Who Are you?
“Who AM I?”
If you are a new mother, deep in the trenches of this new life you are not accustomed to, there’s a chance you’ve been asking yourself this on a regular basis. It’s been weeks since you’ve had any type of adult interaction, you’re covered in spit up stains and breast milk, you’ve been lugging around this beautiful 8 lb-ish creature, and you may not have seen the direct sun light. Your identity is skewed, lost somewhere between who you once were and the mother you are now becoming. How you once identified yourself has been ripped away and replaced with the responsibility of taking care of another human being. You don’t feel the same. You don’t even recognize the woman who’s been staring back at you when you catch a glimpse of your wrecked self in the mirror.
Days turn into weeks, weeks into months and as the years pass, our motherly duties become etched into who we are. Our responsibilities as caregivers consume all other labels we may have identified with before, and we get lost in the abyss of motherhood. We put our own goals, aspirations, and dreams on the back burner. Who we are, or who we wanted to be, becomes that pre-pregnancy dress that hangs in the closet. Before we know it, our identity is altered and we find ourselves missing the person we were. Not that we don’t love our children (because we do), but we don’t recognize who we are anymore. We can’t find the time to re-establish us after our child is born. Time ticks on, and before we know it, we’re gathering dust in the darkness, just like that dress.
Lost In Motherhood
Not every mother feels this way when their first child is born. Some woman embrace the evolution of person to parent and it’s a natural sequence to the next step in their lives. There is no loss of self. For me, however, I was not so lucky. When I found out I was pregnant I anxiously anticipated the arrival of my daughter, and I was beyond joyful of her arrival. I never took her for granted. Yet, motherhood did not come so easy to me. I struggled with finding that place between person and parent, as if you could only be one or the other.
I missed my freedom after becoming a mom. I felt like my only obligation was to be a mother and that was the end of it. It was like my story had to be over so that my daughters story could begin. I felt stuck and I completely lost my sense of ‘self.’ This caused me to miss the independent, childless person I was before my daughter was born. I envied the old me. Every time I looked in the mirror and saw the messy bun, the makeup-less face, the plain t-shirts and leggings, I fell deeper and deeper into my rut.
I had chosen to stay home with my daughter. Since I had no job to return to or adult life to snap back to, this feeling went on, day after day. I couldn’t help but feel unaccomplished, unproductive, and un-kept. I continuously compared myself to other people who were achieving great things as parents. Yet, here I was, struggling to breastfeed, get a shower in, and be a good mom. Something within me was missing, and it was leaving a deep hole. I didn’t recognize myself anymore. Who was I?
Does this sound familiar?
Who Do You Want To Be
I focused so hard on what I wasn’t, that I lost sight of who I was becoming. I learned to embrace motherhood, I fought everyday to show up 100% for my daughter, and I found new meaning in my life. My story hasn’t ended. There’s so much I want to still do that I don’t need to put aside. What kind of role model would I be to my daughter if I gave up on myself. I was so focused on other peoples ideas of happiness and success that I was disregarding my own.
The truth was, I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to be home with my daughter. Why was I envious of the mothers who got to return to work when I did not want to do that? Once I realized that I was doing exactly what I wanted to do as a mother, my expectations of contentment and happiness shifted. Suddenly, I was worthy of being an individual again. I could be both a person and a parent. I could stitch together the beginning chapters of my daughters story without ending mine.
When my perception changed I felt ambitious again. I focused on what kind of mother I wanted to be for my daughter, what type of role model I wanted to be, and who I wanted to be for myself. I suddenly had a purpose again. The parts of me I thought were missing were reconstructed and I decided to become someone better. I liked the girl I was before, but I am loving the new woman I am becoming.
You see, your own happiness isn’t measured by what others perceive to be their own happiness. Success is the same way. What is happiness to you? What is success to you? What are your individual goals and aspirations? What are you doing for yourself that makes YOU excited to get up every morning? Are you happy with who you are? Do you want to re-build yourself and grow? Are you ready to?
Once you identify what your ideal self is, pursue that. Chase that! Don’t chase ideas of what you think society wants you to be. Become who you want to be. It’s time to take that dress out of the closet and accept that you are not that girl anymore. It’s time to go get a new dress, a better dress. It’s time to be a new you, a better you. So, who do YOU want to be?
I am evicting all of the negative voices within my head and I am rebuilding a new mindset. I’m embracing this beautiful role I have as a mother, but I am also reconstructing the woman I want to be. I’ve got goals and aspirations that I have taken off the back burner, and I am living a life that is fulfilling and genuine to what I want. I am filling in the missing pieces, and I am taking my dreams seriously. I’ve got things to do now and I’ve got objectives to work towards.
Your life doesn’t stop when you become a mother. It’s the perfect time to reconstruct and recreate yourself. This life is a journey, full of ups and downs; quiet moments and chaotic ones. Besides being the best mother you can be, what are some things you wish you could have done? What is the one thing you spend your days thinking about constantly? What are you telling yourself you cant do because your stuck?
It’s time to write your goals down and it’s time to go after them. It’s time to show your kids that dreams do come true. Stop reading this! Stop reading this right now and un-stick yourself. Get off the couch, off your phone and out of your own head. Stop making excuses, stop listening to all those voices that are telling you that you cant and go do it! Start, right now! Start moving forward into the direction of re-creating yourself into both a person and parent your kids will be proud of.
Follow me as I become Messy With A Purpose. I’m sharing my experiences as I reconstruct and rebuild, and helping other mothers along the way.
Who is Messy Mama
Contact Messy Mama
*Disclaimer – Statements made in this post are of my own opinions, views and thoughts. I am not a professional and should not be regarded as such.
*This work, along with it’s images, as well as other posts published by Messy Mama, are protected by copyright laws.
Copyright © Messy Mama 2019 https://messymama18.com