Change in identity
I would never had thought that having a baby would mean losing my identity (but do we?)
You see- at work I was a social worker, to my parents – I am a daughter and to my husband, a wife. But after having our first child – I didn’t have the slightest idea who I was.
Sleep deprivation, isolation, a constant stance of anxiety…..parenthood. I definitely didn’t feel like a mother – I didn’t feel in control (we will come back to control!) I didn’t feel like I could grasp that title as I was still learning it……..slowly.
My professional title was offically on hold (yet there were times where I yearned to return to work), I was still a daughter (wanting my mum to make everything alright), and yes – I was a wife, but our relationship felt different – it WAS dfferent.
I honestly believe that if you can be a parent – you can do almost anything.
Being a parent makes us a freakin ideal employee. You want something done? Sure I can do that plus a load of washing, dinner cooking and bath running.
Parenting is like starting a new job, from scratch, with minimal prior experience. It is going to take a few months to find your feet. A bit of time learning and remembering names, and mastering the art of changing a nappy in the dark!
Our relationships with our partners DOES change, as we now have different roles! We are parents! We come from different backgrounds and styles of parenting, it is going to take time to work out our roles with ourselves and then additional time to work as a team.
The lack of control is something which many people struggle with. Prior to parenting, we have a fair amount of control over our lives. Our sleeping routine, exercise, social outings, time with our partners, what music we listen to in the car, what we watch on TV. We have often come from a stance of knowing what we are doing, of mastering our roles, of understanding that 1 + 2 = 3.
And then we create babies, and for some – our worlds feel as though they have been turned upside down. From the lack of control over the morning sickness in pregnancy, to the lack of sleep and exhaustion we feel postnatally.
We adjust, we create routines, we gain a better understanding about priorities in life, we regain control.
In reflection, I feel as though my identity has changed and strengthened.
Yes, I am a mother and I am a daughter and wife and social worker and friend – but I’M A MOTHER – and that says alot – because parenting is hard.
If you need help in re-identifying who you are – there is help available at Internal Navigation, contact us.