Losing yourself to motherhood

Happy Mum 35“I have lost my identity”

This is the catch cry of so many new mothers of newborns, toddlers and pre-school age children.

But what does it actually mean to lose your identity? Is it actually lost, or does it just need to be redefined?

I believe it is the latter. It is true that having children changes you on every level. How you defined yourself (your identity) before children went out the window the second you found out your were pregnant.

Your clothes don’t fit, you may not go to work anymore, or not as often as before. If you do go back to work full-time, gone are the days where you came home and just put your feet up. The goals you want to achieve now have to be plotted and schemed around your children and every minute of silence is precious.

In reality, you haven’t lost your identity, you’ve just had a major life change and now is time to redefine your identity. But most of us don’t really consider how we want to define ourselves or what sort of identity we want.

Our conditioning has taught us to look at life through its faults, so often all we see is what we have lost and what believe we are missing out on. We fail to see the awesome opportunity this is to have a look at ourselves and rediscover who we want to be and what we want to experience in our lives.

Even worse, we often feel like this identity defines our self-worth and that is why we feel so lost without it.

Your subconscious brain, which stores all of your beliefs that define your so-called identity acts like a compass. Whenever your reality is ‘off track’ from what it expects should be your reality, alarm bells start to ring and you begin to feel like something is wrong.

Now this would be okay if you could just say to your mind, “It’s okay mind, there has just been a big life change and we are going to have to navigate to a new sense of reality”. But we often don’t do this deliberately. Instead, we most likely feel that if we cannot meet the expectations of our previous identity, then we and/or our life is somehow worth-less, that is, not as valuable as before.

If I cannot keep earning that 6 figure income, I am worth-less. If I cannot be as good a mother as mine was, I am worth-less. If I cannot spontaneously go out to dinner with my partner or with friends then I am missing out on being fulfilled personally. If I cannot just sit on the beach and relax at any given moment, then my life is lacking.

The truth is that your self-worth or your life’s value has not changed, all that has happened is that you have had a life-changing experience whereby you cannot live the way you used to live and you are now needing to realign your goals and expectations with your new reality.

A Parent’s Guide to Finding your Lost Identity (and discovering your personal peace) deals specifically with how you can realign your thinking with your new reality and how to re-establish who you are now that you are a parent. Except we don’t do this in a goal setting way, like you would expect. We first look at what it is you have so wrapped up in your identity and why you really feel lost. We help you to reassess what you define as a quality life and how to align that idea with the reality of now being a parent.

Be kind to yourself during this transition into motherhood because your whole world has shifted and suddenly all the control you thought you had over your life has shifted somewhat and you need to deliberate get your bearings on this new life.

This can be an exciting time of your life and not one to feel lost and consumed by. But as per usual, it all depends on how you look at it.