Losing Your Identity After Having a Baby (& How to Get it Back)
Photo by Ruby Ruby
The joys of motherhood are certainly not without their challenges– especially when it comes to your independent sense of identity. As we find ourselves consumed by the demands of parenting it can be easy to lose sight of who we really are. If you're a mom struggling to find your identity after having a baby, know that you're not alone and that it won’t feel this way forever.
Why Do Mums Lose Their Identity After Having a Baby?
Motherhood is a 24/7 job that requires a tremendous amount of physical, emotional, and mental energy. For many mums, our lives become centered around our children, leaving little time for self-care and personal pursuits. And it makes sense– your life has been turned upside down! And you're navigating new challenges with a new human in every aspect of your life.
Throughout motherhood, you may find yourself putting your needs and wants on the back burner to focus on your baby's needs. This can lead to a loss of self as you no longer have the time or energy to engage in activities that once defined you as an individual. The personal pressure to be a "perfect" mother can also be overwhelming, leading to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.
Another factor that contributes to the loss of identity is the societal expectation that we should prioritize our children above all else. This can lead to mums feeling guilty for wanting to pursue their own interests or take time for themselves. As a result, we may suppress our own needs and desires, which can erode our sense of self over time.
How Can We Find Our Identity Again?
The good news is that it’s possible for us as mums to rediscover our identity and pursue our own interests and goals while still making great parents. Navigating our way back to who we are outside of our parental role may take time but it’s worth the effort.
Here are some practical ways to help you focus back on your identity after having a baby:
1. Prioritize self-care:
It's essential to take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally. And self-care looks different for everyone! From carving out time for exercise, relaxation, hobbies, and other activities, think about what brings you joy and fulfillment and be intentional about finding moments to care for yourself in those ways. For more practical tips check out our self-care blogs.
2. Connect with others:
Motherhood can be isolating, but it doesn't have to be. Joining a mom's group, attending a support group, or connecting with other parents online can help us feel less alone and provide opportunities for social interaction and support. For some encouragement on what to do when your social life goes out the window check out our blog.
3. Pursue your interests
Motherhood does not mean you have to give up your passions and dreams! Finding ways to pursue these interests, whether it's through a work-from-home job, volunteering, or taking classes, can help us feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment outside of motherhood.
4. Practice reflecting
Maybe part of the road back to your identity is as simple as taking the time to do some inner reflection. Ask yourself what you miss about your life before becoming a mum. How does being a mum make you feel? What goals do you have for yourself? Write down your thoughts and feelings to help you gain clarity on your identity and what you want out of life.
Losing your identity after having a baby is a common experience for many mothers, but it doesn't have to be permanent. By prioritizing your needs and dreams and asking for help when you need it, you can rediscover your identity and find fulfillment in both motherhood and your own individual goals.