Identity Theft: Losing Yourself When You Become a Mummyby Debbi Baldwin
As you go through life, you make choices that shape who you are as a person and that mould you into the person you ultimately want to be. It helps you to create your own identity and become your own person. It can take years, or sometimes decades, to be happy with who you have become… And then you decide to have a child.
It feels as though from the second you announce to the world that you are pregnant, people’s opinions of you change and you immediately become a whole new person. And although everyone means well, it very quickly makes you rethink how you see yourself. I am currently pregnant with my second child, and I have some lovely colleagues who have now started to introduce me to people as ‘This is Debbi, she’s pregnant’. That is now my role in life…incubator.
I love being a parent (I feel this needs to be said as I really don’t want to seem ungrateful for having had the opportunity to start a family), but I do often feel as though my personality, needs and opinions have become secondary to that of my child. Being Mummy and being the person that my son looks up to is the best feeling in the world, which gives me severe mum guilt whenever I think about wanting to be a person in my own right. In the school playground, groups of mums gather to collect their children at the end of the day, and we are all nameless. We are all so-and-so’s Mummy, with no indication of names or lives outside of bringing childcare providers.
I went back to work 10 months after the birth of my son, as heart-wrenching as it was, there was also a sense of relief that for just a few hours a day I would become a well rounded, fully functioning human being again. But at the end of the day, I will always be Mummy to my children for as long as they need me.