Motherhood can be a crazy ride. You’ve watched your body change and grow over a period of 9 months, bought everything for the baby, gone through the birth, maybe maternity leave or even seeing your child start school. Now here you are wondering when you’re going to feel ‘normal’ again.
If that’s the case, know you’re not alone. You’re going through a period of matrescence (a physical, emotional, social and psychological change) and this isn't only for the immediate postnatal period.
The definition of who you are is likely to change
You have a massive responsibility in your life , you’re a mum, in charge of another human being who relies on you for everything.
Thinking you will return to being the exact same person as you were before becoming a mum is likely to lead to disappointment, frustration and perhaps resentment.
So what can you do?
Start taking some small steps towards accepting that you will be a new version of yourself and grow confidence in that.
1. Make a list around the following:
What did you love about yourself and your life before motherhood?
What do you love about yourself and your life now you are in motherhood?
Then you can consider if there is a large gap between them and consider how you might be able to narrow that gap, whilst also accepting you have your new responsibility.
2. Consider the following questions:
Do I still want to do those things or am I chasing my pre-motherhood self?
If they feel unachievable now, but I still want them, what is in my way?
Can those blocks be removed and if so how?
If you're thinking, well the big 'block' is my baby/child, I hear you! See if you can dig a bit deeper.
Perhaps you need more support from your partner and you need to ask them to help you make changes. Perhaps 'mum guilt' is getting in your way. Maybe you used to do something with friends and your friendship has changed, you're finding it hard to get back out there. It's possible that you're feeling anxious or worried about leaving your child or about being in a social/new situation.
Whatever it is, start small and build it up.
Feeling like yourself again won't come over night but it will come.
Motherhood might be insane at times, and it also develops us and changes us as individuals. Look for that new definition of who you are and see how amazing you are. You birthed another human being, you’re nurturing and nourishing them and you can also nurture and nourish yourself.
If this seems really difficult or if you’re not even sure where to start in reconnecting with yourself, reach out. Gain support, from your partner, friends, your GP or a counsellor.
You can book a free 15 minute discovery call with myself, Claire, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.