You, Your Identity & Motherhood
Becoming a mum is one of the biggest changes you, as a woman, can experience in your life. The problem is, no matter how much you prepare for it, the shift in gear can still make you a little bit wobbly. The thing is, this wobble is normal and actually... to be expected! Your entire world has changed (sometimes out of all proportion) so it figures there has to be a period of time to get used to it. However, knowing it might be temporary doesn't always make it easier. This wobble can last weeks or months or, as I've discovered, years. I had a lot of support when I became a mother - and I still wobble, but I know a lot of people don't have this. People also have different experiences related to religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or even isolation from family, amongst many other dynamics, which can seriously intensify this wobble! My clients, of all ages and backgrounds, who have older, and fully grown children, tell me the wobble doesn't just go away when your children are grown either - it's ongoing. It's all quite overwhelming, which is why I wanted to see if we could figure some things out and find a little stillness.
So what is this wobble? Why does it happen? Why do you have a constant feeling of uncertainty in the pit of your stomach? I believe it's mainly due to one change...
...your connection with yourself
But don't worry! I believe it doesn't have to be a permanent change...
Disclaimer... yes this photograph is me and my lovely kids... who were lovely for about 6.5 seconds for the benefit of this photo then proceeded to fill my clothes with wheat and started complaining about being hungry and trying to run home... on their own... Thank You Sally Jubb Photography for capturing this sacred and fleeting moment
If you were like me and living a fairly wobble-free life prior to becoming pregnant, then you might have had a career, plans for a career, or a life full of plans in general! You might have been on a health kick or had a social life that people were envious of. You possibly didn't plan to get pregnant; or you could have been one of many trying to get pregnant, so seeing that positive result for the first time created such happiness that you could barely contain it; or maybe this was the moment you had been waiting for since you made that decision to adopt! Regardless of the time preceding, that moment you found out you were going to be a parent was the turning point...
“My Personal Input - My husband and I had only been married for 4 months when we found out we were pregnant with twins and we had been doing the opposite of trying... we hadn’t even thought about it! Thankful but still coming to terms with it 6 years later...!”
...how do we disconnect?
So a few months later you become a mother and something quite amazing can happen. I say "can" here because it doesn't happen with everyone (as I will explain), but what can happen is that you connect with this new being in your arms on a level you can't imagine. A bond is created between you and this little life that is there until the day you die... you start to live for them. Equally what can happen for some of us, is that we believe this change in emotions should happen but doesn't; we expect this fabled bond to magically appear and instead we experience... well... not very much. Another likely experience is that you are definitely feeling something, but it is definitely NOT what you're "supposed" to feel? Confusion, fear and isolation all wrapped up in utter exhaustion, how the Hell are you supposed to love and dote on something causing such anguish?! All of these scenarios can happen, all of them are normal (yes all!) and all of them can stem from this sudden connection with this new being. All occur when, paradoxically, you disconnect from yourself...
...why do we remain disconnected?
Honestly? It's easier to! You're suddenly surrounded by people who want to offer advice ON EVERYTHING... you start to doubt your own instincts... you're disconnected...
You're bombarded with food plans, weaning plans, development stages and expectations you should have of your little one, all the while meeting everyone else's expectations about you... you forget about your own ideas... you are disconnected from yourself...
It doesn't end when the child grows either! It gets worse! Now you have to assist your child in a competitive world at school, clubs, peer groups and more... meanwhile you can't remember the last activity you did that didn't involve laundry detergent!
All the while you are supposed to be the perfect house keeper, partner, organic Earth mother and preferably keeping hold of that amazing lucrative career, or at least making yourself useful in the eyes of society, and be an upstanding and engaged member of the community... because when you didn't have kids those were priorities... right?? Oh and let's not forget that for those of us who were pregnant we must try to look exactly like we did before we expanded to fit a whole 8lb baby in us! Was there not a time where we complained about having to go to work in 1 job!?? I'm sure I just counted 34 primary roles there... not one of which is entirely about the hopes and dreams of the mother for herself! Where have you gone in all of this? You have disconnected... from yourself.
It doesn't help that just when you think you are coping, you check Facebook and we see them (we've all seen them) and are exposed to their lives, affected by them at every turn - The Super Mums of Social Media!!
No matter what is going on their lives, they are amazing! Their kids are always smiling, their husbands or partners always adoring, their careers in full flight and they ALWAYS look gorgeous!!! They are NEVER negative about anything!!! Now I'm not going to sit here and say that what you are looking at on Facebook is or isn't a real depiction of those women' lives; for all I know it is, and if so I am happy for them. Instead I would like to help you understand that what you're allowing yourself to feel, when you compare yourselves to them, is a disconnection from who YOU are and what YOU can be, so please...
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO THOSE WOMEN!!!
You cannot and never will be those mums! You will never have those exact children, be with that exact man (or maybe you will but that's a whole different topic for discussion...), never have their exact careers, or life structure, and live in their life! Why? Because you are YOU! You have your own beautiful family, of your own unique size and character, with your own aspirations and dreams. You have your own likes and dislikes and even if you are an identical twin of one of those super-women, you are still unique inside and probably out. This is a GOOD thing!
I believe that Motherhood need not define you... You can reconnect to yourself and find harmony in being you...
If motherhood is all you have ever wanted I am so happy you have found it. Please just remember you are no less of a mother if you spend some time on you too! This doesn't mean you need to start a business or have a career or be seen to do anything. I mean just allowe you to spend time on YOU.
I believe in you... I believe in your dreams...
Look where you are... you are already believing things can be better, even if things are good already. How do I know that? You're HERE and reading this. Something made you want to read this web page today. Maybe you were feeling lost and needed to feel more... well... found. Maybe you were feeling pretty good to start with but now feeling better or more motivated. Regardless I hope you now believe that what you're experiencing is normal and feel better understood. If this is what you needed to read today you're already on track to reconnecting with yourself! Even if you were just interested in this blog title and had never even thought about finding those sacred minutes in the day for you and your personal growth, I hope you are now thinking about it. Studies have shown that mothers who spend time on their own well being and self-development, transfer these values of self-care on to their children and ultimately create a happier home!
I believe you can have whatever you want in life...starting NOW!
If you believe you are ready for change then this could be a new beginning! Working with me on a 1-to-1 basis, using coaching and NLP, can be the start of something incredible and different.
Why? Because we are in it together for YOU! Together we can look at ways to help you and Motherhood work at it's best all the while letting you blossom into the best version of YOU! Contact me today to organise a complimentary consultation to learn about all things coaching!
Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist or doctor. If you believe you are suffering from depression, post-natal depression, anxiety or any other mental-health issues you feel are impacting your life, please first contact your doctor.
Start with you... the rest will follow
Copyright © 2017 Caroline Kirk