Feeling like yourself outside of motherhood.by Claire Chircop
Motherhood is great, but it has a lot to answer for, especially when it comes to feeling like yourself and not just a mum. You were somebody before you became a mother and you’re still somebody now. Just sometimes that person needs pulling back out. I get it, I’ve been there. I’ve lost myself to motherhood twice but I feel I’m at a place where I feel like Claire, as well as mum.
How to start feeling like yourself outside of motherhood.
I should start with a disclaimer as parenting is the hardest thing to do and the easiest thing to judge. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to solely be a mother. I’ll always describe myself as a mother first. Everything else comes secondary to my children, but I also want to be someone outside of motherhood. It’s just my personal preference. This is what I’ve found works best for me.
Socialising with friends.
Regaining a social life has been crucial in helping me feel like myself again. Even if I have to take the children with me it’s so beneficial meeting up with friends and having actual adult conversations. You’d be surprised (or maybe not) how many times I have to repeat myself on a daily basis. ‘Can you pull your pants up now please’ is a classic in our house. What is it with toddlers and suddenly wanting to dart straight off after going to the toilet? It’s safe to say that adult conversation is very much needed!
Redefining my personal style.
I’m not a fashionista. You wouldn’t look at me and think ‘that girl’s got style’, but I do feel like myself in the clothes I choose to wear. I’m no longer dressing to cover up my body. I’ve redefined my personal style since becoming a mum. My style is casual, comfy and put together with on-trend jewellery pieces. Yellow gold is my weapon of choice and you’ll often find me wearing my comfies with small yellow gold hoops, rings and bracelets. These make me feel like me.
Getting back into work.
The balance between working and mothering can be a really tricky one to manage. I don’t think any of us are totally managing it. More winging it to keep our heads above water. With that being said, I’ve really enjoyed getting stuck back into work. For some of you, working won’t resolve how to feel like yourself outside of motherhood, but for me it has. Being self-employed plays a big part in this. My business is my other baby in a way and it’s nice being able to separate the two. My actual babies and my business baby.
Surrounding yourself with similar people.
As I mentioned previously, there are mothers out there who are solely mothers, some who are career-focused. Some are go with the flow type mums and some are sticklers for routine. One of the most interesting things about motherhood is how we all do it differently & what works for me and my children may not work for you and vice versa. As someone who craves a bit of time away from the children to work on my business, I’ve found I’ve gravitated towards women in a similar position to myself. These women have become little hubs of solace for me and I find we empower each other in striving for success.
Accepting myself – The good, the bad & the ugly.
A huge factor in feeling like yourself outside of motherhood is understanding who you are. The good, the bad and the ugly. I have lots of positives to my personality, but I also have flaws. As we all do. All I can do is own them, accept myself and work on them.
If you’re wondering how to feel like yourself outside of motherhood, please don’t feel the pressure to do so. After my first daughter, it took almost a year for me to feel anything other than being her mum. The second time around I’m a little more selfish – And that’s not a bad thing. We should never be made to feel selfish for wanting to be something outside of motherhood, just the same as mothers of the opposite opinion shouldn’t be judged.