It took a lot for me to admit that I lost myself in motherhood! Honestly, I did not expect it. The first few days, weeks, and months of motherhood were hard for me. What made it harder was the fact that I thought I was alone, I felt guilt and shame because I thought that it was wrong of me to experience difficulty adjusting. I kept thinking that I should not feel lost because there are other women out there praying to be moms, so I should not be complaining. I downplayed the entire experience. This is my love letter to you if you lost yourself to motherhood in any way. Here’s to moms who experienced an identity crisis in motherhood.
You are not alone.
I had what is called the Mom identity crisis, which is the loss of who you are as a woman and as an individual as a result of being a mother. Motherhood is a big transition and conversations about it should be normalized. There is nothing as painful as feeling abnormal and guilty about struggling as a mom. The truth is that when a child is born, the mother is also born. Therefore I want you to know that your story is valid!!
Why moms experience an identity crisis in motherhood
The one thing that I believe to be the overarching reason is that motherhood requires us to slow down. Yes, I know you are thinking about how busy your life has been ever since you became a mother but I am talking about your habits. You go out less, you are tired more, you no longer take as much pleasure in choosing your outfits, and have no time for practicing self-care. There’s just a long list of never-ending things to be done. The loss of identity happens because we longer have the freedom that we once had.
How to find yourself again after being a mom!
All hope is not lost, here are 4 things I do to reconnect with myself and you can try them too:
- Ask for help – I know this is hard (I literally say a short prayer before asking for help) but overwhelm is real, hire all the help you can afford and ask for the help of the people in the house (parents, spouse, siblings, etc)
- Take care of yourself – Take a hot shower or bath with music in the background (I shower with my favorite music playing, not just on Self-care Sunday, every day!). If you like your hair and nails done then do that! Maybe you are a reader, please read. Or you love writing, then journal. Just make time to work on yourself and do something the energizes you.
- Reignite your passions – Choose one thing that you loved doing before becoming a mother and make time for it.
- Accept that you are now someone totally new – This might come as a shock as we are speaking about rediscovering yourself but it is important. You are not trying to undo being a mom, you just need to find yourself inside of it. Your life will never go back to what it was before motherhood but you can delete things that will no longer work for you and be flexible enough to learn new ones, mom!
You are a great Mom.
Motherhood is not easy but that does not mean that you are a bad mom for struggling. Honestly, we all do. I want you to know that your story is valid! I mean, I am the girl who did not want her fiance in the birthing room, I felt like I was failing; nurses told me I was breathing wrong. Over and above that I could not handle the pain and the I was extremely overwhelmed. I mean, was I failing at this motherhood thing even before getting started? So, you are a great mom regardless of whatever makes you feel like you are not. Whatever your story is, own it!
Our identity shifts when we become mothers. The sad thing is that most of us do not expect it to. Part of it is that we do not talk about our personal postpartum struggles. What were your experiences with the identity crisis in motherhood in the very early stages of being a new mom? Share in the comments!