts, and Instagram-perfect family outings. But the reality of motherhood is far messier and more chaotic than these carefully curated snapshots suggest. The pressure to live up to these unrealistic standards can leave mothers feeling inadequate and overwhelmed, as if they’re constantly falling short of some unattainable ideal.

Losing Yourself in the Chaos:

As mothers, we often prioritise the needs of our children above our own, sacrificing our time, energy, and even our identity in the process. It’s easy to lose sight of who we are outside of our roles as caregivers, as we become consumed by the daily grind of parenting. The things that once brought us joy – hobbies, passions, friendships – can take a backseat to the endless demands of motherhood, leaving us feeling isolated and disconnected from ourselves.

The Guilt of Self-Care:

In a culture that glorifies self-sacrifice and martyrdom in motherhood, the idea of prioritising self-care can feel selfish or indulgent. Many mothers struggle with feelings of guilt when they take time for themselves, believing that they should be devoting every spare moment to their children – But the truth is, self-care isn’t selfish – it’s essential. Just like the oxygen mask on an airplane, we can’t effectively care for others if we don’t first take care of ourselves.

Finding Your Way Back:

So how do we find our way back to ourselves when we feel lost in the wilderness of motherhood? It starts with giving ourselves permission to prioritize our own needs and desires, even if it means saying no to others. It means carving out time for the things that bring us joy, whether it’s a solo walk in nature, a quiet cup of tea, or a night out with friends. It means embracing the messy, imperfect reality of motherhood, and letting go of the need to be perfect.

Reconnecting with Our Identity:

Reconnecting with ourselves means rediscovering the things that make us unique and whole outside of our roles as mothers. It means rekindling old passions and interests, and exploring new ones. It means nurturing our relationships with friends and loved ones, and seeking out support when we need it. It means acknowledging that motherhood is just one part of who we are, and that our identity is multifaceted and ever-evolving.

Embracing Imperfection:

Above all, finding ourselves in motherhood means embracing the messy, imperfect reality of parenting, and letting go of the need to have it all together all the time. It means giving ourselves grace when we fall short, and celebrating the small victories along the way. It means recognising that there is no one right way to be a mother, and that we’re all just doing the best we can with the tools we have.


Being lost in motherhood is a challenging and often overwhelming experience, but it’s also an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. By prioritising self-care, reconnecting with our identity, and embracing imperfection, we can navigate through the wilderness of motherhood and find our way back to ourselves. So let’s give ourselves permission to be lost, knowing that the journey back to ourselves is where the true magic lies.

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