As soon as the pregnancy test kit comes back positive, you know your life is going to change forever. But do you even realise, at that point, how much is it going to change? How much of yourself are you going to lose in this process of becoming a Mother? Do you even remember what your life was before you became a mother? It is very important to try to recreate a new identity after Motherhood. Motherhood and me(Priya) have had to walk side by side and thereby create a new identity post childbirth.
Early days as a mother
I found the first year of motherhood extremely hard. A 24- hour responsibility of a baby, feeding, changing nappies, sleepless nights, being at home all the time- loss of working life – was just too much to take on. In the first few weeks of birth, a new mom has not only to get used to idea of looking after the baby, breast feeding, but it is equally important for her to have a balanced nutritious diet and a proper rest. Also hormonal havoc a baby causes to a woman’s body has to be dealt with as well.
Simple things like taking a shower, going for nature calls in peace are impossible most of the times! If you can complete at least one meal day without any interruptions that would be a treat!
Next few months
In the next few months as a Mother, You will slowly try to figure out your baby’s schedule, bond with her, cuddle her as much as you can. You might even forget about the outside world or what it looks like. You would have also probably forgotten the timings of all your favourite programs on the television.
At 6 months upto 1 year
At 6 months, you would probably start developing boredom but you will be distracted when you start putting your child on solid foods. A new challenge! By the time your child is one year of age, the weaning would have been established, your child would probably be drinking milk out of a cup or you and your spouse would probably have moved your child to his/her bedroom.
What you would have not realised in this past one year is that your life and your time has become so dependent on the needs of your child, that you have nothing else to do, nothing else to think. You only know yourself as the Mother of your child!
It gets worse in the second year
Things turn for the worst when you do not go back to work after your maternity break. Your child is the centre of your world. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, feeding are the only jobs or hobbies you have! Even if you do get a chance to watch your favourite television program, you will either fall asleep during the program or you will feel guilty for watching the program instead of doing laundry or making fresh meals for your child!
First day at the Nursery
I put my children in the nursery at the age of 20 months. The first few months, I had no clue what I should do during the time they were in the nursery. I would miss them but also be relieved that I could do something of my own or relax my overtired body.
My brain was dead
After my younger one started going to the nursery, I slowly started realising that my brain had ‘died’ after child birth. Every time I decided to think, what I wanted do in my spare time, my brain cells just wouldn’t budge! Therefore, I decided to go for walks to refresh myself and bring my brain back to life! Slowly but surely, I started losing weight, my stamina increased and I remembered who I was before I became a Mother .
At the same time I also started meditating which increased the movement of my brain cells, and I realised that I would HAVE TO recreate my identity now. Since it was impossible for me to return to work on account of ‘no help’ in looking after children as well as high childcare costs, I would have to do ‘something of my own’ from home!
Before I could figure out what I wanted to do, I also started realising that I need to look after myself. This included small but vital things to keep myself sane. Silly things like getting my eyebrows done regularly or a haircut or even going out for a couple of hours on my own during the weekend, when hubby could look after kids. Mind you, this was very difficult for me. I couldn’t leave the house without my hubby literally pushing me out! I just couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything without my kids!
Recovering or recreating your identity
A stay at home mother starts recovering her identity once the kids go to school. But this is again a continuous process. A woman has to remember what she likes to eat or what her hobbies are. It is tough and many times(most of the times) a woman will always put her children before her. But this has become a part of her new identity now. She now does something of her own, maybe a hobby or a part-time job or run her own business when the kids are at school. She becomes a mother again as soon as school is finished!
Even though a woman loses her identity after childbirth and recovers part of it every day as her children grow into adults, she is satisfied and fulfilled with the duty the universe has honoured her with!
When your child is very young (under the age of 5), do not worry if you have forgotten yourself. You will regain or recreate your identity as soon as the child starts going to school. You still have got the rest of your life to resolve your identity crisis. But these precious beautiful moments with your beautiful baby/toddler will never come back again!
Are you a Mother? What are your thoughts on motherhood? Get in touch via comment box below!