• mamasmaternalhealth

Your new identity as a mother.

Updated: Sep 28, 2019

For some women, becoming a mother is something that comes very easily to them. Not necessarily in the way of maternal instinct, but in the way of identifying as 'mom'. Many women have strong identities outside of motherhood, whether it is being a business woman, athlete, adventurer, intellectual, etc, and they have a very hard time with this new identity or vision of themselves. Many cannot see these two visions co-existing and feel as though they need to give one up. Time is a huge factor in what a woman can and cannot do when her baby arrives and may seem inhibiting.

One of the biggest ways that women feel encumbered by the image of motherhood is that they now feel like they cannot set aside time for things they like doing or spur of the moment decisions/events. Maybe they feel like they will be tied down to some other person taking up all of their time. Another concern is making time for friends and family---being able to go to social outings and enjoy oneself without worrying about another person.

Many new mothers also have relationships with a significant other, which also requires time and energy. While, more often than not, this time spent can be rejuvenating, with a new presence in the mix, it can be a trying time in the relationship and hard to find quality time. However, it is still important to make sure that all relationships are healthy---not just between mom and baby. Partners can take some of the load off the mother and bond with the baby in many ways, which can allow the mother time to be herself.

The social mold that society pushes onto women can be a hard road to navigate for all women and their personal identities---because everyone is different. No woman will be the same as any other, and that also applies to mothering techniques. Every style is different but that does not mean there is a right or wrong way to be a mother.

Similarly, many women may feel as though they have a standard of how they want to be as a mother ---which may not be realistic. This pressure may cause unneeded stress for both mother and baby and may make a woman feel inadequate as both her previous identity and now mother.

Your identity as a mother does not need to completely take over from who you were before having a baby. In fact, your personal identity outside of being a mother is a great way to create a relationship with your child as they grow up. You are able to pass on hobbies or interests and knowledge. This is what will set you apart as a mother and will help you to uniquely parent and raise your child. While time for others as well as yourself is a very real concern, you may find that you are able to enjoy your friends and family with your little one, and that your family is just as excited about he/she as you are. They will want to get to know you as a mother as well as your baby and may give you a point to bond over. They can help your baby grow socially as well and give love and attention to your little one. Your community is your support system and they can help support your identity as a new mother.

Do not be afraid of losing yourself when you give birth---it may be a time that you really discover who you are. Many women grow in response to motherhood and learn things about themselves that they may not have known before. Motherhood is a journey and can be a beautiful experience for both you and your social circles--- as long as you let it.

Mamas Maternal Health can help you with this transition, to find out how check out our website!

Until next time!

Mikayla and Cassie

Mamas Maternal Health Registered Dietitians/Lactation Counselors

Photo by Anna Civolani on Unsplash

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