© Can Stock Photo / mikeexpert
Losing Yourself To Parenthood
A Mum posted a question in my Parenting View Support Group saying that since becoming a mother, she has felt like she’s lost herself. Her post resonated so much with me that I wanted to write this post to remind myself AND you that it’s ok to feel like this.
Becoming a Mother (or Father) is life changing. The life you’ve lived before having children becomes a distant memory. You will never ever go back to that moment.
You will lose a part of yourself when you become a parent.
You won’t be able to do the things you used to, before becoming a Parent, but eventually you will be able to again. Time changes everything.
Parenthood won’t define you as a person, but it will teach you things you never thought you’d learn, and will open your eyes to so many new experiences.
You know what though? It’s all ok, because as I said above, time changes everything.
When I became a Mum, I struggled big time. In fact that’s one of the contributing factors to my struggle with depression – I struggled to come to terms with the fact that the life I had was over.
I didn’t have many friends before becoming a parent, so that much didn’t change, but everything else did: suddenly I had no idea who I was.
The older my kids got, the more I felt this. Until I started my Happy Mum Happy Child website. I feel like I have a bit more purpose in life now … but I am very aware that not everyone is in this situation.
So here are some tips from me to you, to help you find your feet in your new role in life:
Remember that nothing in life ever stays the same. Your children will grow up. Things do get easier, but they also get harder. Everything changes all the time – nothing is set in concrete especially the moment you’re living right now.
If you don’t have many friends like myself, then join local pages on Facebook and reach out to others. Ask for someone to organise a catch up somewhere for coffee, in a child friendly environment. Talking to other adults will keep you grounded, and remind you that there are others out there who are in a very similar situation to you.
3. EYES OPEN
Keep your eyes and ears open for ANYTHING that takes your fancy in life. Your new role as a parent is actually a wonderful opportunity to grow yourself as a person. I found initially I had no idea what I liked or disliked, or what I wanted to do – so I just kept an open mind. Every time I did something that I enjoyed, I wrote it down. I started thinking about what I wanted to do, and what makes me happy – because I needed to try and figure out how to become me again.
4. YOUR PARTNER
If you have a partner, or even a close family member, please talk to them. You never know that they’re not feeling the same way as you, or understand how you’re feeling. A date night / night out without kids can do wonders for the soul and your relationship.
5. THE INTERNET
If you’re like me, playgroups, play centre, and interacting with others wasn’t really on my list of things to do. So I turned to the internet for comfort. There is nothing wrong with this. Facebook kept me in touch with friends, and groups kept me in contact with Mums. The internet made me feel less alone and for that I am grateful.
Becoming a parent isn’t a death sentence and it’s important to remember that. As I said above, if you keep in your mind that you are looking for something to help define you, you will find it. Keep your eyes open. Connect with other Mums. ASK QUESTIONS. Find out what others are doing to keep themselves sane.
What kept me sane was providing my kids with activities which ultimately gave me a five minute break from them. Selfish, I know. But it’s the truth. I then decided to document those activities on the internet, and that’s how Happy Mum Happy Child started.
You never know where a single idea in life is going to take you. Don’t sell yourself short – you might be a parent, but you are still YOU.