This is a question I so often hear new mother’s asking themselves post birth. Who the hell am I? What do I like? How do I want to dress? What’s doing with my hair (if I have any left!)? Do I want to go to back to work? Do I still want to be a mum? What does it mean to be a mum? Who the hell am I?!?!
I never understood this quite as clearly prior to stepping into this motherhood journey myself, and as I sit here writing this blog, my little 7 month old baby lies sleeping beside me. 7 months old today. And wow, so much has changed since that moment when she entered this world. Who am I now? I’m not totally sure, I’m still evolving into this new version of me. But I’m OK with that, I’m enjoying the transition (most of the time). I don’t dress the same (gone are the long flowy dresses- boobs are just too hard to access!) I don’t exercise every morning. I don’t talk about the same things when I meet up with friends. I’m not interested in reading the same articles I used to. I don’t even hang out with the same people anymore.
I know for some mum’s they hate this transition. They feel lost without purpose or clarity. They feel pressure to be the ‘best mum’ whilst also feeling like they should go back to work to generate some income or even have another child. They hate the inevitable changes and feel like they are drowning. I get it. I’ve felt it. I’ve questioned it.
So much of our identity pre bubba is reliant on our occupation. Very rarely when meeting a new person is the question not asked ‘what do you do?’. Sure, you can answer this with ‘I’m a stay at home mum’ but often we feel pinned into a box by this response. I know I have a deep resistance within me to be labelled a ‘housewife’. Hell I even hate the term ‘wife’. I am not someone’s wife who stays in the house all day (or am I?!?) I’m so much more than that. I am woman, I am creative, I am strong, I am spiritual, I am passionate and I am intelligent. Hell, I love going outside! Does this sound like ‘housewife’ or can I be an ‘sometimes in the house wife’?? Is my husband now a ‘workhusband’?
But the reality is, it’s deeper than any label. It’s about knowing who you are. Deep inside. Knowing where your true north is pointing you. Knowing what makes you smile, laugh and feel inspired. All of this can be difficult to find as a new mum. Perhaps this is because we are so deeply connected to our new bubbas that their needs, and their new little personality, become more important than our own. So how do we find ourselves again? How do we shine our light so our little one can follow rather than expecting them to lead the way? I invite you to close your eyes, take a deep breath and feel into your heart. What makes your heart sing now? Pull into your mind’s eye different scenarios from your life- old and new. Different people from your life- old and new. Hell, think about some new clothes and a new haircut! What feels right, right now? What and who makes you feel joy? What and who makes you feel full yet light? What makes the love that you know so much more intimately now you have felt love your new babe, feel even bigger and brighter?
Perhaps this is your new bubba and you simply don’t need any more right now. Perhaps it’s the idea of sharing your stories with other women. Perhaps it’s packing up and heading on a holiday while you have the maternity leave? Perhaps it’s getting creative and playing with your children in a new way? Perhaps it’s going to back to work a few days a week or tweaking your role slightly into something that excites you more? Did you even like what you used to do or were you simply in it? Has this initiation of motherhood actually made you open your eyes to know you need a change in other areas of your life??
Perhaps you were never that clear on who you were prior to bubba’s arrival and this abundance of time without other adult company has made you realise a few things. Perhaps it’s sent you into a tailspin. All I can say sister, is that it’s perfect. It’s perfect in it’s imperfection. In it’s unknown. In it’s pain and questioning. It’s making you clearer if you allow it. If you dive into it. If you don’t get frightened by the inevitable change. You must change and grow as must your bubba, your relationship, your career, your body and your life. Why would we want things to stay the same? Nothing in nature stays the same. Allow the flow to come and take you by the hand. Feel into it. Communicate with yourself and those you love. Keep questioning. Keep tweaking it. You will find the next version of you, I promise. Look deeply. It will appear when you least expect it.