Who am I? A story of internal character conflict post-baby.
Originally posted Feb 1, 2018 on www.energised.life
This week, I’ve had a complete case of wondering who the hell I am.
Firstly, I’ve become totally obsessed with the soundtrack from “The Greatest Showman” – not only is the music incredibly powerful and moving, but it stars the rather lovely Hugh Jackman, who is neatly easy on the eye. (or as my friend now calls him ‘Huge Action’ – which always gives me a cheeky giggle). However, it has weirdly prompted a lot of reflection on my life at the moment.
Recently, I’ve become pretty frustrated with myself, I feel I’m fighting an internal conflict of ‘old’ me (pre-baby) and ‘new’ me (Mum!).
Before I had my daughter, I was a risk-taker, adrenaline seeker, someone who loved trying new things, meeting new people and flying by the seat of her pants. I hate stagnation, staying still in this world is something I just don’t enjoy. If I don’t feel I am moving forward in some way, it promotes a need for change in me and that feeling has been really strong recently.
Now, I feel a little trapped. Since having my daughter, I have these feelings of needing security and calm. Something that directly conflicts the way I used to feel and actually, it’s not the true me. So I’ve been battling with how to deal with this conflict and try to re-introduce those elements of my character that I really miss and that speaks to my own well-being. Equally, those new feelings are completely natural with a child in tow as you want to make the best possible future for that little miracle. So I need to find a way to accept these new feelings without compromise the spirit of me.
I recognise that having a child is life fulfilling for some. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter with all my heart and will do the best I can to be an awesome Mum, but for me, I need just that bit more of personal satisfaction with life that doesn’t revolve around her and I genuinely think, for me and my family this is the best role model I can provide for her. A Mum that is driven, forward-thinking and adventurous in life. That’s how I’d like her to see me.
Having chatted with a few friends about this, it seems a really popular issue. My daughter is now 27 months, we’ve gone through the all-encompassing “what the hell is going on?” time of newborn ‘bliss’ (to clarify, I didn’t see it as bliss!) and although this current stage is by no means easy, (I have a complete mini-me when it comes to attitude, so our battle of independence is just exhausting, but I know it will do her good in the long run) I do manage to get a little more time to myself. However, this has meant I have lost my way a little, I’ve gone back to university, whilst also trying to maintain a business – of which we are trying a new change in direction; oh, and we’re also looking at moving house. I’ve added a lot of stress and change to my life recently.
I’m having to re-evaluate who I am, I’ve ditched 60% of my wardrobe, had a few toddler tantrums myself and am convinced that Hugh Jackman is pining for me somewhere….
On a serious note, I see this in a lot of friends. As toddlers start to go to childcare or become more independent from constant attention, Mum’s are left with this feeling of loss. For me, it’s loss of character traits that I haven’t been able to exercise for years that I really miss. For some, it’s adult company, for others, it’s activity and for more, it’s simple connection to a loved one.
So how do I resolve this conflict? Honestly, I’m not really sure. I’m starting to use my time more wisely, taking a break when I feel low and allowing myself to accept those low moments as natural. I’m trying to put more bravery into my everyday activities and I’ve started working on a new project – helping business owners and entrepreneurs with branding and business ideas – something I’m really good at that keeps me creative. Most importantly, I’ve dedicated 2018 to the year of building my ‘Tribe’. It’s natural during the ‘having a child’ phase that people drift in and out of your life and you can get very caught up in ‘being Mum’, but people and social interaction is so important for well-being, especially mine. So I’m going to get out more, inflict my brand of personality on others and see who sticks! Mainly I’m going to choose activities I like doing to find like-minded people.
Have you felt this conflict of old you and new you? How did it make you feel and what did you do to overcome it? I’d love to hear your thoughts, please comment below!