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Finding Me: A Journey of Rediscovering Identity in Motherhood

Updated: Jul 24, 2023


Motherhood is an extraordinary adventure that overflows with infinite love, unforgettable moments, and the sheer delight of witnessing our children blossom. From the very first time we cradle our little ones in our arms, we willingly dive headfirst into the beautiful chaos that is parenting. However, amidst the immeasurable joy, many mothers face a bittersweet reality—the loss of their own identity. In this heartfelt article, I invite you to join me as I share my personal experiences, struggles, and triumphs in rediscovering my identity after becoming a mother.


Before we delve into the complexities of losing one's identity, it is crucial to acknowledge the immeasurable joys that motherhood brings. The unconditional love we feel for our children, the pride we experience in their accomplishments, and the sense of purpose they infuse into our lives are truly unparalleled. Motherhood transforms us, unveiling strengths we never knew we possessed.

Yet, amidst these joys, our sense of identity often fades into the background. As mothers, we tend to put our own needs and dreams on hold, pouring every ounce of energy into our children. We lose sight of the passions and interests that once defined us as our focus shifts towards nurturing and safeguarding our little ones.

I've personally grappled with the loss of my identity since the birth of my first child, over a decade ago. Reflecting on my journey, I've identified five main reasons that resonated with my own experience:


1) Sheer Exhaustion:

Caring for a new born can leave mothers feeling like zombies, running on autopilot just to make it through the day. The lack of sleep takes a toll on our physical and mental well-being, making it challenging to find the energy to focus on ourselves and our own interests. Personally, this was a difficult hurdle for me to overcome. I was never a great sleeper to begin with, but after having kids, it felt like I was consistently exhausted. At times, I even found myself overwhelmed by the exhaustion, struggling to keep my head above water. However, I discovered a lifeline when my husband and I attended a child sleep training course. It turned out to be the best investment we ever made! Not only did we learn about the science and psychology of sleep, but we also gained valuable tools to help our children learn to fall asleep on their own. It was a game-changer! Thanks to this newfound knowledge, all three of our kids now sleep like angels. While exhaustion may occasionally rear its head, the sleep training course became a catalyst for positive change in our lives.


2) Lack of Intellectual Conversations:

When motherhood becomes our sole focus, it's common to find ourselves immersed in a world of diapers, feeding schedules, and sleep training. Engaging in intellectually stimulating conversations often takes a backseat, leaving us yearning for meaningful discussions that exercise our minds and promote personal growth. I often felt disconnected from others, especially those without children, as I struggled to find common ground or contribute to conversations. This feeling of isolation even seeped into my relationship with my husband, as we seemed to revolve solely around our kids. In an attempt to escape this slump, I found solace in getting out of the house and meeting up with other moms for coffee. Just changing my environment and connecting with like-minded individuals provided a much-needed boost, reminding me of the vibrant, intellectually curious person I used to be.


3) Lack of Capacity for Self-Care:

As mothers, our time and energy are often devoted entirely to our children's well-being. This leaves little room for self-care, causing our own needs and desires to be set aside. Neglecting self-care can further contribute to a loss of personal identity, as our well-being and passions become overshadowed. Like many new mothers, I struggled to find time for even basic self-care activities, such as taking a shower. Recognizing this challenge, I turned to my support system for assistance. My partner, family members, and close friends became invaluable allies, offering to watch my child for brief periods so that I could prioritize my own well-being. Learning to ask for help and accepting it without guilt was a vital step in reclaiming my identity. By prioritizing self-care, we not only nourish ourselves but also set an example for our children, teaching them the importance of self-love and care. Between me and my husband, we make it a priority now to do things and take time for ourselves, collectively and individually.


4) Loss of Control Over Former Self:

Motherhood is a transformative journey that brings about profound physical and emotional changes. Our bodies undergo incredible transformations, and at times, we may struggle to recognize ourselves when we look in the mirror. Hormonal shifts and the unpredictable rollercoaster of emotions can leave us feeling like we're constantly swinging on an emotional pendulum. This loss of control over our former selves can be disorienting and profoundly impact our sense of identity. Personally, I experienced a deep sense of detachment from my own body. I felt like a stranger within myself, grappling with unexpected fluid leaks, changes in my physical appearance, and a whirlwind of ever-changing emotions. This loss of control even seeped into my relationship with my husband, as I found it challenging to articulate the depth of my experiences. It seemed as if I was constantly overwhelmed with feelings of frustration and anger towards him and the world around me. Overcoming this aspect took time, and it was a journey marked by pregnancies and miscarriages that I won't delve into here. However, I can confidently say that with time, rest, and the unwavering support of my loved ones, I was able to overcome these challenges.


5) Linking Identity and Self-Worth to a Career:

In society, career achievements often take center stage as a yardstick for measuring worth and identity. However, when motherhood necessitates stepping back or temporarily pausing our careers, we may find ourselves questioning our own value and self-worth. The societal pressure to equate success and identity with professional accomplishments can intensify this internal struggle. In my personal journey, this was the most profound factor contributing to my loss of identity. I encountered significant career setbacks, such as a demotion after my first maternity leave and having my position made redundant before returning from my second maternity leave. These experiences hit me like a tidal wave of failure, magnifying all the doubts and insecurities I had battled within myself. I spiraled into a deep pit of depression and self-doubt. Thankfully, my husband recognized the challenges I was facing and provided his utmost support. Together, we embarked on a journey of self-discovery, uncovering a world of self-development courses and tools. These invaluable resources became instrumental in my transformation. I actively participated in workshops focused on career empowerment and engaged in personal growth seminars. I eagerly absorbed knowledge and strategies to navigate the obstacles that lay before me. These tools equipped me with practical skills and ignited a newfound sense of empowerment. Simultaneously, I sought guidance from a therapist who helped me delve into the narratives of my past, which were influencing my present self. Through introspection and reflection, I unraveled deep-seated patterns and beliefs that had held me back. This transformative therapeutic experience allowed me to release the grip of old narratives and cultivate new, empowering ones. In essence, I discovered the profound importance of self-love. I realized that the most significant relationship I had to nurture was the one with myself. This realization prompted me to embark on a journey of self-care, self-acceptance, and self-compassion. It became clear that loving and embracing who I truly am was the foundation upon which I could rebuild my identity. I continue to rely on these invaluable tools and teachings, understanding that self-development is an ongoing journey without a fixed destination. I embrace the idea that personal growth is a continuous process, and I am committed to nurturing my own well-being and self-love every step of the way.

During my growth journey, I discovered the immense value of having a support system in place. My husband, family, and close friends stood by me, providing unwavering support and encouragement. They celebrated my triumphs and lifted me up during moments of self-doubt. Their presence and belief in me gave me the strength to keep pushing forward. This path of self-discovery and personal growth was not a solitary one. I found that my loved ones were willing to embark on this journey alongside me. We engaged in deep conversations, shared insights, and challenged each other to evolve. The shared growth strengthened our bonds and fostered a sense of unity, making the process even more fulfilling.


Embracing vulnerability and authenticity became paramount on my path. Through therapy and self-development, I learned the power of opening up about my struggles and insecurities, both personally and professionally. By sharing my experiences, I found solace in the knowledge that I was not alone in my journey. It also created space for deeper connections with others who could relate to my story. Armed with newfound self-awareness, a toolbox of self-development strategies, and a support system by my side, I began forging a new path forward. I sought opportunities that aligned with my values, passions, and aspirations. Whether it was exploring entrepreneurial ventures, freelancing, new hobbies, and interests or pursuing a different career trajectory, I had the confidence to take bold steps towards creating a life that truly reflected my authentic self. This journey of self-discovery and personal growth continues to evolve, reminding me that as mothers, we have the power to redefine our identities and create lives filled with purpose, joy, and fulfilment.


I continue to engage in self-development courses, seek therapy when needed, and nurture the relationships that uplift and support me and my journey of self love. Each step forward is an opportunity to grow and redefine my identity as both a mother and an individual. Through self-development tools, therapy, and the unwavering support of my loved ones, I embarked on a transformative journey of personal growth. I learned to challenge and release old narratives, embrace vulnerability, and forge a new path that aligned with my authentic self. In the perpetual voyage of motherhood, we are bestowed with the extraordinary ability to metamorphose, forging new identities and crafting lives infused with boundless purpose, unyielding joy, and profound fulfillment. As we embrace this empowering truth, let us unite in celebrating the collective strength and resilience that define us as mothers, inspiring generations to come with the legacy of love and determination we leave behind. Together, let's inspire a brighter, more compassionate world for all.

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Saima Ekram-Vyas
Saima Ekram-Vyas
Sep 08, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

such a good read always x So insightful 💕

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I am deeply moved by your words. You have summarized what many of us have struggled with or still do. Thank-you for sharing your thoughts and experiences and for writing them in such a beautiful and moving way. Lots of love to you and I look forward to reading more.

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Guest
Jul 16, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

This heartfelt article deeply resonated with me, even though I'm not a mother myself. It eloquently explores the journey of rediscovering one's identity, particularly in relation to the link between identity and career. Your authentic sharing of your experiences and struggles touched a chord within me, as I too have grappled with questions of self-worth and identity in the context of my own career. These words serve as a powerful reminder that our value as individuals extends far beyond our professional achievements. It's a thought-provoking and relatable piece that invites us to embrace our true selves and find fulfillment beyond societal expectations. Highly recommended for anyone seeking insight and inspiration on the path to self-discovery.

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Guest
Jul 16, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Such a heartfelt account! Thank you for sharing your story with us! I'm sure all mothers can relate xxx

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Guest
Jul 15, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

A vulnerable account of the realities of a woman's journey into motherhood. Thanks for sharing. Its vital that others see this and understand they aren't alone

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