I became a mum and lost my identity
Don’t worry, I love motherhood but it’s a roller costal ride. Once upon a time, I was a confident young lady, had a career, got married and was very sure of who I was. Being a wife didn’t make me lose my identity, I felt like it made me mature. In fact, it enhanced it. Naturally I thought being a mother will also enhance my identity. Boy was I wrong, the opposite was true. I lost myself! As a mother, I gave all that I had until I forgot myself; then I’d look in the mirror and wondered who was looking back. I had these two beautiful babies and I adored them, but I forgot to look after myself.
The first time I realised that I wasn’t looking after myself as much as I should have, was when I tried taking out my hair extensions and realised that I had left them in too long. To the point my husband had to get his hair clipper and shaved all my hair off (don’t worry I asked him to, I had no alternative)! Although, I had always been bold and experimental with my hair in the past, most people thought there she goes again doing something crazy with her hair. But this time, it wasn’t intentional. I didn’t have time to be sad about losing my hair, I was too busy being in mummy mode and looking after my babies. I had a lot of fun with the twins when they were babies. I took them to baby groups such as baby massage, baby boogie etc.
By the time the twins were 12-18 months old I started staying in my pyjamas and robe a lot longer than I should have. My physical health went downhill, and I was hospitalised 3 times that year. I had to evaluate everything, I needed help! I am grateful for my husband, he didn’t judge or complain; he just supported me.
He took over bathing the children. We also had to get external help, twice a week for a few months. When I took on my mummy role, I thought I had to do it all, be supermom. The kids didn’t ask that of me nor did my husband. I put all that pressure on myself.
Now that I know, I say it out loud… I AM NOT SUPERMOM but I am a good mom. I will always do my best, but I will not sacrifice my health to do it. I remember taking up adult swimming lessons when the kids were around 2 years old. It was an evening class, after the kids’ bedtime when their dad was home. Without realising it, I was getting some “me time”. There is a bit of pressure from society, when you get asked what you do? and you reply, ‘stay at home mom’. Sometimes their response may make you feel like it is not enough, well let me tell you- it is plenty! Next time, when someone asks me what I do, I am going to politely say to them “I am Loveth” because before I was a career lady, wife or mother, I was me.
Gradually, I started to realise that my old identity was gone. I didn’t lose it, but it was evolving. I am growing, and life experience is causing changes that I must embrace and celebrate. This was a time for me to choose who I want to become and not fear the loss of who I once was. For example, I was a size (UK clothing) smaller before I had children, and I held on to those clothes that no longer fit and clung on to them, clothes that I should have let go of. It was symbolic of my mental and emotional state and it took years for me to let them go.
I needed a new start for the person I decided to become. I decluttered my whole house, it took months, but I did it. Before I could physically declutter my house, I first had to declutter mentally and emotionally. It allowed me to embrace myself and move forward. As women, we go through a lot and we constantly give of ourselves. It is imperative that we also find ways to replenish. It is okay when you wonder “who am I?” take a deep breath and ask yourself, “who do I want to be?” Then take one step daily to become that person. You want to adapt so you don’t get stuck in a rut. Be kind to yourself, ask for help and enjoy every season that life has to offer. You are most definitely worth it. Make sure to leave a comment and tell me your experience of motherhood. I look forward to hearing it. Follow me on Instagram Facebook and here’s is a link to my free eBook.