by Brittany Holst — Becoming a mother has been an amazing experience, one that has brought about major changes in my life.
According to “Losing Yourself, Finding You: Motherhood and Identity,” published on the Holistic Mom Network, “crossing into the world of motherhood can be filled with joy and excitement, but it may also be a time of transformation and loss of identity for women.”
As women, we experience emotional and physical changes during the stages of carrying a child and even after giving birth.
The biggest change for me was making the adjustment from “it’s all about me” to “it’s all about my baby.”
I was use to focusing on me. I would hang out with my friends at a drop of a dime and, if I wanted, sleep all day. Now, I am responsible for a little one who depends on me to love, care for and protect for years to come.
Motherhood has afforded the opportunity to quickly learn that it’s not all about me anymore and that my needs have become second to the demands of my child.
I plan everything, and all of my thoughts are about what is best for my child. It has brought about a new sense of compassion, love and understanding that I never knew existed, but welcome with open arms.
There are days when I wonder if I’m doing the right things as a parent. And, when I look at the smile on my daughter’s face, I think, “I’m doing an amazing job!” Remember there is no blueprint for motherhood and every parenting experience is different.
I have heard of people having identity crises after childbirth, but it wasn’t until after the birth of my child, that I understood what that meant and how it can affect a new mother.
When I go places with my child, for example, people immediately acknowledge my baby; then speak to me. It can make one feel as though they no longer matter as much. It is nothing personal; people just get excited about babies.
Talk about identity crisis: Another big change was me not feeling like myself and dealing with the weight I gained during pregnancy. Social media can have one thinking you can have a baby and your body along with everything else immediately bounces back to normal.
I ask myself what is normal? Well, for me, it is now defined as embracing the new me while constantly working out and being conscious of the food I eat to get back into my cute pre-pregnancy clothes. I understand that everything is a process and takes time.
My daughter, Niah, is a year old now, and I love the experience I am having. I cherish her growth and development and watching her personality blossom. The moments are precious and treasured beyond measure. With all of that noted, I have learned to take time for myself – the “me time.”
After I put Niah to bed, I enjoy taking a relaxing bubble bath with candles and having my iPad nearby for watching movies. I also enjoy meditating and reading. It’s moments like that, that help me create serenity within. Occasionally, I even get to hang out with friends.
How do you find of the balance of taking care of yourself, your household, maintaining relationships with friends and spouses at the same level as before?
My answer, or rather what has helped me, was to embrace the changes, pray about it, prioritize and talk to someone you trust. When things become overwhelming, reach out to a friend or family member to watch your baby while you get some “me time.”
Being a mom is a transition, but you do not have go through the changes alone.