Who Am I?by Becki Pallan
Who am I...? I feel this is something we all ask ourselves in our 30’s and after having children!
Am I just the mum at the gates?
Am I just the mum at playgroup?
Am I just the mum on maternity leave?
Am I just the mum washing pants?
Am I just the mum clearing up?
Am I just the mum who has nothing to say about their day?
Am I just the mum who does dinner?
This is it, isn’t it... you’re not just a mum
You are a woman, maybe a wife, sister, auntie, friend
Yet sometimes when you have a family, your identity goes with it, being able to be a parent is a wonderful thing, however, it can become your whole universe and that is how you are seen.
You are asked how the children are before you, or what stage they are at and the million other questions about them...
and you’re over there like hey I am all good thanks...
I am only talking from experience, but I feel it comes on leaps and bounds when you are a SAHP (stay at home parent)
Now do not get me wrong, working parents are epic and the juggle is most certainly real but a SAHP world is sometimes just that... all about the parenting.
When you do not have a career alongside, it can be difficult in ways from a knowing who you are, but also the way you are seen by others who do work.
Do not get me wrong, you get to be there for your children, and many do not have this luxury.
This is not the part I feel SAHP struggle with, its more the other parts that make you, you!
So, from my experience, it is the longing for conversations which do not involve school runs, playgroup, and housework.
I find it difficult to talk to my friends about my day as it is that typical that I just do not feel interesting.
But equally, you go to mum related meetups and what do you talk about...
There are some people who live and breathe parenthood (in the context of not finding it monotonous) and this is amazing, but I know I speak for many and we are not just a parent! We are an actual person under that sick and dribble
But why... why do we feel the need to be doing it all, why is being lucky enough to be at home not enough
I feel it comes back to identity
Our children will grow up and leave one day and then what!
If we don’t know who we are, or what we want or enjoy... what will we do
It has been four years for me since I worked, and I will soon be in a position to seek work in the traditional sense.
I long for adult conversation and maybe a cheeky work lunch, but more importantly, I want to show my children that mummy is not just mummy! That she is a creative hardworking soul.
I love my children more than anything and this does not need to be said but I want them to see that I can be both... that I can be mummy and a badass!!
For me learning is where it is at, so although I do not ‘work’ in the traditional sense, (and trust me, many still believe being at home is not work!!!) I have done many courses, I practise yoga and ballet, I write and am always looking to increase my skills and knowledge.
I have digressed a lot in this post and there is not really a wrong or right or a conclusion!
It is a chance to open up the conversation and for anyone who feels this way, you are not alone, and we are all human and handle and deal with things in our own way.
I just feel the labels we all put on ourselves is crazy, whether that is a working parent or an at-home one... we are all parents and people.
That is for me where social media came in, my circle is not big, and I had the urge to meet new people & find a place where I belonged.
To share, connect and I guess a place I felt I was doing something outside being a mum.
This too has not been the ride I was expecting, I have not found my ‘gang’ so to speak and I am finding it hard to connect. Do not get me wrong there is lots of love out there, but I have not yet felt I truly belong.
I find social to be like that though, days of highs and days of lows, lockdown hasn’t helped matters as although I had to make zero changes to my life when it happened, now things are easing, it’s become way more noticeable that I have nothing to do or people to see.
I cannot wait for meet up and events to kick off again as this time I will not make reasons as to not go... I will bloody be there.
As it is time, I found me and had a dance or two