Feedback .005: On Motherhood & Identity

 
Thank you for your post on motherhood. It really got me thinking because so much of my identity has become bound up in motherhood. I had hyperemisis during my first pregnancy and had to leave my dream job as a writer/editor for Anthropologie (after leaving my career as a lawyer to pursue it). I think I sort of redefined myself through the lens of motherhood because I had to give up a lot for it. I truly love motherhood and helping mamas is my passion, but I have lost touch with some of the things that really defined me before I had my daughter. This was a good reminder (albeit a bit uncomfortable) that I’m a person outside of this role. As a stay at home mom, I think it is even more likely to become absorbed into it wholesale in a way that isn’t aligned with our true expression of ourselves.
I also became closer to my mom after having kids. We never saw eye to eye before. I always thought she never understood me and then I became a mom... and realize it was I that didn’t understand her. Becoming a mom put a lot of things in perspective. Being mom is such a big piece of what we are as women, but it isn’t the only thing we are. It’s easy to get consumed by motherhood!
I’m with you — so many times people ask me about first my kids then my husband. They rarely ask me about how I’m doing or what I find interesting or noteworthy. I feel reduced to their spokesperson in those moments.
I love this too and hope have the same approach if I become a mom! One of my biggest fears about motherhood is losing myself, so the way you live this philosophy is so reassuring. I’m sure I’ll have to constantly check myself because I tend to worry a lot and be a bit of a perfectionist, but I think being too overbearing, even if it’s out of love, can sometimes backfire. I also love your “secondhand only” rule.
Motherhood is awesome, and I’ve met so many great moms and joined a lot of mommy groups. But, it also comes with a lot of pressure and stress. Your posts reminds me not to put too much pressure on myself as a mom - and a human.
I love your perspective on motherhood. It helps calm my own HUGE fears of becoming a mother and losing myself and everything I love about my life. Without role models like you I don’t know that I’d ever be brave enough to have kids (even though I have always wanted them!) because 99% of the places you look tell you that your kids should always be the sole focus of your life and if they aren’t you’re a bad mom. You are helping to change that stigma!
I appreciate what you said about taking the mom title lightly. I wish someone told me that sooner. It took me 7 years to have a second baby because I was afraid I’d fall behind in my career, stuck with mom duties. Obviously life has taken a sharp turn in a different direction and this journey is way more exciting!