You don't lose yourself all at once. It happens little by little, piece by piece. It happens in a blur of sleepness nights and toddler tantrums. It happens every day, when you choose your family over yourself and place your needs far below every one else's. You forget what you like, what your style is, what kind of books you like to read, and then one day you look in the mirror and don't know the person looking back you. When you finally escape the fog and come up for air, you don't recognize your surroundings because you didn't notice when everything around you changed.
You convinced yourself that you were changing and evolving, not losing yourself. You were bending to your circumstances and adapting to your surroundings, but by changing and evolving, you lost everything that made you who you were. You sacrificed yourself on the altar of motherhood and now you're starting over. You don't know who you are outside of being a mom, so you stay there, suffocating, trying to catch your breath, but you've forgotten how to breathe.
But piece by piece, you'll put yourself together again. You'll remember that you like cozy blankets and hand lettered Scriptures. You'll remember that your favorite color is mustard yellow and that you still like to read. You'll make time for your old hobbies and you'll find some new ones. You'll realize that being a mom does not define or encompass who you are, it's simply an extension of you. You'll learn to unravel your identity from your role as a mother and when you do, you'll see that you are complex and interesting and worth getting to know. You are different now, and that's good. You are not the girl you were before your oldest took his first breath. You've changed, but you're still you. And you'll find yourself, piece by piece.
You may feel lost now, but you won't be that way forever. The fog will lift. The gray skies will clear. Sooner than you think, your life will cease to revolve around the children you love so fiercely. You will have your own thoughts again. You'll have opinions again. You'll know what's going on in the world. You'll have dreams and aspirations. You'll have desires outside of a good night's rest and a moment alone. At times it seems like there's no light in the horizon and that the way you are now is the way you'll be forever, but girl, you'll find yourself. I promise.