Do you feel like you’ve lost yourself now that you’re a mom? Have you given up on most of the things you used to do, let go of what you used to love, and have trouble remembering who you used to be?
Really, really common mamas.
When your focus shifts to being all about your baby, it’s hard to remember who you were.
But it’s still in there, you are still there. You are still you, yet you are transformed.
You are YOU + Mama.
So how to integrate yourself (the YOU that you used to be) with your new identity as a mother? How can you hang onto yourself but still embrace your new identity as a mother, with all of its joys and challenges?
Step 1: Take Time to Let Go of the Past
Acknowledge that things are different now, and will never be the same again. The footloose and fancy-free days are gone. You will need to take responsibility in a way you may have never had to before. Many new moms feel stressed and overwhelmed and lost (even if joy and love are part of that package too).
Acknowledging and accepting your new reality can go a long way. If you need some time to mourn the loss of your past life, just let yourself feel the sadness. Allowing yourself to move through your feelings is the only way to truly move past them.
Step 2: Keep Doing the Things You Love
Whatever you used to do, keep doing it. Don’t stop painting. Don’t give up your yoga practice. Keep up contact with your closest friends. Whatever you used to do that brings you joy, lights you up, and energizes you. Keep doing THAT.
Yes, it will look different now. You may not be able to devote a whole Saturday afternoon to your art, but maybe an hour in the evening once or twice a week. You may not be able to go to 3 yoga classes a week anymore, but do a short practice in your living room with baby by your side.
It might not be the same, but continuing to do what you love will keep you connected to yourself and the essence of who you are.
Step 3: Embracing Motherhood and Your Intuition
Continue to be YOU as you navigate your new reality as a mom. Connect with your intuition (which is especially strong in pregnancy and new motherhood!)
Your intuition is such an integral part of you, it’s the only way to know what is truly right for you and no one else.
You may also find that motherhood has shifted your priorities and it may be time to let go of things from your past that aren’t serving you anymore. Pre-baby you used to watch 3 hours of Netflix every night? Maybe time to let that one go and do things that really fulfill you in the limited free time you have.
Connecting with yourself as you keep doing the things you love will allow you to have a firm foundation of YOU-ness as you explore and discover what it means to be a mother. Be gentle with yourself on the journey!
Following the above steps will allow you to hang on to yourself as you open up to your new reality and learn and grow along the way.
If you are struggling to hold onto the person you used to be while you embrace your new role as a mom, I can help. I offer individual and group counselling to mothers. Find out more here.
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Katherine Aucoin, Motherhood Counsellor
Hi Mamas! My name is Katherine and I'm a motherhood counsellor and a mom to two little boys. I'm here to offer tools, insights and support to help you be the best mom you can be for your children AND yourself.