More Than ‘Just A Mum’

Mum sitting in front of a mirror more than just a mum

Becoming a parent for the first time is quite possibly the most overwhelming thing in the world. One minute you’re looking after yourself and possibly your partner, and the next minute you have this tremendous responsibility. You have this real life, helpless, totally dependent little human that requires all of your attention. And you have no time for yourself. It can feel like the old you has disappeared, never to be seen and the new you is just a Mum with greasy hair and clothes covered in baby sick.

My Story

At the start of my pregnancy, I struggled to get my head around the fact that I was having a baby. I was never maternal. I even admitted to not particularly liking kids that much. But here I was, pregnant and a little bit frightened. Life as I knew it was over and I was scared that I would never be ‘me’ again. What if I ended up being ‘just a Mum‘? Could I live with that?

I was determined. I swore I would never lose my identity. I didn’t want to turn into someone who didn’t care about what they looked like. That wasn’t me. As a new Mum, I chose the shower and hairdryer over much-needed sleep. Did that make me insane? Did it make me vain? Some might say ‘yes’, but I disagree. I did what made me feel good at the time. When your entire 24 hours of every day consists of the baby, and you feel like you’re going a bit insane, there is nothing wrong with doing something that makes you feel like your old self. If that meant jumping in the shower as my newborn took a nap, then so be it.

Being Mum And Being Me

I needed to feel like me. With all of those hormones making me happy as Larry one minute and at rock bottom the next, it was important for me to look in the mirror and see that the old me was still there. That I hadn’t lost her. It was important for me to find her and have a chat (sometimes in my head and sometimes out loud) about how things were going and how old me and new me were managing at the worlds most important job that had been handed out with no training whatsoever!

Most days I chose to be more than ‘just a Mum’. Most days I put some slap on and made my hair look nice and that made me happy. I covered up the bags under my eyes with copious amounts of concealer and I cooed over my baby with a smile on my face. He saw me happy because I was still being ‘me’. If I hadn’t have done those things I do worry that I would have lost a part of myself, which was something I could never do. I’d been ‘me’ for too long.

For me, if I’m only ever ‘just a Mum’, I’m never going to be the best version of me and in turn, I won’t be the best Mum I can be. It’s about getting the balance. If I’m not the real ‘me’, I won’t be happy.

Five Years Later

I’m five years into my ‘Mum’ journey now. Still winging it most days but I am still me and I am still true to myself. I don’t go out much, I will admit. But I have nice hair (at least I like to think I do!) I get my nails and eyelashes done and most importantly I still see the old me when I look in the mirror. I have a few more lines these days admittedly, but by doing these things, I am still me. I am more than ‘just a Mum’. I am Jaki.

 

We Are All More Than 'Just A Mum' Quote

 

Be The Best Version Of You

Yes. As Mums and Dads, we have the most important job in the world but it’s so important to remember that we are still a person. ‘Mum’ or ‘Mummy’ isn’t what’s written on your birth certificate and it won’t be the only thing inscribed on your headstone. You are you. You always have been and you always will be.

A face full of makeup and nice hair isn’t for everyone and that’s absolutely fine. But it was my thing. It was what I needed to do to feel good about myself. For some, it might be a workout. For others, it might be getting lost in a book and for the next person, it might be getting that all-important sleep when they can to feel more with it when they wake. We are all different and that’s what makes us amazing.

 

A lot of new Mums suffer from Post Natal Depression and I don’t want anyone who has suffered to read this and think ‘but it’s not that easy’. I understand that it isn’t that easy for everyone. I was lucky in that I didn’t get PND, so please understand that I can only write this from my perspective. This is by no means meant to make anyone feel bad about themselves.

 

Be you. Be wonderful you. Be more than 'just a Mum', so that you can then be the best Mum that you can possibly be. Click To Tweet

 

It might take time to work out what you can and can’t do to make you feel like more than just a Mum but it’s so important that you do. You owe it to yourself and those around you.

 

Were you like me after your baby was born? Did you cling on to a part of your old self or did motherhood take over? Perhaps you struggled yourself? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 


 

 

You Might Also Like

Previous Story
Next Story

22 Comment

  1. Reply
    viewfromthebeachchair
    2nd March 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I try to balance being a mom and then being me. Not always easy but we manage! #thatfridaylinky

  2. Reply
    Zoe
    2nd March 2018 at 3:08 pm

    This is a lovely post. I really struggled at the beginning, I just didn’t want to let my old self go! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

  3. Reply
    Nige
    2nd March 2018 at 9:58 pm

    A very honest post a fab read Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

  4. Reply
    Jo - Pickle & Poppet
    2nd March 2018 at 10:35 pm

    I wish. When my first was born I completely lost myself. I was tired and cranky. My hair slung in a bun and a little make up applied. I struggled. I didn’t have PND I just struggled with what ‘me’ looked like and after many months it started to make sense. When my second came along I knew I didn’t want to lose me again. I prepared. I had a short bob cut in which was low maintenance and meant no mum bun and I put my make up on every day. Parenthood is strange but I quickly realised I couldn’t be just Mum, I needed to be me. #Blogstravaganza

  5. Reply
    Jo - Cup of Toast
    3rd March 2018 at 11:00 pm

    I think that it’s really important to retain a piece of you once you’ve become a mother, so that you’re still a true version of yourself. I confess that I regularly chuck my hair into a Mum Bun’ though and my wardrobe is in desperate need of an overhaul. Having three little ones I never seem to find much time to prioritise me, although I’m sure I could be better at doing that. Thanks so much for the food for thought, and for linking up with #Blogstravaganza 🙂

  6. Reply
    Memeandharri
    5th March 2018 at 12:26 pm

    I definitely struggled with being me when I became a Mum. 7 years later and I still do at times. I think that you do change when you have children but it is important to take time for yourself and still do things that make you happy. #familyfun

  7. Reply
    Pinkiebag
    6th March 2018 at 6:49 am

    Hi, thanks for sharing this honest post and highlighting PND which can still be seen a taboo subject. Glad to see that you can still be the old you and yeh for the slap for hiding those bags under the eyes #TriumphantTales

  8. Reply
    oldhouseintheshires
    6th March 2018 at 7:57 am

    This is such a truthful post. I found the early days so slow and boring (lovely too…) after a fast paced career. It’s a tough swap and you feel you have to enjoy it. Thanks for sharing. #triumphanttales

  9. Reply
    franbackwithabump
    6th March 2018 at 8:09 am

    You always look glam and definitely not “just a mum!”. I think keeping your identity is so important and was talking to a friend the other day about the same thing and how so many parents throw everything in to being a parent that by the time they’re in their teens they have no idea what to do with themselves anymore! #triumphanttales

  10. Reply
    passion fruit, paws and peonies
    6th March 2018 at 8:12 am

    About 5 years ago my children officially left home. I had a crisis of ‘who am I when I’m not mum?’. I wouldn’t do things any other way (my kids are kind and loving human beings) but it was a tough stage to go through. I would encourage my daughter to keep a little back for herself when the time comes. xx

  11. Reply
    Becki Svare
    6th March 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Being “mom” can be so overwhelming! Even as a mom of teens, it’s so important to be more than just “Jake’s mom”. #TriumphantTales

  12. Reply
    Navigating Baby
    6th March 2018 at 9:40 pm

    I totally get this. It wasn’t so important to me after my first two, but when I had the twins I really needed to be ‘me’ again. 4 babies in four years was a lot and I lost who I was. It is a process to get back there, but for me the first thing was losing weight, getting really fit and buying new clothes. Vain yes, but it helped me! #triumphanttales

  13. Reply
    Welsh Mum Writing
    6th March 2018 at 10:05 pm

    I think the key takeaway for me is being YOU, whatever that is.

    It could be taking some time to put on a bit of makeup or choose an outfit, or it could be taking some time out to read a book or sit in a cafe and have a coffee on your own. For me, that would be heaven! One of my key things to be more than a mum is to just have some time for myself. That’s important for me as an introvert.

    I constantly feel “on” and sometimes I just want to sit with a mug of tea and binge watch Parks and Recreation. I just need to enjoy the stillness and be okay just being me and not servicing anybody else’s needs.

    #TriumphantTales

  14. Reply
    Dad_Effect
    7th March 2018 at 8:35 am

    Thanks for sharing. As a man I can’t really relate but my wife and I collectively strongly believe in the importance of us being more than “mum and dad”. Watching horror movies after the kids are in bed is our thing. It feels a bit cheeky but is pretty much the antithesis of paw patrol so helps erode the feelings of just being parents.

  15. Reply
    The Queen of Collage
    7th March 2018 at 2:44 pm

    We certainly are more than mothers. For me I’ve enjoyed passing on my love for creativity to my eldest. #Blogstravaganza

  16. Reply
    Tammymum
    9th March 2018 at 5:43 am

    This is definitely important. I think I fell fowl of this by time my second cake along. Like you I tried really hard with my first to be me still but having another (very poorly) baby just 11 months later definitely got in the way of me. I suffered for it a bit truth be told but at the time it really was survival mode for all. I can gladly report that things are back on track now! Like you say it is so very important! Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  17. Reply
    A Life Less Ordinary
    9th March 2018 at 7:02 pm

    It’s hard getting the balance right isn’t it. I miss me but wouldn’t trade being Mum for the world 😁

  18. Reply
    aliduke79hotmailcom
    10th March 2018 at 9:02 pm

    I definitely lost myself a bit for the first few years of parenthood. But now I am looking and finding myself again, I paint my nails, wear makeup and the clothes I want, when mum’s are happy the kids see it.
    #TriumphantTales

  19. Reply
    Wendy
    12th March 2018 at 11:13 pm

    I definitely feel like just a mum these days. I had my first baby was I was 22, not long out of uni and I hadn’t really had much time to figure out who I was as an adult yet. My kids are now 4 and 1 and I still struggle some days with thinking that I’m just a mum and nothing else. I have suffered with pnd and I think those low moods have made the whole loss of identity feel worse. It’s great that you’ve been able to find a way of being the old you as well as mummy xx #triumphanttales

  20. Reply
    chickenruby
    14th March 2018 at 6:08 am

    I didn’t let mother hood take over, change or define me, it was just something that I did as the next stage and part of my life. I never suffered with PND but I have had depression and struggled with my identity, but that wasn’t by becoming a mum, that was with the kids leaving home and me wondering what I now do with my life having spent 25 years of it parenting #triumphanttales

  21. Reply
    Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...
    14th March 2018 at 9:10 am

    Several times I have felt ‘lost’ and like I had no identity except as a mum. Now I am better at focusing on having the children value me as a person rather than ‘just a mum’ #triumphanttales

  22. Reply
    Lisa Pomerantz
    21st March 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Staying true to you will be a great lesson for the little one! Congrats again, and #triumphanttales rocks! xoxo

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.