A Mum Daily reader and new mum wrote to me this week: ‘I have to admit, no one can tell you what its like to be a new mum until you’ve been there. I had no idea. I have a dream baby, only fusses when there is something wrong like hunger and gas. But it’s just this weird loss of identity and lonely feeling that I didn’t expect to feel.’
Watching this interview on Weekend Sunrise, it didn’t surprise me to see that she’s not alone. Mums the likes of Beyonce and Jessica Simpson openly shared their journey of self-discovery in the light of motherhood and how it effects their own identity.
The most incredible experience of my life (having my son) was quickly followed by my own identity crisis, which was one of the hardest struggles of my life.
Leaving the workforce to become a full time mum forced me to face the reality that my identity had been formed around my career and not who I am as a person.
It’s nice to have organisations like The Sass, which provide a community for women in business, encouraging and empowering mums to get back into the workforce.
But I’ve realised that reclaiming my career wasn’t what I needed to find happiness.
My faith played a huge role in my journey of self-rediscovery.
A woman shouldn’t be defined by what she does 9 to 5 but by the legacy she leaves in her wake.
Being a stay-at-home mum was a life changing experience. After all, forming the identity of a little human being is probably the most important thing anyone can ever do. So, why do so many women feel they’ve ‘lost something’ when they leave a paid job to take up this ‘volunteer position?’
It highlights to me what’s wrong with society; we are defined by our dollar value; Our worth can be measured by our pay packet and our sense of achievement by what’s in our bank account.
Psychologist Hugh Mackay says: ‘How to live the richest possible life is to be fully engaged with the community that supports you.’
I believe a lot of mothers, myself included, struggle with the feeling that they have withdrawn from their community, especially in those first few months of motherhood, when getting out of the house is a major life event!
But perhaps we should embrace the idea that the greatest contribution we can make to our communities is to raise great citizens.
Bring a parent is the most underpaid job in the world, but it’s also the most important. We should define ourselves by the memories we create, NOT the dollars we make.
*Photo by Doriana S