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Old Jul 16th, 2011, 00:58 AM   1
Makena29
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Afraid of losing my identity when I become a mom


I'm going through some big changes in my life right now and I'm really afraid of losing my identity. I should first say that I already love my little boy and it makes me smile every time I feel him kick and wiggle. I want him very much and I'm really happy that he's coming into my life and that I get to be his mom.

However I'm really afraid of losing my identity as I get swept into the "mom" role. I'm also changing careers from something that I love (archaeology) to something that pays better and is in the same city as my family, but will be a rather boring desk job (grants management). For those of you having your first baby, do you have similar fears of losing "you?" And for those of you who already have children, how did it change the way you see yourself? And what did you do to maintain your own identity through such a major life change?



 
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Old Jul 16th, 2011, 01:27 AM   2
aley28
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I remember this phase very well when I was pregnant with my son. I was working a full time job, had just gotten a nice promotion, etc when I got pregnant. DH (then BF) convinced me that I should stay home with the baby, and I had a complete identity crisis, because all my life up to that point, I had been independent and self-reliant. Then we got married, and two months after that, I had a baby.

One thing I never did that I wish I would have at the time, was talk to my OH about how I was feeling. It took me almost two years to realize that he was going through the same thing, only slightly different. He was suddenly the bread-winner, a husband and a dad, all within a few short months. Its very overwhelming, and we struggled a lot in the first year of marriage. That would have been avoided if I had talked to him, I think.

Anyway. I still struggle with my identity, some days. It is very easy (especially as a SAHM) to become "just a mom". There was a while there after he was born that I lived and breathed my baby. It was all I did, all I thought about, all I talked about. I didn't have a job title to identify myself as, so I just became a mommy and a wife.

I realized this last winter what had happened, and have been working on being Rachel, who is a woman, who is a mom, who is a wife, who is an individual. Its helping. When I'm feeling overly "mommied"... I stop and step into the role that I need to be. If my son needs me, I become Mommy. If a friend needs me, I become Rachel. If my husband needs me, I become Wife. I try my hardest to keep them separated, so that I can easier pick out which part of me is being utilized. That way I don't be "mommy" to a friend or to my husband or something.

I think a lot of it is making time for you, between work and baby and OH. I picked up a hobby, and after the initial wave of "OMG, what a fun hobby!" wore off, I started working on who I am, to the core. I brought things like my weight, my eating disorders (bingeing), and my depression problems forward and I started dealing with them. I made my health (physical and emotional) important to me, and that has helped probably more than anything else. Obviously, my son is number one on my 'priority list'... but I am no longer number 10,001... I am number 2. My husband is number 3, etc. But I forced myself to put myself as close to the top as I could allow. (My mantra is; If I don't take care of myself, who is going to?) That means that I pamper myself when I need it. I make the dinner I want sometimes, even if DH doesn't like it. I go for walks with my son, just to get some fresh air and clear out thoughts. I send DS off to his grandparent's for a day just so I can sit at home and read and not worry about changing him or feeding him or kissing his boo-boos when he falls.

I'm finding a lot of it to be about balance. My whole life can't be about my son. It can't be about my husband. But it isn't all just about me anymore either, because a very large part of me is in my son. There is a specific balance there that I have managed to strike, though I image its different for everybody. Lately, I have been needing to spend a lot of time with my son to feel more secure (its a pregnancy thing for me, I think... a little needy), so a lot of my "me" time actually means packing my son up and going shopping, or putting on a kid movie and cuddling with him on the couch. Today, though, he went off to grandparent's and I just lay on the couch and stared at the ceiling and enjoyed having a silent house for more than an hour. No music, no TV, no husband, no child... it was lovely. DH and I have date nights once every couple of months... we leave DS with a sitter and go out and have dinner and sometimes catch a movie. When I wasn't pregnant, we'd get a sitter overnight and go out of town for a night of drinking and gambling and sexy time. These nights of just DH and I have proved to be a key thing in our relationship as husband and wife.

...this is getting long, and I think I'm getting repetitive. Hope I helped a little bit, anyway! Good luck hon... take it a day at a time and you'll manage just fine!



 
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Old Jul 16th, 2011, 03:14 AM   3
Cherrybinky
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I totally understand. Before I met OH I was working in Metal Health which I loved but I re located to be with him which has been amazing and I became step Mum to his 2 children. Im so pleased were expecting our own but Ive lost my current job and cant get another one and Ive become a frumpy 'Mum' already. Im normally alternative, tattoo'd pierced and wear rockabilly clothing and have bright coloured clips in my hair etc and I now feel Ive become a fat(ter) frump in clothes Id never wear and Ive stopped bothering with my hair and make up etc. Im concerned Ill never get 'me' back again X



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Old Jul 16th, 2011, 03:27 AM   4
Fuchsia1412
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I know how you feel ladies...I also felt like this during my first pregnancy and am probably going to feel it again with this one as I make the transition to being mum-of-2 instead of one..(scary..trying not to think about it..) it's when you think about it, isn't it...? if you just concentrate on the baby and your inner feeling, you feel happy and excited, but when you view yourself and your life and friends,family,job etc...you start to get lost and think..where does me becoming a mum fit with this..? can I really keep myself and be a good mum etcetc...but we all do feel like this.. identity is important. Even now I often struggle thinking I've become very boring and can't relate to the same people and things. Sometimes (I know this is mean...) I look at girls who went to my school who now seem to have a huge brood and nothing but, and have become stressed looking and harassed and unable to support themselves, and even though I'm not like that, it worries me and I use it as an excuse to worry more.



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Old Jul 16th, 2011, 04:30 AM   5
HollieQ
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I worry about this too. I'm a workaholic and I hate cleaning, plus I'm rubbish at cooking!

I'm worried my life is going to be boring, that I'm going to get cabin fever and I'm just going to be cleaning the house everyday and my hubby will become really lazy and reliant on me (we do everything 50/50 at the mo because we both work full-time) lol . I'm really anxious about being off work for so long incase I loose my skills, struggle to get back into it etc, but I've tried to turn it around and think positive, I do want a baby more than anything, I've waited this long to get qualified, have a nice house etc and enough money to have this baby so I am going to enjoy the time off work, embrace being a mum, and try to keep busy, baby groups etc for the benefit of us both, maybe i'll even learn how to clean and cook properly, maybe even bake! And I might love it!

I'm determined I'm still going to really look after myself, i'm a bit selfish like that, and i'll have even more time to do so, when my energy levels from having a newborn get back up! My hubby will have to do his bit so I can still go out and be 'me', no way am I having baby 24/7 like some people do?!

(then get back to work -only 3 days a week, I really don't think I could put our baby in nursery 5 full days a week and then I'm going to hire a cleaner LOL!)



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Old Jul 16th, 2011, 05:17 AM   6
MumToBe23Oct
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Im the same as well.. From i have got pregnant ive decided to go down a more secure career path and i find myself looking at everything in a completly different way. With anyone ive spoke to about being afraid of changing myself too much they always say u think ur changing now wait to the babies here u become a new person... Although noone have ever said if this is a good or bad thing lol
Im Glad to know im not the only n with these worries xx



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Old Jul 16th, 2011, 09:38 AM   7
Makena29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MumToBe23Oct View Post
With anyone ive spoke to about being afraid of changing myself too much they always say u think ur changing now wait to the babies here u become a new person... Although noone have ever said if this is a good or bad thing lol
Im Glad to know im not the only n with these worries xx
I hear this a lot, too, and like you I'm not quite sure what to make of it. People say things like "Oh, just you wait!" Wait for what??? Yikes. I guess time will tell.



 
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Old Jul 16th, 2011, 10:49 AM   8
JaydensMommy1
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I thought the same way you did before. I remember all my friends were getting pregnant before me and how they changed so much when the baby came- I promised myself id never be that way. Then I had my son.

I think I found my identity after giving birth.

I never knew I could love something so deeply before. I never had a stronger sense of responsibility- and yes somethings will change but it'll be for the better. When I hear people say kids define parents I think of it as the highest compliment.
If I can smile, laugh and take joy in the littlest of things, be more adventurous and love unconditionally then please, define me.

best wishes



 
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Old Jul 16th, 2011, 11:39 AM   9
aley28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaydensMommy1 View Post
I thought the same way you did before. I remember all my friends were getting pregnant before me and how they changed so much when the baby came- I promised myself id never be that way. Then I had my son.

I think I found my identity after giving birth.

I never knew I could love something so deeply before. I never had a stronger sense of responsibility- and yes somethings will change but it'll be for the better. When I hear people say kids define parents I think of it as the highest compliment.
If I can smile, laugh and take joy in the littlest of things, be more adventurous and love unconditionally then please, define me.

best wishes
^^ this

Things about you will (should!) change when you have a baby. Its a very surreal experience, the moment you fall in love with your baby. You think you love the baby now, and you do. But its entirely different when the baby is in your arms. I never knew the meaning of unconditional love until I held my son and looked into his eyes. It changes things about you, and in the best way possible.

I'm not the same person I was the day before I had my son. Some things in life become more complicated, but some of the best things become more simple. Children don't care if hail means damage to the vehicle... they are fascinated that ice is falling from the sky. Snow doesn't mean "oh, we have to shovel the walk"... it means stomping and sliding and sitting and tasting and building. All flowers become pretty, and the sweetest moments of this summer have included my son handing me a dandelion with a sweet smile. Only a child can change a dandelion/weed into a beautiful gift.

Don't expect your identity not to change. It will. The priorities and important things in your life kind of switch around. But if you make an effort not to lose yourself in that, you won't become a frumpy mom. Being a mom can be the number one most important thing in your life (it is in mine ) but its not the only thing in your life. If you work to remember that and work to make sure that other people remember that, you'll be happier. Having time for just you, time for you and OH, family time, and time for you and your friends... it has a way of working.



 
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Old Jul 16th, 2011, 11:51 AM   10
JaydensMommy1
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Exactly!! ^^ things change but it not as though you look in the mirror and your disappointed or angry, you look at yourself with pride.



 
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