It’s no secret that when I first became a mum, I lost my identity. It took me some time but I did start to find myself again. I started to do the things I enjoyed and stopped feeling guilty for having some time just for myself. I’d found me again. Or so I’d thought. As the years went by, I thought I’d got my identity back but it seems it is so easy to just lose who you are throughout motherhood and today is yet another day where I have found myself feeling a little bit… lost. Again.
Things change once you become a parent and sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to put your children first which I’ve accepted. I’ve let go of a lot of things I used to enjoy for the simple fact that I can’t find the time to do them because I’m doing another million and one things that are required of me as a mum. It isn’t that I don’t love being a mum because I love being a mum more than anything in this world but there is a transition from pre parent you to who you are now, so much of your life changes that it’s a struggle just to catch up sometimes.
Remember when we could watch whatever we wanted to watch, we ate what we wanted to eat, we drank our drinks at the temperature we wanted to, if we felt tired – we slept… We might not have realised it at the time but we were fully in control of our own lives. Though we’re still in control now, things feel different, don’t they? What we want and what we might want to do, doesn’t really matter as much as it used to before. As parents, we consider our children’s needs above our own.
We lose our identity because our lives revolve around our children but I’ve come to realise that there’s a difference between having a daily routine that revolves around your family and the entire meaning of your life revolving around them. It is possible to be a mum and still be involved in other things and that’s what I’m here to tell you. Date nights, time to myself, reading and blogging are just a few of the things that help me feel more like me and not just mum. I’m still Kirsti, I’m still only human and without these things, being stuck in the same parenting bubble doing the same thing, looking at the same four walls is enough to drive me crazy. Taking time for me is what keeps me sane and allows me to recuperate and is by no means selfish. Something as a mum, I struggled to accept at first.
So when I find myself feeling ‘lost.’ I know it’s time for me to take some necessary time just for myself. Some days I’m lucky if I even bother to brush my hair but on a day like today when I’m trying to feel connected to me again, I make a point of making more of an effort with my appearance. I’m not talking about make up and matching nail polish because I’m really not fussed about any of that stuff but I am talking about putting together an outfit that might make me feel better about myself, that might make me feel more comfortable and confident at the same time. It’s on these days when I ask myself ‘what is it that KIRSTI would like to do?’ ‘Is there a hobby I’ve been wanting to make more time for?’ Why yes, there is actually. Which is why I’ve ordered myself some more wool because I really want to get back into crocheting again. I miss my creations and I haven’t picked up my crochet hooks since before Kora was born. It’s been THAT long.
If you are a parent and you’re trying to find your identity again, here are some general ideas for you to try and help you stay connected to who you are. Not just your role as a parent:
- Connect with your friends. A night out, meet up for coffee, dinner at a restaurant or if your friends are also parents, meet up for a play date and let the kids burn some energy off at the park or a play area while you and your friend catch up.
- Find a hobby. Try to find a hobby that you genuinely love and make time for it, whether that be walking, painting, gardening, ect. Sometimes it’s hard to try to fit these things in around our already busy schedules but it is possible.
- Accept help. Whether that means hiring a babysitter or asking family and friends for help, do whatever it is that will help you.
- Remember to take care of yourself because you matter too! Take a long, hot, bubble bath, if you love make up, put on makeup – even if you’ve nowhere to go! If you like wearing nice clothes, get dressed up, if you like having nice hair, make a point of styling your hair. Don’t forget to do the things that bring you happiness and pleasure. Even if no one else is around to see, it will make you feel better.
Your life will never be the same as it once was before you became a parent but that’s okay because beneath all of the chaos that comes with parenting, you are still an individual, an individual who matters and on those days when you feel a little ‘lost’ (as I call it) you will start to find yourself again.
You haven’t lost your identity, it’s just hidden somewhere. Probably underneath all the toys the kids have left laying around!