Family Life

pile of books
Apr 20

This week I have had a small identity crisis.

It’s a bit of a cliché – you become a Mum and suddenly you see yourself being plonked at the bottom of the pile. Slowly but surely your identity gets chipped away at, until one day you realise that you don’t really have one anymore.

I’m being a bit dramatic – I don’t really feel this way, I’m just having one of those moments which I’m sure a lot of Mums can relate to. And even if this really were the case, I still wouldn’t want to change anything. Being a Mum is truly the most wonderful thing in the world, and the joy that my daughter brings me is worth far more than feeling a true ‘sense of identity’.

But a lot of things that I used to love to do, I simply don’t have the time for anymore. And as time goes on I’m realising that these things, as small as they were in the grand scheme of things, used to define me as a person a little. I used to love to read, and nowadays it takes me a couple of months to finish one book. I used to love escaping in my favourite TV dramas such as ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (no judgement please!), but I’ve owned an unopened box set of season 5 for over a year now.  I used to cycle everywhere, but my bike hasn’t left the shed since I was a few months pregnant.

This week I flew out to Frankfurt on work with a small bunch of people who I had never met before. One of them asked me: “So, what do you like to do?”, and I felt a bit stumped with how to reply. “Well, I write a blog, when I have time,” I answered. “And I like exercising – I go to a boot camp on the beach a couple of times a week…”, but I then felt a bit lost over what to say next. I felt very uninteresting. I wanted to say, “I’m a Mum and my daughter takes up most of my time,” but for some reason I held back saying that. It felt like a bit of a cop out answer.

Am I the only one who feels this way sometimes, or can other Mums relate? I’m really not complaining…I’m just having a little bit of a wobbly moment.

In all honesty, I have consciously made a decision for things to be this way. My daughter and husband come first, and that’s the way I want it to be. The other week I tweeted about the number of ideas that I have for blog posts, but the lack of time that I have to write them. A friend and fellow Mum replied: “The time will come, one day. Enjoy some free time in the present, that’s important too :-) You get one chance to build these foundations – enjoy. Most important thing we’ll ever do, I reckon.”

She’s so right. These early years are so important and fly by so quickly. There will be plenty of time in the future for me to blog, or read, or cycle…but right now, the best way I can spend my non-work time is with my daughter, making the most of these precious pre-school years.

Please feel free to share any thoughts that you have on the subject, or any wise words of advice!

Image courtesy of Henry Bloomfield.

About the Author

Wendy McAuliffe

Social media & online PR consultant and trainer, and ex-journalist. Founder and Director of Populate Digital and Mum of two. Living by the sea in Bournemouth. @wendymcauliffe.

  • Sarah Deeley Porter

    I definitely get it! I went through a phase where I felt I had lost myself a little bit. I was a nurse before I had Gwennie and then I was ‘just a Mum’ once she came along. Starting my new job has really helped me feel I have a sense of identity again and I also have something that I do “for me”!  It helps me feel like I have a bit more worth in this world! Hahaha!

    • wendymcauliffe

      I’m pleased I’m not the only one to feel this way! Your new job sounds so exciting – I’m really happy it’s helping to re-define who you are. Although I really feel it’s one mum’s job to remind another mum that being a great mum to your daughter makes you ‘worth’ an awful lot ;)

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