I remember my mother once told me: “As soon as you become a mother, you lose all sense of selfishness.”
As soon as I held my daughter in my arms for the very first time, I knew this to be true. Suddenly, I had a tiny being that required all my love and care – and not just during her infancy. As she grows and develops, everything I do I do for her.
Throughout the journey of motherhood, I had come to define myself as “mother”. I wasn’t able to partake in the carefree activities I once enjoyed. All my time became devoted to my daughter with none to spare for myself.
Even though you are a mother, you are still an individual.
It took a long time for me to realize that what I was did not define who I was. I am a mother, but there is more to me than that tiny label. I had to really dig deep to define who I really am.
That definition is called your “core identity” and it encapsulates your true values and self.
Human Being versus Human Doing
What we DO refers to the roles we play in our lives: mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter. When we mistakes these roles as the essence of our being, we tend to seek out our self-confidence in the results of what we do.
Am I good mom?
Am I good wife?
Can I be a better friend?
As soon as we allow our sense of self to rely on how we feel we are performing those roles, we invite judgement to dictate the meaning of our life.
Finding Your Core Identity
In order to truly identify who I am, I use the main role I play in my life and tease out the aspects of that role that elucidates my true self.
I am a mother.
In my role of mother, I am caring, giving, selfless, loving and responsible.
These simple little adjectives make up the core of my identity.
Letting Your Core Identity Define Your Life
In order to truly find my individuality as a mother, I need to nurture those qualities and do things that bring joy to my life.
Once you are able to recognize your own individual qualities, you can then begin take time to find your true self again:
Reconnect with Your Friends
These are the people who love you for who you are, not what you do. Your true friends won’t care if your a mom – they’ll stick by your side because they enjoy the presence of the real you.
Make time to reconnect with your friends. Go out for coffee or have a conversation on the phone. If you find it difficult to separate your time from your child’s, take them along too. Whatever it takes to put you in the same space as those who love you.
Find a Hobby or Activity
In order to reconnect with your true self, you need to engage in activities that nurture your core identify.
I know that finding that time away from your kids is difficult (I live it every day) but taking whatever help you can in order to take of yourself is important for both you and your child.
When finding a hobby or activity to enjoy, think about those core identifiers and how you can put them to good use.
Here are some examples:
Are you creative? Start knitting or attend a “Sip and Paint” evening.
Do you describe yourself as energetic? Join a gym or dance class.
Are you an introvert? Go to the local library and lose yourself in a book.
If you are caring and supportive, consider volunteering your time to those in need.
Don’t Compare Your Old Life with Your New Life
Being a mother is a big part of your life now, and you can’t rewind the clock to those child-free days – so there’s no point in dwelling on it.
Instead, incorporate the things that ignite you into your current life.