When I first had my baby it was all consuming of course. It has to be. You need to keep this little person alive, and that means getting the right sleep, food, warmth, clothes…the list goes on and fills your mind. Through all this I have never defined myself solely as ‘Mother’. Perhaps it’s because I’m a ‘Geriatric Mum’. Yes that’s the official term. I was 39 when I gave birth. Being older, I had one career under my belt, and a fledgling 2nd one, owned my own flat and had well established social groups. I’m so pleased I have had these things to fall back on and keep me sane in the last 20 months.
Although I never had a problem with my identity, I’ve had problems with realising parts of that identity. It’s near on impossible for me to have the headspace to do anything work related when we are together. Especially as I’m self employed. Hats off to those who manage to get up at 5am before the rest of the family wake, or work late into the night, I just can’t do it. So she has recently started nursery two mornings a week to give me that headspace to write this blog and move on with my career. I also hope that this will nurture my creativity too.
In terms of other parts of my identity – Social, rest,
being active - I have found it easier to demand that time, or fit it in my life as best I can. As I’ve said previously, just going for a walk on my own helps clear my head. I do recommend taking anytime you can to do something for yourself. Something as simple as a bath, a walk, surfing the internet uninterrupted (feels good doesn’t it!) or lying on the floor for 10 minutes. You’ll remember that you aren’t just a Mum. You are a sum of the parts that brought you to this point.
I absolutely love this advert from 2012 which I think illustrates the point perfectly.