3 Ways to Reclaim Your Identity When Motherhood Steals it Away

In my new book, Whose Shoes Are You Wearing?, I specifically talk in detail about my own struggle with identity theft due to motherhood. It’s something that a lot of moms can relate to. But it becomes a crisis when we don’t know how to deal with it, or when we simply choose not to deal with it. Motherhood is a beautiful thing, and I’m willing to bet that your real name (the one on your birth certificate) is not mommy, mom, ma or mama. So this is why I love this post from Nicole because losing your identity is one thing, but understanding and learning how to get it back is another.

NicoleWalkerThe following post was written by Nicole Walker. Nicole is a working mother of 2 toddlers residing in Chicago, IL. In her spare time (or what used to resemble it), she enjoys  entertaining, knitting, reading, and being outdoors.  She loves being a mom and is committed on how to strike balance between Mommy, Wife, and Me!  She is passionate about reclaiming her social life and helping other moms do the same.  You can connect with Nicole at MomMe Maven.

Yes, I am a victim of “mom-dentity” theft. My diagnosis of identity theft is the result of becoming a Mom! You see before I became “Mommy” I was “Nicole”. Nicole enjoyed going shopping, going to the movies, out to eat, traveling, community service, knitting, book clubs, wine tastings, triathlons, and half marathons! It didn’t matter if I was married or single because my boyfriend or husband would give me the space to do the things that I enjoy. But when I became Mommy, my time had to now be shared with my two beautiful babies. Don’t get me wrong I love being a Mommy, have always wanted to be a Mommy and would even have more kids if money was not a constraint. However, I did not know that I would lose so much of myself in the process. Children require love, attention, and most importantly time and once you give them your time you have little for yourself.

Not only have I had the epiphany that time for myself would become a precious commodity, but my single girlfriends have forgotten about me too! It is not that they do not want to be friends anymore. It is not that all, but when I became a mom my invitations from my “non-mom” girlfriends to go out and have dwindled. I find myself having to constantly remind them that “hey I still like to do x, y, and z” and “don’t forget about me”. At first it made me sad, but then I realized that they have just innocently assumed that I do not have time to go out either.

I am a mom who does not want to be so consumed by motherhood. I want to always be intentional about nurturing the “non-mom” side of me. I do not want play dates become my new social norm. I don’t want to feel resentful towards my job, husband, kids, household and any other person or activity I can find blame in taking away my free time. No one else is responsible or accountable for our happiness and sanity as moms but us. So I have three steps to combating being a victim of “mom-dentity” theft:

Step #1: Become the “hostess with the mostess”.

Coordinate activities with all your girlfriends (mom and non-mom) at least once every couple of months. Be it a brunch or a cocktail; engage with them with some regularity so that you can reconnect.

Step #2: Do what makes you happy.

Find a class or an activity that you can really get into and use that hobby to escape to when you can decompress.

Step #3: Have grace with yourself.

Accept that your life has changed and will never be the same. Do what you can to take time for yourself but don’t be resentful of not having the time you used to. Embrace all of the ups and downs of motherhood as a blessing and enjoy it! Life is short!

Have you ever been a victim of identity theft due to motherhood? What helped you find yourself?

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