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  • Clare Bowers

This is Me ...


What already feels like so long ago, there was a young woman

who lived her life to the full. Her only priorities were for

herself and her career. The girl woke up, casually picked her

clothes for the day ahead, and carefully applied her make-up.

Public transport brought peace and relaxation as she sat with

her own thoughts.


Little did the young woman know that her whole world was

going to change, and she would find times when she didn’t

recognise herself or her own thoughts.


This book was created from my real experiences as a new

mum, single mum, working mum, stay at home mum,

business mum, a loving wife and a very rewarding ending.

I haven't held back with my thoughts, feelings and

confessions, even though at times I did hesitate. But I truly

believe that we can find ourselves instinctively holding back

from the fear of being judged, discriminated against and not

liked.


I couldn’t imagine opening up and talking about my worries,

fears and weaknesses when I first became a mother. But three

children and my own business later, I feel I can encourage

other mothers to open up and not fall victim to what they’re

told motherhood should look, sound and behave like.

You don't need to have the tidiest of homes, wear your hair

perfect every day, speak about only the positive side to

motherhood and you don't have to behave like you have

nothing else in the world that you would like to achieve. It's

okay not to mirror other mothers and it's okay to get it wrong

sometimes; we’re all human. Everything in my own journey,

from being a Royal Navy engineer fixing gas turbines to a

single mum changing nappies, happened to create the reason

and experience that I needed to be able to write this book.

Hopefully I can support so many wonderful women and

mothers across the world who are feeling trapped in an

identity that is unfamiliar to them.


I refer to the word identity multiple times. I want you to

understand that before I had my children, my identity was

solely me, Clare. I had my first son at a young age of twenty. I

thought becoming a mother had taken away a piece of my

own identity. In reality, and what I have mindfully accepted

now, having all three of my children didn't take anything

away from my own identity, like I was led to believe and

made to feel by outside influences.


It was often simple conversations that stayed with me.

Moments like when I was attending my first midwife

appointment and I was told by a lady in the waiting room that

my hair looked nice, but I wouldn’t have time to do it when

the baby came. She said that new mums don’t get time to do

anything they want to. It felt like even the small things, like

spending time on my appearance, would be taken away from

me.


I wish I had known then that my children would add to my

identity in a beautiful and powerful way, and that I would still

have time for me. But for a period of my motherhood journey

I was so clouded with negativity and listening to what others

thought, that I nearly missed out on so many beautiful

opportunities for me and my family.


Using my own experience to help support other women is one

of the most rewarding gifts I could have ever imagined

possessing. I want my readers to appreciate just how amazing

you all are when you allow yourselves to ‘just be you’.


We all have different roles throughout our lives. Sometimes

we are career driven and other times we focus on raising a

family, most of the time it’s both simultaneously, but no matter

what role you choose to take, this shouldn’t define you as a

person or change your identity. Yes, all these roles will lead

you down different paths, some not being as easy to walk

down as others, but that shouldn't stop us.


I like to think of these paths like this; if one path has more

stones on than the other and begins to hurt your feet, what

should you do? Put on suitable shoes, right? If one path is full

of cold and rain what should you do? Wrap up and use an

umbrella, right? So now that you have that mindset ask

yourself if your life gets a bit tougher, what should you do?

The answer for me would be to protect and shield myself, do

you agree?


For me a life of teaching would have been wonderful. I

enjoyed being around children so much and a part of me

wanted to take the next steps from being a teaching assistant

and gain the qualifications needed to have my own class. But

in reality, it wasn’t the right time for me when this

opportunity came up. Instead I made the decision to return

home every night, as I had a long commute and was a single

mum with two young children. I’m not saying it isn’t

possible, but I didn’t have the belief in my own identity at the

time to make the changes for this to happen. I felt that I

couldn’t ask for help and that I would be judged for spending

time on my hair, never mind further education and a new

career.


Now, ten years later, I’m walking down both paths of career

and family. I run a household, three children and a business.

I’ve got the support from my husband, family and my friends

and grab this help with both hands when and if needed.

Situations change and that allows you to see opportunities

more clearly. I want to tell you that just because you don't

think you can do something now, doesn't mean you can’t ever

do it. You never know what opportunities are waiting for you

around each corner.


Protecting yourself from the negativity that life brings with it

doesn't for a second mean hiding away. You can protect

yourself whilst standing on the frontline by using your voice.

Using your words and behaviour choices mindfully will open

up new opportunities for you to flourish.


More blogs to come - subscribe for them to go directly to your inbox.


Clare

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