Having a baby completely flips your world upside down. For nine months, you and your bump are the centers of everyone’s world. Then you have the baby, and it almost feels like you disappear. Everyone seems concerned about how the baby is eating and sleeping. It can feel like they all forget about mom. And then your days are completely centered around the needs of your child. It almost feels like you can’t remember who you are anymore. It’s easy to see how moms can suffer an identity crisis of motherhood. Rest assured, you are not “just a mom.” You are so much more than that!
Identity Crisis: You’re More Than “Just A Mom”
So many things change for a woman after having a baby. It is important not to lose yourself in the identity of motherhood.
- I don’t recognize my body.
- My body doesn’t feel familiar.
Your body no longer feels like your own after having a baby. I am almost two years postpartum, and I am still getting used to my new body. Some days I still do not recognize myself, and it’s hard to get used to. Even after spending 40 weeks carrying your child and delivering him, your body still may not feel like your own.
You might be constantly reminded by saggy skin and stretch marks or dark circles under your eyes due to lack of sleep. You might leak urine if you laugh or exercise, a constant reminder of the sacrifice that your body underwent to carry your child. If you are breastfeeding, your body is undergoing another sacrifice by nourishing another human.
Your body has changed! Your body has given your family the ultimate gift, the gift of life. No matter what changes your body has gone through, never forget to be thankful for all your body has given you.
- How can I be a mom and partner?
- I don’t even recognize my relationship with my partner anymore.
After you have a child, your relationship with your partner completely changes. I remember feeling like my husband and I were just roommates, passing like ships in the night. We didn’t have meaningful conversations because I just wanted to close my eyes any time I had a moment to myself. And when I wasn’t sleeping, our baby was my only priority. My partner’s needs very much took a backseat. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a point of contention in our household. But over time, things have gone back to a new normal in which we are both comfortable. You must keep an open line of communication with your partner, and the new normal is absolutely within reach.
Hobbies and Social Life
- I used to have a social life.
- I don’t feel connected to my friends.
Your hobbies and social life may feel like a thing of the past after you have a child – a fleeting but lovely memory! Life just goes on for your childless friends. They can go to happy hour on a whim, attend workout classes, leave their home alone for a quick errand. I was constantly jealous of my childless friends, seeing their life go on as normal. You may feel like your social life is nonexistent. But what is important to remember is that you will find a new normal in your life with your new family. My son tags along to so many places with us, and he’s turned out to be a pretty adaptable kid. Hopefully, your friends will adopt your child as their own, and having supportive friends through motherhood is an incredible gift. And if you feel like your friendships haven’t been there for you during your transition into motherhood, find your new tribe. Your mom tribe.
- I used to be so driven.
- Once upon a time, I had goals.
- I don’t do anything important anymore.
- My days all blend together.
- How can I balance work and home?
Being a mom is the most important job that you will ever have. But you may find yourself longing for your career as it can provide another sense of purpose. I personally experienced this myself and went back to work after 18 months as a stay-at-home mom. While I will forever cherish the that I had with my son, I longed for a purpose beyond just being a mom. I found mine by going back to work, and now my time spent with my son is precious instead of being seen as a burden, which is admittedly how I felt before. Every day was the same, so I found it important to find my purpose outside of being a mother. But being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t make you “just a mom.” You are a caretaker, nurturer, nurse, chef, housekeeper, bookkeeper, planner, and so much more.
Identity Crisis: Who am I? . . . I am more than “just a mom.”
In a time where you might feel incredibly lonely and isolated, just know that you are not alone. Most moms experience an identity crisis after having their child. Your life changes so significantly in just an instant. It is hard to remember who you used to be before you became a mama. You may even feel guilty as you long for your old life. Please know that this is incredibly normal and nothing to feel guilty about! As time goes on, you will find your old self again, and mama will become a beautiful enhancement to who you used to be.