Let’s be honest: when you’re a mom people see you different. Since you’ve been pregnant you were not only yourself but also a cute incubator. Later on, you were a sleepless feeding machine. Then you even lost your name. You will never be Suzane again. You’re a Mom. Or Tommy’s Mom during playdates.
I am not saying this is wrong or negative in any way. It’s just an observation.
Being a mom is awesome, don’t get me wrong. I just want to address the issue of an identity crisis many of us meet, when they realize that from now on, they, in fact, are… a mom.
It becomes a problem only when you are starting to wonder who you really are at some point. And this time will come. If it hasn’t yet.
It’s only natural to rediscover yourself once in a while. Especially after major events and having a baby is quite an event.
And you thought you know who are you.
So here’s the thing, as far as young adults books say, around your 18th birthday you have it all figured out. Who you are, what do you believe in, who do you love, what are your goals and so on. I don’t know about you, but my visions back then were crazy and so far from reality that I kind of want to believe I was on something. I wasn’t. Just clarifying.
You created some kind of reality around you, then life happened. Everything changed probably, then you collected yourself again because that’s what adults do. And then you became a mom. YAY!
Again, everything changes. And no matter how much time pass and how great mom you are, THIS happens.
You start second-guessing yourself. The whole idea of you being a mom. Then the mom guilt strikes. And you’re lost. Identity crisis is natural in transition time.
When you’re a mom you are too busy and tired for that.
It’s just a fact. There’s no point of discussing it. Just take a look at every single role you have! All of it can be overwhelming and one day you may find yourself in front of the mirror wondering who you really are now.
You need answers.
I’d start with basics. Find some time. I know it sounds like a joke. I’m a mom too. But trust me, it’s worth it. Just pick a right moment and instead of checking this take time for some introspective work. Check in with yourself. Make sure the course of life you chose is up to date and you are on the right track.
When you’re a mom you focus on caring about others a lot. That is great but there’s nothing wrong in caring about yourself too. Think about all the things you are grateful for (this free, printable gratitude planner might helpful) and with all of this in mind, think about the future.
Who would you like to be?
This is a powerful mindset trick. While reflecting about all of the goods that happened to you and the successes you worked for, you automatically set you thinking to the positive note. So your vision of future you should be optimistic and free of flaws.
Now. Important moment. You have some outcome. You know where you’re standing. The clue question to answer is…
The coin toss syndrome.
I don’t think it’s a real syndrome it’s just a mindblowing trick I learned from watching “Breaker High” tv series as a kid. Teenage Ryan Gosling, anybody?
It works like that: You’re making a decision, choosing between two options. One is heads, the other one tails. Regular coin toss. Heads win. So you should go with option one, right? Not necessarily! What you should ask yourself is: are you happy about this result?!
Oh, come on! You must admit this is brilliant!
Back to the core of this post: You did some self-research, you know that now when you’re a mom, a lot of stuff changes, but you are still XYZ. In the future, you see yourself as ABC and that’s where you’re aiming now. You asked yourself if that version of who you are is satisfying for you and the answer is yes. Awesome! Congrats, you’re one redefined mama!
If the answer is no, you sweetheart need some more digging to do. And that is completely ok. Start here, and keep questioning yourself as long as needed to be happy with your answers.
Now, that you know who you are, you probably want to sing it from the top of the mountains.
No? Just me? OK.
You deserve to be seen.
Even though in general, I can be judged and couldn’t care less, when it comes to me in the role of mother, it somehow looks different. There is plenty of stereotypes related to the motherhood. Basically, everybody has some kind of opinion of who should you be, how should you act when you’re a mom.
Maybe it’s because I never wanted to be a stay at home mom, but it annoys me when somebody assumes that I sit at home the whole day and watch TV. I believe it is as frustrating as a boss rolling his eyes when working mom is asking for sick leave.
Moms get this label of being “incapable” either of providing for the family (have you heard she’s staying with kids at home? she probably got pregnant before she got her diploma and now she cannot find a job) or of taking care of the family (can you imagine she went back to work when her baby was 6 weeks. she only cares for her career. )
This is such a trigger for me. UGH.
What to do so that the world sees you the way you see you?
- This is such a cliche but needs to be said. You need to really believe in your own message. Moms are tired. Often too tired to give a minute to self-reflect and so on, but only if you are really grounded, if you know your core values and you’re sure about who you are you are truly convincing in your statement. So find your light and shine through!
- Take a stand. If you hear something you don’t agree with, something that in your eyes is hurtful, say it out loud! When you’re a mom you tend to be always nice and polite. After all, you’re modeling the behavior for your child. But you know what? You can model speaking up for yourself too. Don’t let any stupid comment, any meaningless on the surface insinuation slip by.
- Talk openly about who you are and what you feel. You have a voice and people that care about you want to know the real, rediscovered you. If you keep yourself locked in some kind of role everybody sees you in that role only.
Example: If you’re spending your days in yoga pants and mom bun (a no-brainer, it’s comfy, duh!) BUT in fact, (upon the process, I wrote about at the beginning ) you know you’d like to wear something more sophisticated, ditch all the excuses (it’s impractical, it doesn’t make any sense with kids around me etc.) and wear a freaking black dress and red pumps or whatever “sophisticated” stands for in your dictionary!!!
Wow, that was a long sentence.
Bottom line: SHOW the world, how you want to be seen. No more hiding.
- Stop comparing yourself to other moms. You don’t have time for that, trust me. Better focus on self-care or find yourself a hobby so you can grow as a new you! That makes you feel satisfied in a different field than motherhood. Gives you the energy and power of “having more”.
Break through the wall of roles and stereotypes. You do you. Being a mom does not lock you in the kitchen. There are carriers and strollers, you know? Take your baby, go out and show the world what a cool mom you are.