Monday, 3 September 2018

Losing Yourself To Motherhood & How To Find Your Way Back Again


I say it all the time and I'll say it again; being a mother is the most incredible experience I've ever had and I wouldn't change it for the world...but it doesn't come without it's struggles. Not the obvious struggles that you are pre-warned about like sleep deprivation and yada yada yada, but struggles of the mental kind that people aren't always comfortable talking about in fear that it'll make them look like a bad parent. In my comeback post after taking a two month hiatus, I'm going to talk about the brutal and raw truth in how I have undeniably lost myself in motherhood and what I plan to do about it to find myself again.

When you first become a mum, if you're anything like me, then you'll get consumed in the idea of being the perfect mother. You now have this precious life in your hands that entirely depends on you for it's survival and that's a HUGE thing to live with. You'll spend day and night giving up things that meant a lot to you before you had a baby and replace them with mundane activities that are going to rule your life for the next few years until your little human is on their own feet and you get a slither of freedom back. 

For me that meant no more date nights, no more spontaneous plans with friends, no more travelling, no more work, no more showering and make up every day, no more me time without my mummy brain working overtime. My entire life has revolved around my baby since he's entered the world and I'm okay with that, after all, he is my pride and joy and I want him to have the best life he can - even if that means giving up a little (or maybe a lot) of mine to ensure that. But that doesn't make it any easier to admit that I've lost a huge part of myself in becoming a mother and it's something that has happened without me even realizing it. 

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I often find myself wondering what my purpose is in life besides helping this little human grow into a good person and do great things with his life. I wonder when the next time I'll be allowed to be a little selfish and have a day to pamper myself without having Cassius on my mind non-stop. Or when I'll be able to agree to hang out with people without having to plan weeks or even months in advance so that he has a babysitter. Or when I'll be able to go to a concert again, or book a last minute holiday, or go back to college if I so wished. Silly little things that came so easily to me when I was childless that now feel like a stretch and are out of my control.

Watching my partner go to work, have a social life and get his own baby free time makes me ridiculously jealous, which sounds so stupid but unfortunately is true for a lot of us mums. And if I ask for extra help from him or any of our families, I end up feeling crippling guilt that I'm dumping my child on someone else to have some me time and don't even get to fully enjoy that time off, so I tend not to bother asking anymore. I've undeniably lost that respect for myself and have replaced taking care of myself with taking care of everybody else around me which is quickly burning me out, both physically and mentally.
People hate to say it out loud in fear of being judged, especially these days when almost everything in life is exposed on social media and has a million books/blogs/youtubes on how to be the ideal parent - but being a stay at home mum can be super depressing. You feel lost, miserable, unappreciated and alone most of the time. It's nobodies fault and as long as you work to overcome those feelings and find yourself again, you can come out the other side...which is what I'm determined to do. My life will never be the same as it was pre-motherhood, but I can work to mold it into the life I want it to be instead of settling for a life that doesn't feel mine.

So here are a few ways I've researched online for us mums to find our identities again. They aren't by any means a miracle worker that will have you back to your pre-baby self, but with dedicated time and effort, hopefully you'll be able to redefine yourself within your new parental role and find a balance that truly makes you happy.

Make time for a hobby you have forgotten about. e.g. reading, drawing, knitting, painting, swimming, etc. Have at least one day
a week where you get to do something you loved before you had a baby.

Find new ways to meet up with old friends. Instead of clubbing, restaurants and movies - do coffee dates, walks around town, trips to the
park, etc. Things that you can do even if you have to take your baby along.

Get help as and when you need it. I struggle with this so much but it's really important to try not to feel guilty. We all need me-time, whether you're a parent or not, and if you don't ask for occasional help,
the negative effects will build up, trust me.
Connect with other mums.
Whether that be via baby and toddler groups in your town, or online via apps like Mush
and Peanut, it's always a good idea to talk to people that are in the same boat as you and are
happy to share their knowledge and tips on how not to go crazy.

Take care of yourself.
When your baby is napping, instead of napping with them as so many of us do, go and have
a shower, do your make up, have a hot cup of tea and a snack and chill out; or whatever
it is that you do to feel good. Remember that you are a person, not just a mummy, and you
need some TLC too.

Create a vision board of your future goals.
Whether it be taking part in a marathon, losing your baby weight, starting a business, you name it - having your goals displayed on a vision board has proven to be a very helpful tool to smash your goals, parent or not.

Hope this helps! If you have any extra advice or thoughts on this matter, leave me a comment,
I'd love to know :)


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9 comments

  1. what a wonderful post, it takes a lot of courage to write something like this. I am not a mom so I can’t understand how your feeling but I 100% respect it and respect you speaking out about it. I hope things get better for you. sending you lots of love xxx

    mich // simplymich.com

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    1. Thank you Mich, that means a lot ❤️ Things get better day by day xxx

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  2. Love this post. It's so true. I went so deep into motherhood because I had wanted it forever but at the same time, I immediately lost myself. I firmly agree with everything you said, especially taking care of yourself.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, hun! It's a hard subject for some mums to talk about but I wanted my blog to be a no judgement zone where we can all relate and help one another 😘

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  3. Such an amazing post, Jess! Welcome back! I absolutely LOVE your honesty behind this post. Many women are afraid to voice their feelings and that doesn’t do anyone any good. Thank you for sharing your feelings and tips, no doubt you’ve already helped so many mamas already because of it ❤️🌻

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    1. N'aww, thank you Soffy, it's good to be back! 😘 I completely agree, we should all be supporting each other through the good and bad of motherhood so if I can help just one mumma with this post then I'm happy 🙌💞

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  4. Thank you for this. I'm pregnant with my first child and I'm constantly comparing myself to other moms and wondering how I can be perfect for this baby.

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