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My Name Isn't Mum

When I was pregnant, one of my biggest worries was losing my identity once I became a mother. Quitting my job, leaving university, and moving away from my uni city made me feel like I was losing a lot of things that I define myself by. I didn't want to just be a mother. Just be a wife. I wanted my identity to be multi-faceted. Not just defined by my relationships.

My whole life, I had defined myself mostly by my academic record. I was that kid who would do extra homework just to get it back with an A on it. I lived for parents' evenings and school reports. I allowed my grades to define me so, when I left uni, I no longer had exam results and the accolades of teachers to boost my self-esteem. I wasn't a student anymore. I wasn't even a cashier anymore.

Now, 4 months post-partum, I don't feel like I have lost my identity at all. Becoming a stay-at-home mum has made me realise how superficial these labels we define ourselves by are. I am a mother. A wife. A blogger. A graduate. I am white, female, and working class. Not one of these things encapsulate exactly who I am because, like everyone, I am so many different things. My worry was that I would be put in the box of stay-at-home mum and that all the other parts of me would die off. I was worried that I wouldn't have time to have hobbies or any interests outside of raising Ava. I didn't want to become unfulfilled and end up resenting my role. But my worries were completely unfounded. Yes, I love being able to be at home 24/7 with Ava. I love how close we are and the fact that I get to watch her change and develop every day. I also love that I can have deep discussions about evolution and the relationship between science and religion with my husband and that the internet provides me with a way to learn about anything that I choose. And I love that I have this space to talk about anything that I want without being censored - I can talk about everything from the impact of social conventions surrounding motherhood to which primer gives me the smoothest base.

And, to any mothers out there feeling unfulfilled or underappreciated, I would say that you just have to grab life by the horns and make time for what interests you. Let your parents watch the kid for the day whilst you go see a play or go to a gallery. Fuel your interests because life is too short to be quietly resentful of how motherhood made you let go of your dreams.

1 comment

  1. I really loved this post because although I think I'm far off from being a mother, this is something I've worried about as well! I think a lot of my identity actually is in my name, so to just be called mum kind of scares me as well.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode


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