You’ve got a family and you’re thrilled to be a mum. But what if you miss the person you were before? Here’s how to reconnect with YOU
Once upon a time, you had a busy social life, hobbies, time to devote to family and friends. But now you’re a mum, you spend every waking minute putting other people first — entertaining your kids, feeding them and making sure they’re safe.
And when you’re not doing that, you’re holding down a job, keeping on top of finances and doing the housework.
It’s little wonder then that sometimes we all forget that we used to be a person in our own right, a person with likes and dislikes, who enjoyed ‘me’ time.
Being a parent is a privilege and one that we should never take for granted. But is it OK
to admit that you miss the person you once were?
Jessica Chivers, author of Mothers Work!, says: ‘Some people are open to change and others find it harder. Even if your child was planned, that change can be difficult to adjust to.’
Jessica believes that having family support around is the most important factor in helping a mother stay in touch with the person she was before.
But problems can arise when the support network is not there.
She says: ‘If you have support and help with childcare, it enables you to lead aspects of your pre-child life. If you don’t, the buck stops with you.’
The things we did before parenthood helped define who we were — whether we had a huge group of friends we went out with, or a busy work life.
When you no longer do the things that you felt defined you, you can lose your way.
Jessica says: ‘Before, your wider world might have included work colleagues, friends, acquaintances. But if you aren’t able to see those people any more, your world shrinks.’
She explains that feelings of despair at losing the person you once were can manifest in many different ways.
‘For some women, they might withdraw from things they like doing or even fall into depression,’ she says. ‘Others might start overspending on things they don’t need because they think it might make them feel good.’
But there are benefits to this huge change in your life.
Jessica says: ‘Sometimes you can find a “new you” when you become a mother. You might develop new friendships and realise you don’t want to do all the things you did before — such as boozy nights out or parties.
‘You might find that you like getting up early and making the most of the day, followed by an early night. Or you might try and join a gym instead. But you need the support of family or friends to enable you to do those things. It is support and the chance to have even an hour to yourself each week that can help you rediscover the woman you were.’
Edited by Julie Cook