The Importance of Remembering You are Not Just a Mumby Emma Longden
One of the toughest parts of becoming a mum, for me, was the loss of identity I felt when I had my children. I had my first son when I was 21 years old, and continued on to have two more children in my twenties. I am a firm believer that there is no 'right' time to have children, and on the whole, I am happy with the way it has worked out for me (only one of my children was a planned pregnancy), but I do feel in a way that I skipped a decade where many of my friends and peers were out discovering themselves, having fun and building their careers, whilst I was coming to terms with this new identity of being somebody's mum.
Don't get me wrong, I love being a mum, it is the most rewarding role I have had in my life, however, I feel that sometimes it can be easy to lose yourself, your sense of who you are, after having children. I am passionate about being Emma, as well as mummy, and I would encourage other mums to do the same. These are some of the ways you can help regain your identity, after having children.
I am not saying you have to return to work, if that isn't something you are wanting to do, but if you did work prior to having children, and you miss it, going back to your job can work wonders for your sense of self, and help give you a break from being called mummy for a little while. I personally find working part-time hours, which I am fortunate to be able to afford to do, helps give me that elusive work/life balance.
Find a Hobby
Whether you work or not, it is a brilliant idea to have a hobby, something that you are passionate about, that is just for you. You could attend an evening class to learn a new skill, or join a local club. Having something outside of being a mum can really help remind you of the person you are alongside being a parent.
Obviously, it has been difficult this past year, with the pandemic and numerous lockdown measures, but socialising and spending time with friends is important. I know that, for me, not being able to hang out with friends has had a big impact on my mental health, and I am so looking forward to being able to head out for a drink, or just hang out at a friend's house again after restrictions have been lifted.
Something we can all do, even during the pandemic, is to practise self-care. Taking some time out, away from the children, even if that is just locking yourself in the bathroom for some much needed TLC with a hot bath and a book, is something that will help to recharge your batteries. You cannot pour from an empty cup, so focus on yourself and remember, you are not 'just' a mum, you are a woman too.