Becoming a mother can be a huge and taxing transition for many women. The responsibility is demanding, making women more likely to lose themselves in motherhood. I remember a few weeks after having my daughter, I said to myself “it is not supposed to feel like this”. I wanted to be there for my daughter and spend time with her, but another part of me wanted to be out with my friends, wanted to cultivate my hobbies, pursue my dreams, and spend more time with my husband. However, there was limited time, and over and above that, there was this expectation that I was trying to live up to. Consequently, I suppressed all of that and I focused on trying to become the perfect mother (she doesn’t exist by the way). I focused on that so much so that I lost myself in motherhood, so if you’ve been wondering what does it mean to lose yourself in motherhood, then keep reading.
What does it mean to lose yourself in motherhood?
In my own experience, losing yourself in motherhood means you don’t recognize yourself anymore; it means that you don’t feel like yourself anymore. The change happens gradually, and it’s sort of a small and unexpected thing that happens. That means that you are no longer cultivating certain parts of yourself that really made you feel like yourself because now you are focusing on fulfilling the huge and important responsibility of being a mother. It refers to spending most of your time pouring out into our kids without also intentionally pouring into other areas that make you, YOU!
Motherhood is taxing and parenting is a huge time investment, especially in the early years. It leaves little to no time for moms to practice their self-care rituals, cultivate and pursue their dreams, and desires, and just do what they wanna do for themselves. When you’re lost in motherhood it means you’ve lost your identity in the transition. I never took the time to really think of how I was going to incorporate all of the things that made me “me” even after becoming a mother to my daughter and I think that most of us don’t.
Moreover, feeling lost in motherhood means that there might be a part of you that feels like it’s suppressed and just wants to come out. Motherhood is very rewarding but it can be extremely exhausting, and after tending to all the responsibilities we end up just not having any time or energy to do anything for ourselves; to practice self-care, or to just sit and research on this business idea that we have had for years. This contributes to identity loss because sometimes you can even barely remember what it is that you wanted to do after so many years of suppressing your needs and wants.
Is it normal to lose yourself in motherhood?
If you have ever wondered if identity loss in motherhood happens to other moms, the answer is yes it does. You are not alone! I speak openly about how I lost myself in motherhood, and both busiesholo.com and onpurposewithbusiesholo.com exist today because I lost myself in motherhood. It is common, more common than you could ever imagine. Though I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s normal. And by that, I mean that it’s not something that you should stay in! I believe that you should not stay in that state of loss, that you can find yourself after becoming a mother. With that said, I want to highlight that it is not something to feel guilty or ashamed of.
“It’s good to remind yourself that no matter how much you wanted and planned for motherhood, all this identity shifting may leave you feeling out of control and disoriented at a times” ~ Alexandra Sacks with Catherine Birndorf Bernardo
This quote shows that this is something that happens to so many mums. Do not feel like a bad mother for asking yourself “who am I now that I am a mother?”
Why is it important to find yourself again after losing yourself in motherhood?
- There are myths that keep women bound, and if we do not rediscover ourselves and redefine motherhood; then the narrative will never change for our children. It is important because we need to change it for the next generation.
- I do not believe that God strips away purpose from women the moment they become mothers! Inasmuch motherhood is a sacred and important responsibility that God bestowed upon us. We have skills and talents that he gifted us to bless the world and to serve him
Mommy Dreams – The Journal. Designed to help you pursue your dreams without putting motherhood aside.
How to find yourself after losing yourself in motherhood?
- Connect with others – sometimes it can seem like motherhood is lonely so you can reconnect with your friends. Organize playdates for the kids or we can join virtual mum groups that are on social media platforms.
- Get help – as much as this might be difficult to do, it is very important to get help. Being the mother doesn’t mean that all the caring of your child needs to be done by you alone. Allow other people to help you, ask for help, and hire people to help you if you have to.
- Pursue your dreams because chasing your dreams is like doing something that actually sets your soul on fire. Having that outlet and focusing on something for yourself actually helps you to rediscover yourself. You can start with something as simple as researching the industry that you wanna go into. Or taking time to apply for your dreams job. You don’t have to wait until you’ve got hours of free time, you can start now. If you need any assistance in your journey of pursuing your dreams as a mom, you can grab the mommy dreams journal here.
These are my thoughts on losing your identity in motherhood and tips to find yourself. Let me know in the comments what your understanding of losing yourself in motherhood is.