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Did Motherhood Bring on an Identity Crisis? It’s Normal!

loneliness of motherhoodThe moment my son arrived it hit me. Suddenly I was immediately on-call, all-the-time breastfeeding, changing diapers, and comforting my little bundle of joy. I didn’t realize that my new “boss” would trigger an identity crisis that would change the path of my life and career forever. I became so much more aware of my identity, what I stand for, and what I wanted my life to be like. I wanted to provide a supportive environment for my child and be an example of a person who is comfortable in her own skin, with her life, and with her identity.  

Are you a new mom facing a similar identity crisis? I’m sharing the path I took to become comfortable with my identity as “Mom.”

  1. Determine what (if any) priorities have shifted for you. What things did you used to do that might not fit in your life as a mom? What things would you like to add to your life (playdates, classes, mom-groups, etc.) that you didn’t have time for before that you would like to make room for?
  2. Decide if your old lifestyle can fit in your new life. Ask yourself: does my old career still fit? Know that it’s totally okay to change your mind (I did!), but also okay to not change your mind. You have to do what is right for you, but take the time to measure and give voice to any priorities that may have shifted for you. Then, consider the financial implications and the path of your career trajectory in the context of the life you want to live and the time you want to have with your child. 
  3. Beware of burnout from juggling too many roles simultaneously. Mom, Career-Woman, Hobbyist, Partner, CEO of the House! As women and mothers, we are constantly juggling many hats. As we step into our new roles as mothers, juggling too many roles without creating space for each of them can lead to burn out quickly. Assess your time and be realistic about the number of things you can do. You may be surprised when the amount of things you used to do in a day isn’t possible anymore. Consider increasing your capacity by getting a little help around the house, ordering your groceries in, and getting childcare once in a while.
  4. Realize that being more conscious of your identity as a mother is totally normal! You will be reshaping and considering your identity throughout parenthood. And, it is totally possible to be an amazing Mom just the way you are! Of course, if you realize that there are things that used to fit into your life that no longer fit into your priorities, this is a great time to use this consciousness of identity to move towards a life, career, business, or prioritization of roles that brings you inner joy and outward vibrancy! After all, your children just want to feel your warmth and see you smile.

My identity-crisis hit me hard. I felt alone in this crisis until I started talking to other mothers. Guess what? We all face this moment in our own way. These moments allowed me to dig deep inside and realize that I needed to change careers to create more time to be at home with my child. I still have doubts, I still have fears, and I’m still on my journey making subtle shifts every day. What is important is that I know that I am creating a life that I am proud to share with my child. And, even more importantly, I am proud of who I am and what I stand for when I look in the mirror and face each new turn of motherhood.

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2 Responses to Did Motherhood Bring on an Identity Crisis? It’s Normal!

  1. Jen
    Jen January 15, 2018 at 8:57 pm #

    Thanks for sharing, Annabelle. As a part-time SAHM, I felt this way, too – I didn’t quite fit in at work anymore, and since I’m not completely a SAHM I didn’t completely fit this mold either. Your advice in this post is great!

  2. Annabelle
    Annabelle January 28, 2018 at 7:21 am #

    Thanks so much Jen! I’m glad you enjoyed the read!

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