Mum Identity and Morning the Loss of Woman
Updated: Jun 2, 2020
Motherhood comes in many guises. There is no one size fits all. Your authentic version of motherhood is as unique to you as your fingerprints. It is also different to who you were as woman. Nobody warns you of this. Nobody gives you this as a suggestion to your struggle with feeling successful. Society conditions you to believe you can have it all as both woman and mother. Yet makes you feel motherhood makes you less than what you were as woman. Have the phrases 'mummy brain', 'it gets easier', 'it's your hormones' or worse a sideways whisper 'it's her hormones' been muttered in your presence? Have you used them yourself? Make a pledge to yourself today to stop accepting these phrases. You are so much more than before. Let your internal dialogue be full of love, kindness and positivity. Embrace your unique authenticity of motherhood. This is so much easier said than put into action. To get you started on your journey we are going to take a look at four key areas.
Dispelling the myth of mum identity.
It is time to shake off any and all preconceptions of what you perceive your motherhood identity should be. There is no perfect version of motherhood. Everybody's version of perfection is different. Society's version of perfection depends upon culture, location and class. You don't have to be any of these because they don't exist. What exists is your unique and authentic version of motherhood. You are the perfect mummy for your baby.
Mummy brain is neuroplasticity in action. Remembering the name of an everyday object can seem impossible and frustrating but reading the nonverbal cues of your baby is happening without you even realizing. Which is important to your role and identity as a mum?
The next times you blame baby brain ensure it is positive. That you can't remember a character's name in your favourite film or for one brief moment you went to put the dog food under the grill and the bacon in the dog bowl aren't negative events. They aren't signs of failure in your cognitive skill. They are signs that your mummy brain is functioning perfectly by pruning areas that aren't vital or required whilst heightening social cognition and empathy skills. The exact skills you need to ensure you and baby survive and thrive.
It gets easier implies that finding being a mum difficult is normal and acceptable. Being a mum is not easy and that is ok. Accepting that it is ok for you to be struggling is not. Accepting that it should be difficult is not ok either. Dispel this myth today. Shake of any aspects of mum identity that do not sit well or fit into your authentic self. Don't keep pushing through trying to make something work that simply isn't a part of your unique mum identity. Motherhood is one of the hardest things you will ever do but it is also the most joyous. Finding your unique authentic mum identity means joyous moments will outweigh the hard moments. How do you find your mum identity? By participation through being present in the moment.
Mourning the loss of woman.
When you found out you were pregnant and throughout your pregnancy you told friends that it would not change anything. You would still meet up and do the exact same things as before. The only difference being that you will have a cute little person with you or a sitter at home with baby. You truly believed this because you could not imagine anything different. Now baby is here and you are adjusting to motherhood you actually don't want to do the exact same things as before. A whole new world of opportunities and exploration has been opened up to you. This is great if you and your friends are at the same stage in your life because you can share them together. If you aren't then you may find your friendships alter. Look for the positivity in this. Life is about growing and experiences.
I have highlighted just this one aspect. Know that it is ok to mourn the loss of the carefree maiden and the altering friendships. It is also ok to make a date to spend time doing activities that you enjoyed as a woman or even regularly take part in an activity. Finding your authentic mum identity isn't about you letting go of your identity as a woman but becoming an improved version. You learn, unlearn and relearn throughout your life. You implicate into your life changes based on your experiences. Motherhood is one of the greatest experiences.
Celebrating the rite of passage of woman to mother.
Be proud of your new life stage. Celebrate your transition from woman to mother. Mothers are the cornerstone of society. You are raising the future generations. It depends on the success and wins of motherhood how successful global society will be in the future. Do not diminish or undervalue motherhood instead celebrate your rite of passage.
Embracing your authentic motherhood.
This is the key to you being able to mourn the perceived loss of woman. Celebrate your rite of passage into mother. Balance your identity of woman and mother. Become an improved version of woman.
Mum identity is not about focusing on mourning your loss of woman. It is about you celebrating your transition to motherhood. Bring with you the elements of woman that serve your authentic self. Using your experiences as woman to align what really serves you as a mother. Embracing these elements and discovering your unique and authentic version of motherhood. Be the best of yourself to give the best of you to baby.
Discovering your authenticity as a mum is a process and a journey. Just like getting to know your baby and learning their unique identity. Journey together knowing that as you nurture and guide baby you are also doing the same for your birth of mother. Enjoy the journey and know that through participation and being in the moment you will be exactly what you and baby need to thrive.
Love & Abundance,
Nixie — The Motherhood Mentor
All opinions published in this article are the author’s own