“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?
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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