By Jamee Tenzer

After a few years of child rearing slumber it is easy to wake up, sleepily look around and wonder “What the %!@ happened to me?

I think I had some talent right?  I could dance.  Wait, no. I could sing.  How come I can’t remember one song besides The Wheels on the Bus?  Or maybe I was the studious one – straight A’s and Pre-Law?  Wait a minute – I started that novel. Where is that again?

Where am I again?”

Motherhood can be like being immersed in a temporary land of joy-filled, diaper-laden, hugs and kisses, 24-7, marshmallow dreamy, never enough sleepy, where did my brain go haze where you are required to be of service to tiny people for whom you are the center of their universe.  (So you’ve got that going for you.)

And at some point we all awake from the haze.  In fact, we wake up many times as our children grow.  We discover new levels of consciousness as our children are able to sleep through the night, spend an entire day at school, stay home alone and eventually leave for summer camp or college.

With each milestone in their lives, we experience a new level of opportunity to recreate or reclaim ourselves.

And yes, sometimes there is regret.  How did we let that important part of ourselves go?  Why did we let go of our commitment to our health or physical fitness?  What were we thinking when we stopped going to school or quit our job?  Why didn’t we pursue our passions?

But beyond that regret is opportunity.

Real opportunity to reclaim yourself in the now.  You have a world of experiences to draw upon now that your pre-motherhood self never imagined.  And that pre-mommy you still exists.  She is just waiting for an invitation to join your party.  Imagine the possibilities when you put all that new experience to work on recreating you in the now.  Endless.

Coach Me Quick tips for Inviting Your Pre-Mommy YOU to the Party:

1. Take a look inside your own memory.

If someone were to meet the pre-mommy you – how would they describe you? Which of those attributes would you like to invite to your current party?  Were you a little more “woo-woo?”  Did you stay up late?  Did you practice yoga, run in marathons or sky dive?  You won’t want to invite all of your pre-mommy self to this party and you don’t have to.  After all, it’s your guest list and you get to be the bouncer too.

2. Take a look around at the people who are in your life right now.

Were any of them there to witness the pre-mommy you?  If so, interview them.  What do they remember that doesn’t seem to be present now?  Maybe you were more flexible?  Maybe you were quicker to anger?  Maybe you made good choices or were there more bad choices?  Again, pick and choose.  Is there anything that you would like to invite to the party?

3. What were your talents? (Hint: they are still your talents even if you are not utilizing them.)

If you played an instrument or loved to dance, how can you bring some of that to your party?

4. Share your pre-mommy self with your children.

Children love to hear about who their parents were before they had children.They will be suitably awed by your backpacking trip to Europe and the time you stayed up all night preparing for that important job interview.  You may not want to share your drunken walks home from the local bar in college or the stories of the frogs you kissed before finding your prince, but there is still plenty to share without “over-sharing.”

Your party is going to be the shindig of a lifetime, let’s get started!