3 Uplifting Ways to Overcome a Motherhood Identity Crisis

3 Uplifting Ways to Overcome a Motherhood Identity Crisis | Reining in Mom

“Mama, mama, mama, mama.” This is my kids’ favorite mantra and the chant that fuels my motherhood identity crisis. It’s hard to remember when I was called anything else. Who was that person with a name and the absolute freedom of not having created people?

Mama. It's hard to remember when I was called anything else. Who was that person with a real name?Click To Tweet

I wouldn’t go back to being that pre-child person for anything in the world, but sometimes I do miss her. She had so many interesting facets to her. Every way you viewed her showed a different brilliant color. And she had the time and space to polish all those sides of her personality to a high shine.

Some days now I look at myself and just see a dusty mirror. Flat, one-sided, and a bit dull. But we are all still multi-faceted diamonds. We just need to push through the motherhood identity crisis and get our shine back.

You Are More Than Just Mama

“Mama” is a wonderful thing to be called. I love being called Mama, and knowing that I am the only one my kids will ever call that. Motherhood grants us an identity so exclusive and so precious that it’s hard not to just focus solely on that. Not to mention that small children demand nearly all of our time and energy. So Mama becomes the only identity we have time for.

But we need to be more than just what we are in relation to other people. Otherwise what happens when those relationships evolve? In other words, of course you are Mama, and that is amazing. You are also wife, daughter, friend, and maybe sister.

But you are also the person stripped clean of all of those identities. And that person needs to be nurtured too. Because that is the person that makes all of those other identities and relationships thrive.

Overcome Your Motherhood Identity Crisis by Nurturing Your Interests

The reason the blogosphere is so intent on making sure Mamas take time for themselves is because everything Mamas do is for other people. Care taking is at the core of the Mama identity. But what interests and activities will nurture your core, independent of motherhood?

You may have to look back to a time that was more carefree to answer this question. I had to go back to horseback riding, something I hadn’t done in twenty years, to nurture my core identity. What did you like to do when you were 10 years old? Maybe you liked exploring so you’d like hiking now. Or dancing, swimming, or painting. Make the time and space in your life to do that now, even if it’s only a little bit.

Reconnecting with an activity that is solely your own is the key to reconnecting to yourself.Click To Tweet

Reconnecting with an activity that is solely your own is the key to reconnecting to yourself. If you know what you like to do, you will know yourself. And you’ll have a ready answer to the question So, what do you do? It is such a self-esteem boost to be able to say something other than chase after my kids all day, even if that’s what you spend a majority of your time doing.

Give Yourself Space to Reflect

Another key to avoiding a motherhood identity crisis is to give yourself time to reflect on your journey. Too often we’re just running from task to task, checking our days off without any deep thought. But machines just tick off tasks. People think and dream and hope and play. Make sure you’re giving yourself time to do that.

One way to reflect is by journaling. You don’t have to do this everyday, but a few times a month or weekly, set time aside to just write. I don’t like to set an agenda when I journal, but some people find prompts really helpful. Just the act of writing moves my brain into the creative dreamer space and out of the productive automaton space.

Writing moves my brain into the creative dreamer space and out of the productive automaton space.Click To Tweet

If you’re more of a visual person, draw or color. Let your mind enjoy some time away from planning and relax. You’ll be amazed at the self-discovery that occurs when you give yourself a little freedom.


There are major benefits to our new identity as mothers. But that doesn’t mean that we should drop all of the wonderful aspects of ourselves that brought us here. Nurture all of your facets and you will shine!

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3 Uplifting Ways to Overcome a Motherhood Identity Crisis | Reining in Mom


  1. So important to take care of yourself. I got a haircut with no kids last week. Hadn’t been cut in maybe a year. I left feeling like a new woman. We really need this tiny pick-me-ups to keep going

    1. That’s a great idea! It’s been too long since I got my hair done too. When going to Costco alone starts to feel luxurious it’s time to branch out! 😀

  2. So important. Your identity shouldn’t disappear just because we’re now moms. I love being a mom more than anything, but I do have to remind myself, that I’m not ONLY a mom.

    1. Yup, kids can just kind of take completely over if you let them! They are wonderful and sometimes they do require total focus but just getting away once in a while to reflect and enjoy outside interests is so refreshing! And it ensures we keep growing just as fast as they do 🙂

  3. There are days where I forget that I am more than a mom. I posted something on FB the other day about being the person that only has friends when I ask them to do something and it was like people came out of the woodwork saying I want to hang out, except they don’t have kids so of course they were like HAPPY HOUR and I cringed. But then I remembered I still need that time and really should just go to HH.

    1. Oh I hear you. I definitely have those days too. And you’re right, you probably should just hit up happy hour. I don’t even drink and I still hit up my mother’s club happy hours because I need to talk to people and remember how to have conversations on the regular. Plus it reminds me that I am funny and interesting when I have more to talk about than grilled cheese and poop! So get out there and let me know how it goes!

  4. It is so true that it doesn’t take much to get ourselves feeling like more then just mom’s, again. Taking this time to do so, personally helps my mental health and makes me a better mother. Great read! Thank you for writing!

    1. Thanks Emily! I totally agree. I am such a better mother if I have outside interests and reflect on why I’m working so hard on this whole mothering and personhood thing regularly. Otherwise it just gets lost in the shuffle, and I get lost there too. What do you do to get back to feeling like yourself?

  5. This is all so true! My son is 6 months old and up until 1 weeks ago I was a stay at home mom. I finally got back into waitressing and it’s really helping me connect with my pre-momma self. I love meeting new people and really engaging with them! I hope to find ‘melody’ still underneath all that ‘momma’! =) Thanks for this post!

    1. The self-reflection is definitely one I didn’t do enough of starting out as a mom. But it really helps to get some perspective and see where I want to steer my ship, instead of just paddling all the time!

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