A HELPFUL ARTICLE
Finding your “I”dentity in Motherhood
“When I reflect on that time and who I have become today, I realize it is SO EASY to lose your identity being a mom, a wife, and a professional.” Here is my truth: I never envisioned myself with a lot of children. I was never that girl who dreamed of every detail of her wedding day, or had to be married with a specific number of children by a certain age. When I met my now husband I was young, in my early 20s and living the dream in Boston. I was broke and stopping at the 24 hour bakery on the regular after a night of booze and dancing to 90s hip hop. I had my first big girl job working as a research technician in a lab for less than minimum wage, knowing full well I would be applying to either medical school or something similar. In time, he applied to medical school, I applied to PA school and so began our journey. During the years of my husband’s medical training, I worked full time as a physician assistant. I had been able to stay in the field of oncology during our 3 moves, and elevate to what I thought was the top of my game. I was the manager of my work unit and president of a national organization. I had been published in medical journals and precepted students. I worked hard and a LOT. And so did my husband. But when we left there, I was 36 years old, 36 weeks pregnant and exhausted. I was starting to feel the burnout from working long hours with sick patients and thought our final move would allow us to get a little rest in before the baby came. WRONG. My beautiful little monster decided to make an earlier than expected appearance, 4 weeks to be exact. I was overwhelmed, hormonal, emotional and alone…literally. We brought her home and I cried. I took a shower and I cried. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was in pain and out of control of my emotions. Right around the time I was making a turn for the better, she took a turn for the worst…COLIC. You’ve got to be kidding me. That baby screamed bloody murder for hours on end. We tried anything and everything..woombies (aka a strait jacket for babies), white noise, swaddles of every variety, pacifiers, oils, music, NOTHING worked. I spiraled into an anxiety and depression like none other. I could not take care of her…or me. I was painfully thin and completely unhinged. I couldn’t recognize myself or even resemble the confident woman I was once before. Slowly, both she and I began the healing process. She had a milk intolerance and formula saved the day. I had an amazing psychiatrist, lexapro and my family saved the day. I started to be patient and forgive myself. I started to find her smiling at me. I started to find humor again. But who was “Michele” now? Could I get back to being the woman, wife, and PA I was before. Who am I now? When I reflect on that time and who I have become today, I realize it is SO EASY to lose your identity being a mom, a wife, and a professional. To hide behind these titles and make excuses for why you can’t take care of YOU. To let self-doubt and other people’s opinions take over your mind. No, I am not the person I was before I became a Mom..I am different. I am better. I want to be MORE than any label that could be placed on me. I was in search of a new path that was purely my own, but that served others in a positive way. Some say you can’t do it all..I say bullshit. Focusing on my wellness first and helping others do the same through coaching has allowed me to realize who I am so I am a better mother, wife, PA and person.
Finding your “I” is not selfish..its a necessity. Below are some ways I slowly began to find my Momfidence and redefined who I am as a mother.
Personal Development. When I first heard of this I was like NO WAY. I am not a self-help kinda gal. But I could not have been more wrong. Through coaching I learned to integrate just 10-20 minutes of personal development a day started to slowly build back my confidence. Some of my favorites are: The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins, The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, and You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Find like-minded people. Surround yourself with positive people working towards similar goals. The haters and nay-sayers are out there. Screw them. Build healthy relationships with people that are just like YOU. My online fit-family does this for me every single day. We support each other, share our good days and bad, accept imperfection and move on. You can do anything alone…but you are more likely to do it with a partner. Self-care. This term is literally everywhere right now but it is so true. Mine is my 30 min workout every day, my facial every other month, and maybe a manicure or massage here and there. Indulgent? Nope. Necessary. So I can feel refreshed, sound in mind and body and let’s be honest..Pretty. We all want to bring our sexy back as women every now and then..so do it! You and your partner will thank you 🙂 Try new things. Experiment. I tried so many different things before I landed on coaching. In fact my sister sat me down and thought I was having a mid-life crisis. But it felt great to do things out of my comfort zone even if I failed at them. It was exhilarating and scary, but also fun. It can be something as easy as reading the bible, hosting a wine tasting or climbing a rock wall. It can be jumping into a new business, writing a blog, ANYTHING. Whatever it is, make sure it feels right and good to you, because if it doesn’t you won’t do it. Listen fellow mamas, this is NOT easy. It is so hard to give to yourself when you spend so much time giving to others. All I can say is think about YOUR “I”, not the one others think or want you to be. Not the woman before you had a child, the one you are now and want to become. Many things helped me, but coaching is the number one thing that got me here today. If you think it could help you too or you want to know more…you should follow me on Instagram or email me 🙂 I would love to be the one to help you redefine your “I”.