Identity Loss After Motherhood

Who am I again? who am I now, where did she go?. Will she ever be a part of me again, or do I wave goodbye to her? It started as soon as I announced the biggest shocker of an unplanned surprise EVER, “I’m pregnant”. Everyone knew, every single person I told knew. They knew before I knew and you would think I’d know. They knew that it was R.I.P the Becky we know so well, we shall cherish her craziness, drunkenness, irresponsible-ness and up-to-date glam in our memories, picture and video evidence forever and ever. I knew that everybody was happy for me, but I could sense a dark cloud looming and now finally I get it, it’s because they were about to lose their familiar friend, and I lost my familiar self.

Kids come first, always

The feeling of losing your identity is definitely a common aftermath of becoming a mom. You’ve never had so much responsibility, nor someone who is so much more important than yourself that selflessness is now the new way of life. Every very important decision in life I seem to make now (hair up? or hair down?), I have to think about my kids first. Hair up, again……definitely! Kids come first, parents last that’s just how it goes. As parents we want everything for our children, every slice of happiness and every experience we can give them. They take our very last penny because we would rather spend on them than ourselves, that’s when you know life now revolves around the kids and we forget to put ourselves first once in a while. I don’t by any means want to portray that losing a sense of identity to motherhood is a death sentence, it’s not, it is a rebirth, but mourning the past self is a common feeling for many.

Messy hair, don’t care!

I’d say the complete lack of privacy has altered me as a person for sure. You know privacy is a luxury when a bath to yourself without pulling rubber ducks and Peppa Pig figurines out of your arse is the actual comparison of a 5* spa break. The old Becky would never have brushed her teeth after midday, she wouldn’t have turned down a night out and she used to actually think in-depth about matching together an outfit that ‘goes’. She would just nip to the supermarket quickly without two kids, a double pushchair, two sippy cups, a box of snacks and a double baby meltdown at the checkout where the sweets are. God, she was free as a bird and a part of me misses that.

Amongst all other changes, the post baby body became alien to me too, I said good riddance to my bladder control after baby no.1, so long skipping rope and goodbye trampoline..sneezing is unfortunate now after baby no.2 but there’s no way around that. I do miss the tight, firm body old Becky had, hubby might do too secretly, but I realised after several times groaning in the mirror at what is different, this body brought life, of course its different and I am definitely embracing that now.

Stripped of my wings

The real restriction that faces new moms especially is adjusting to a new lifestyle that requires babysitters before booking hair appointments, (new Becky still isn’t familiar with hair appointments in a real life salon either but we are simply using examples here). Becoming a mom has made me feel lonely and isolated at many different steps of the way, going from adult conversation in a busy work environment and a thriving social life to 24 hour baby talk can be a strange alteration to get used to. I felt as though the world was carrying on around me and mine was slowing down. “Am I missing out?”. Going out with friends became a thing of the past,  independence and making my own money was also difficult to lose control of and also tricky to come to terms with. Such a massive life change altered every aspect of my familiarity, I’m leaving myself pretty vulnerable to the new world ahead and I’m putting a lot of trust in my other half to make this work.

Who am I besides being a mom? A question I couldn’t seem to answer. I’m a full-time mom of two and wonder often, is that all I am, is that my identity in a nutshell now? Do I have anything else to add to my ‘about me section’. I ran into a bunch of old school friends recently and when asked “so what is it you do with yourself now?” I replied “Oh, I’m just a full-time mom at the moment”.. ‘just’ a full-time mom? Why would I devalue my role as a mom of two like that? I realise I was embarrassed to admit I hadn’t pursued a career yet, but why should I care what people might think? What I do know is that being a full-time mom of two crazy toddlers is so much harder than any job I have ever done in my life and I will never soften its value again. It’s a much different life to adjust to, but it’s a rewarding life to adjust to and the future genuinely excites me as the new Becky, mom of two Becky.

I honestly did believe I had lost myself when I became a mom, but now I have come to the realization that actually, I have found myself as a mom. I might not have the same immaculate appearance, an existing social life or even a snippet of ‘me’ time but I’ve learnt life skills I never thought I would, found confidence I never thought I’d find and found true love in 3 amazing people I call ‘family’. I could never trade the new Becky for the old because I have gained, everybody changes throughout their lives but motherhood seems to jump-start you into who you are destined to be at rocket speed. Familiarity is our huge comfort blanket that we like to wrap ourselves with to protect us from the unknown, but change can be a blessing if we allow it to happen. On that note I say farewell, goodbye old Becky you were once great…but my life has changed now and I am entirely thankful for evolving.

 

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