I’m not just a mother. I’m a friend, a business woman, a human being who needs just as much recognition as the small humans. I’ve never been shy about discussing mental health and parental wellbeing here on the blog or on my social media platforms. I’ll say it how it is, being a Mum is all-consuming. Parents, particularly mothers, often feel like they’ve lost their identity whilst raising their children. It’s not easy to rediscover the woman behind the mother. Once you’ve found her, you must never let her go again.
I know from personal experience how easy it is to fall into the trap of looking after your children, but not yourself. For many years I forgot how to be Chloe. It’s taken a long time to remember who I am again. Below you’ll find a few suggestions on how to rediscover the woman behind the mother and remember who you are, just like I did.
What did you do before you were a mother? Did you have a hobby? A great way of rediscovering yourself is to do what you love. More specfically, what you enjoyed doing before you had children. If you had a hobby before you had children, get back into it. If you paused your career to raise a family, look at the possibility of returning to work on a part-time basis. Perhaps consider your options for childcare whilst you are working.
Does it often feel like the only thing you have to look forward too is the food shop arriving? Why don’t you meet a friend for a coffee or organise a play date. Having plans to look forward too will make day-to-day life more enjoyable. Plans give you a goal, they give you a target to aim for when you are feeling fed up or struggling.
Acceptance of your transformation is also hugely important. You will never be the same person you were 10 years ago again, and that is okay. You’ve matured, your priorities are completely different. Your children are the most important thing in the world to you, but underneath it all, your still you. The person you are inside hasn’t changed, and she deserves to be noticed. It may not feel like it, but you can be her again. You can be a new version of her, a version that works for both you and your family.
As mothers we do everything and anything for our children, but not for ourselves. Have you ever stopped to consider the possibility that what works for you will work for your children as well? Children are like sponges, they soak in everything, so if you are happy and content, they will feel happy and content. If something has to give, then let it give. Leave the dishes until morning, put them to bed a little earlier than usual, whatever it takes to give you some time for you.
This blog is my passion, it’s helped me to find myself again and achieve my dreams. I’ve always loved writing and photography, but I never thought of it as a career possibility before I had the children. The new version of me took the plunge and made it work. I work around my children, I don’t miss a single school event, milestone or bedtime story. I’m living proof that it’s possible to be a devoted, loving mother and a fully functioning, successful woman. I haven’t had to sacrifice anything other than the length of my nails which tend to be blunted my excessive typing. I did it, you can do it too.
It takes a lot of courage and inner strength, but you can rediscover the woman behind the mother. You can enjoy life as an individual, and as a mother. Everybody’s story is different, each family has a unique set of needs, but if you let go of who you think you should be and embrace who you are inside, everything else will fall into place.
If you do one thing today, do one of the following. Reach out to family and friends and accept their babysitting offer. Text or call a friend and have a natter. Take some time out for yourself, even if it’s just five minutes to enjoy a hot cup of tea. When you rediscover the woman behind the mother you need to accept that it’ll take time. If you acknowledge that, you’ve already begun to win the battle. Take baby steps towards victory.