Other stuff

Losing your identity as a mum

After reading @3yearsandhome’s post on ‘before I became a mum‘ I started thinking maybe I need to think about before I became a mum, motherhood, identity and compromise and acceptance.

Motherhood is for life not just for Christmas. Why does no one tell you that? Why does no one tell you it changes you FOREVER! And what it doesn’t change it affects. And it’s tough. And great. And weird. And it changes you.

So you might think ‘yes I want a baby’ have a yearning for a child. That’s wonderful, but what I didn’t really really realise is exactly how much my life would change. For good. I mean I knew it’d change by having a baby but what I’m slowly (perhaps stupidly) realising is my life has changed for good. Not just until they are out of nappies, at school, university even, but properly for the rest of my life. I’ve changed.

Sometimes motherhood is a lonely thing. You go at a million miles per hour, you do five things at once whilst planning what you are going to do next, next week next month, next year. You worry, smile, shout, laugh and cry all within five minutes. Bit like being a toddler actually. You create this world for your children but you never know the impression it’s going to make. It’s a lot of pressure.

How’s my life changed, well I used to spend hours gardening, I mean entire weekends, I used to go to the pub, not rush, finish work early and not feel the need to rush home, just relax, go shopping, drink wine, play netball. Listen to music (not nursery rhymes), I mean really listen. Walk to work just thinking about walking to work. I used to do all these things and only think about the thing I was actually doing.

I used to stay out without thinking, ‘how much has my toddler eaten’, obsessing about how much sleep I’d lose, wondering if my children are settled, behaving or shock…missing me. I used to sometimes be on my own. What a novelty. I used to wear nice clothes, dress to look nice not out of practicality for breast feeding or getting covered in paint/mud/sun cream. I used to have a tidy house, be respected at work for my dedication to my job, talk about rubbish with my friends, have time. I used to sit down and relax on a Sunday.

I’m not stupid, I knew having a baby and a toddler would be like this. And everyday I am thankful for them. I try and be patient. I am grateful I am able to spend my time with my children, watching them grow, teaching them, showing them new things. It’s magic. Everyday there are magic moments. I am so thankful and in awe of the magic moments, they are the things that keep me from exploding sometimes. But god it’s hard right?! And testing.

Of course it won’t always be so demanding on my time but what I’ve got to come to terms with is my mind is not my own anymore. Yes my time will come back but my heart and mind won’t. Two beautiful boys have taken them over and will always be in it, no matter how old they are. I will always be thinking, worrying, hoping, dreaming for them. Every action of mine will be pre-seeded by a thought of ‘how will this affect the boys’. They will always come first. I was so carefree before. I don’t want it all back. I just need to mourn a teeny bit for the old self. Especially the wine drinking.

It’s a rollercoaster this motherhood lark.

And I want people who know or come to know me that I’m not just a mother. It’s a huge part of me right now but it’s not all of me. There’s a tiny person waving from the distance who loves her husband, nieces, nephews, sister, family, friends, shopping, spas, facials, fashion, wine, baths, interior design, gardening, music, the ballet, loves just being herself. Don’t forget her, give her a wave and don’t let her current mumminess totally overshadow her (sees how young and rested she looks…)

Hi old me šŸ™‚ stay right there and don’t disappear…

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One thought on “Losing your identity as a mum

  1. I completely get this. I sometimes forget that I ever had a life before the boys arrived. It’s made even harder by moving abroad so people there only ever associate me with the job that I was sent to Switzerland to do or as a mum. It’s like I didn’t exist before either. It can be hard to do but it’s definitely worth taking the time to remind yourself now and again of all that you’ve done and can do.

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