A Mother’s Identity:
Becoming a mother can be overwhelming. You’re blessed with
a life other than your own to protect, nurture and flourish.
Subconsciously you can slip into the routine that naturally
comes along with motherhood, focusing solely on your
children and forgetting about your own needs.
That is what happened to me.
I live for my children. I would do everything in my power to
protect them, but for a period of my own parenting journey I
forgot who I was, and I’m not talking baby brain. I couldn’t
think my own thoughts without my mummy ones powering
through. I would find myself sitting in silence because the
children were taking naps, wondering what I needed to get
ready for when they woke. Sometimes these thoughts came
over and over, like waves crashing onto the shore. This was
natural because my children’s needs have, and always will,
come before my own, which to me is unconditional parenting.
However, I began to miss Clare, the business woman, friend,
loving wife and individual.
I realised that my life, although I loved it, had become a case
of mistaken identity. I had defined myself as, ‘Just a Mummy’,
when there was a lot more about me than that. And society’s
view, that every aim and achievement of a woman is linked to
how they are as a mother, had encouraged this.
The more I talk about my motherhood journey, and not feeling
quite like me within this, the more women I meet who are
feeling the same. These are the women who want to find their
own identity and not the one society has created for what ‘it’
thinks a mother’s role, ambition and daily life should be. I felt
that society, meaning the people around me and the media
with its political and cultural influences, had an expectation
for me as a young, single mum to either fail or struggle.
It seems obvious when I reflect on this, but I wish I could go
back and tell myself: Of course you feel like you’re living a
different identity when starting the motherhood journey -
your body, your clothes, your mind, your priorities, they’ve all
What I experienced wasn’t something abnormal. This was real
and raw. It was a massive learning curve for me, even if it did
come years later and not at the time where it would have
benefited me to know more. But I can share my knowledge
I never look back and regret any of my past experiences; that
was my path and it taught me so many new lessons. But I
want to tell mothers and women across the world, that it’s
okay to be you. Everything you feel and experience makes
you who you are. Never forget the hard times, no matter how
much they still may hurt, they are a massive part of your
journey. They can fill you with the determination and
empowerment to push you towards reaching all of your
dreams and goals. You’ve got to believe in yourself. No one
else can do this but you. I know you want this, as much as I
want it for you.
It is true that you can buy the pram that you’ve been saving
up for, get the nappies and externally prepare yourself for a
baby. But you can’t buy a preparation kit for your body and
mind. This is an area that needs constant attention, and one
that can go unnoticed during pregnancy and the early days of
There is a way around this. I’ve found that to focus on a ‘Must
do for Mum’ list is a way to get ready for this big change. You
can choose what advice you want to take from people and also
listen to your own intuition to make up this list.
After all, everyone in your life will have an opinion to how
you should parent. The experience and advice that family,
friends and even strangers will share with you, is from their
own experiences. So, please take their words as advice and
guidelines, not as your own personal instruction manual on
how to be a mother.
If we live through other people’s words, then our lives
wouldn’t be our own personal journeys. We wouldn’t get to
experience the everyday joys that make us thankful of who we
are and what life has blessed us with. What makes you happy,
won’t necessarily make the person next to you happy, and
what comes easy to you, might be a struggle for others. Most
of the time we don’t even know when our advice is coming
across as a little too pushy. It’s about being an active listener
for another mother, which will benefit her, not to try and fix
things with our own experiences.
Reading my blogs identifies the start of your own journey. Allow me to
take you back to the beginning of mine.
Funded wellbeing support available https://beautifulnewbeginnings.co.uk