I know its not just me that has found the transition from being an independent, career loving women into the scary world of motherhood hard. Its not just me that gets a little sting and can feel suffocated with the realisation that you can’t just get up and go to the shops or make those last minute dinner plans with friends.
THIS IS NOT A MOAN, I love my family life, Infact take me out for a night out or weekend away and I long to be back with my PJs on, cuppa in one hand, chocolate in the other, sat amongst my lovely husband and little boy! This is me figuring out how such a dramatic change in identity can make you feel all sorts of weird.
Becoming a mother is a massive change in identity, suddenly thrust upon this ‘perfect’ ideal of homemaking life, where you are judged for any tiny decision; breast or bottle, co-sleep or independent, self sooth or hold tight…trying to untangle and navigate this new life is so daunting and no one quite prepares you for it.
Every family situation is different, every baby is different, throw in ever changing ‘best baby practice’ guidelines and you’ve gotta be Sherlock to pass this challenge!
For me, I feel like the first 6 months of motherhood was joined by shock…I mean come on, lack of sleep, responsibility like never before, surely the unshakeable people wobble! Combined with the constant need to check I was doing a good job, the validation that ‘yep you are a good mum’ all contributing to a mound of anxiety. I’m the kind of person that needs validation in my life; Career wise through feedback, appraisals, Exercise by lifting heavier, running further, faster but through Motherhood?? There aren’t any monthly meetings to score you, no progress cards to tick off and you can be left feeling pretty crappy once you start the comparing yourself game especially with the insta mums planned photo ops and props, glossing the realities… it can be a heavy force dragging you down!
My comfort blanket and cosy place lies with my like minded friends, especially the fellow mums or ones who are aware of what’s going on. They get it, pat you on the back whilst covered in Weetabix themselves! I think its important to tell each other how good-a-job we are doing, we are in it together which helps massively (cringe high five). Do I need to label myself and have a clear identity? Probably not right now, one thing I have learnt is that you adapt. It’s ok for my identity to change slightly, I can still be myself just with a scruffy tshirt and darker under eye circles!
Love Harriet x