I’ve found myself asking this question a fair few times over the last few weeks and to be honest I’m really not sure I actually know the answer at the moment.
Obviously, I’m a Mum to Rory and I know that that is one of the best roles I could ask for, one which I will never take for granted. And let’s be honest under that title of Mum comes a plethora of other roles including nose wiper, sick catcher, queen of the washing machine, silly face extraordinaire, speed showerer and of course cold tea drinker! This list goes on. I mean, right now, I could probably win Britain’s got Talent with my skills at Nursery Rhyme singing.
But apart from defining myself as a mum I feel like I’ve lost my way a little bit at the moment, like I need to find my identity again and start loving being me again not just being a mum. Essentially, I think as a new mum (can I still call myself that after 9 months?) it is hard to find a balance between your new identity and the person you were before children.
So other than being a mum, who am I?
I am a friend.
Maybe that should be reworded to – I am the one who has recently turned in to a pretty rubbish friend. This definitely hasn’t been on purpose and I know most of my friends are pretty understanding about this new status as a lame friend. One example is that I have become that person who is absolutely rubbish at replying to messages – usually because I’ve read it, started replying, then had to stop in order to retrieve my child from eating a magazine or throwing himself off a chair. In the process of doing so that little message flies happily out of my brain only to pop back in days later. By which time it’s pretty useless! Add to this the fact that I have also become the friend who struggles to see everyone, who regularly bails on social events and who struggles to have a conversation that isn’t baby related, and it’s really not looking good.
I’m a primary school teacher
So I suppose this is the one that is the most relevant right now as I face that dreaded return to work in the next few days. I do really enjoy working with children and I can’t really imagine doing a job that doesn’t involve children so I guess this is a part of me. But I definitely don’t want work to be the thing that defines me as a person, previously I have spent every hour of every day working on planning, marking, creating resources and this is not a habit I want to end up falling back in to. As a result, when I do return to work, I know work life balance is something I desperately need to work on to ensure ‘me’ doesn’t become solely work based.
I am someone who likes to try and shop small and seek out unique items to buy.
At the moment, this predominantly consists of an abundance of amazing clothes and accessories…for my baby. Unfortunately, this leaves me with mainly holey leggings and faded tops from before I was pregnant. I can usually be found rocking undyed, unstyled hair twisted into a quick mum bun, jeans which are slightly too tight, a top with a lovely snail trail smear of snot across it (from my child who decided straight after I got dressed that I would make a good tissue, not knowing it was the only clean top I have left) and eyebrows which need a blooming good wax. But hey, at least Rory always looks blooming amazing!
I am a planner and organiser.
More specifically I’m the sort of person who loves having a focus or a project to work on. Before I was pregnant it was my weight loss, during pregnancy just getting Rory here was enough of a project for me (with a bit of added nursery planning thrown in). Once he was born I started planning his christening; making lists, planning a theme, designing invitations, sending invites, planning decorations making metre upon metre upon metre of bunting, sorting outfits – perfect for giving me a focus. However, since his christening I haven’t really had something to focus on, apart from going back to work which isn’t quite the focus I’m after.
I could go on, but I think the above is probably enough. As the evidence appears to suggest, I’m doing a fairly rubbish job of being all the things that I could safely say that I was pretty good at pre-Rory. So where does that leave me? Please don’t get me wrong, I truly am embracing my new role and I genuinely love being a mum, I just need to reconnect with me as a person too. I think one of the reasons I finally started blogging was to get all my thoughts and rambles down somewhere in the hope it would give me a bit of a helping hand in finding my new identity – pushing me in the direction of being someone I want to be. Hopefully, slowly but surely, I will start to discover exactly who I now am and pull myself out of this odd new mum identity crisis.