You’ve seen it. The constant memes, posts, t shirts, mugs, backpacks, bumper stickers and all kinds of other shit with “Mom” on it in some way or another. There are the nonstop posters on Instagram where EVERY post is about motherhood. I ask them in my head “what about YOU?”
I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve worn the mom jeans and had my hair in a bun for 5 days straight. I’ve focused on my kid so much that I didn’t purchase a new pair of pants for myself for years. I was so focused on her needs I didn’t realize that my own personal relationship with my boyfriend wasn’t serving me in any type of special way. I dressed like a mom would, I posted what a mom would post, I did all the mom things. The only way my cup was being filled was through my daughter. After I finally woke the fuck up, I started asking myself, “what about ME?”
I am naturally outspoken but for years this was dulled. Could it have been untreated depression? Well sure. It definitely could have been. I think the other thing that dulling it is was just not taking time for myself. Not speaking up because frankly, I just wasn’t thinking about myself. I think that this is damaging. We as women dull our own voices so often.
So, new moms, listen up: It is important to take time for you. It is important to leave the baby at home (preferably with someone unless you want to go to jail, yes yes, I know jail kinda seems like a vacation to you right now but I heard the food is only 1/5 on YELP). It is important to do the things that fuel you even when you’re tired. YOU are not JUST a milk supplying, baby bouncing, no sleep having, no sexy time having woman. You have needs beyond the people in your home and beyond the baby that depends on you.
The thing is, most people of an older generation will tell you, “Now that you’ve had that baby, it is alllll about the baby” First of all Susan, no it isn’t. I challenge you to push back on this statement. When you hear it, just tell them something along these lines “I appreciate what you’re getting at but I think the culture of not having an identity post baby is damaging and can lead to postpartum depression.”
We, as women, have a lot of pressure on us to be a great mom. We get a lot of advice and a lot of underlying shame around our choices as mothers. Don’t forget to fill your own cup so that you can give your best to your children!
So, on to my next point.
What describes me besides being a mom?
Writer: I write all the time. I carry around a moleskin journal with me everywhere I go in case inspiration strikes! Currently, I am working on writing a book. Likely, I will self publish a lengthy short story first!
Blogger: I write on my blog about a variety of topics that stay close to mental health. This fuels me. It is not only therapeutic for myself but I enjoy inspiring others to speak out about their struggles and share in the journey of healing. Back in the day, I thought I would want to be a therapist, turns out I have no ethics so this is not a career choice for me. (JK!) But I’d totally be like “Wow I’m sorry that happened, I love you”
Instagrammer: Yes, I am a self proclaimed Instagrammer. I set out to grow my Instgram following to directly produce more readers of my blog. So far, so good. I have grown from 300 followers to 2500 in 4 months.
Professional: I work in a corporate environment and I have a lot of responsibility in my job. I enjoy working and would never want to quit my job (unless I could blog from home making the same amount..Ha!)
Friend: I love being around my friends. They inspire a lot of content for me and support me in a multitude of ways. I love being a support system to my friends and inspiring them to be the best version of themselves.
What can you do today to include filling your own cup in your life? How can you regain your identity post baby (or way into motherhood with older children) by making the next best choice today?
Want to read about reclaiming your identity more? Check out 3 steps to reclaiming your identity post baby