“I felt like I had to be a woman when I had my baby, but I still
felt like a girl. I felt people didn’t take me seriously because of
the way I looked. A woman to me resembles power, strength,
authority and I didn’t feel any of them. My confidence went
from 10 to 0 after I had my first child.” Elizabeth
Change is inevitable. It’s going to happen whether we’re
ready for it or not and there are a lot of changes during
pregnancy and motherhood. I haven't got all the answers, not
because I haven't experienced change, but because it affects
everyone in different ways. But I think sharing my
experiences can help you find your own path through change.
Creating a list of the changes that are happening, or have
happened, will create a sense of being in control. You can start
planning out the different options that will support you
overcoming any negativity that change may bring along.
Changes that you might feel pressured into can include
something as simple as clothing. But becoming a mum doesn’t
automatically mean that you swap the heels for the flats, (even
though it is a lot easier to run after a toddler). No one is
making you become someone you’re not. So why do it? To fit
in with the expected mummy style? To cover up more because
you have a baby? You’re now a mother so you mustn’t do this
or show that? Rubbish! Yes, you do change your mindset on
clothing, and that is appropriate when you have a baby, but
it’s more about what is convenient. For instance, I didn’t want
to layer up when I was exclusively breastfeeding as it could be
a nightmare with a hungry baby.
You can spend lots of time and energy worrying about your
image. Even the thought of not having had your roots done in
months can be stressful. This might be because of cost or
energy levels, or maybe your baby won’t settle with anybody
else. You automatically think the worst, and sometimes even
when you’re only thinking about leaving your baby, he or she
seems to already know what’s going on. You will panic about
how your baby will ever survive without you. You forget that
other people share the same love, or have raised children
themselves so know how to administrate a cup or a bottle of
expressed or formula milk. But making the time for yourself
will enhance what you have with your baby, not damage it or
Your energy levels aren't going to be the same if you're not
looking after yourself. Aside from getting your hair done to
feel better, this can even be as serious as the fuel you are
putting into your body. Drinking lots of water does help me
feel awake and clear headed. I never used to drink much
water, but now I make sure I get as much as I can every day. It
can be easy to forget when you’re looking after a baby, but you
need to keep yourself hydrated and healthy.
The last thing I want you not to change is a sense of what
belongs to you.
Remember that a massive part of your identity are the things
you own. It’s not selfish to want to keep doing the things you
enjoy and the objects that you deem as yours. I share things
with my children, but there are things that I wouldn't want
little hands to break and that’s okay!
It doesn’t have to change.