Mama, Mum and Mummy are words we all want to hear our little ones say. A childs first words are magical there is no denying that. When they ask for you well those very words just melt your heart and wrap you up in a little blanket of fuzzy warmness. I remember when Sophia first started saying Mama and it was almost like some sort of confirmation that she wanted me, loved me and needed me. That may sound ridiculous of course your baby wants, loves and needs you. But there are times when they are screaming bloody murder and nothing you do can comfort them. Que super Dad who comes in and scoops them out of your arms and instantly the crying stops… It may feel like a slap in the face but trust me that squishy mini human still wants, loves and needs there mum.
We are all guilty of it, if you attend baby groups, when your child starts going to nursery and even throughout school you will be known as so & so’s mum, just as I am known as Sophia’s mum. Just as I do in work when someones parent comes to collect them. I told you we are all guilty of it!
Just imagine this, before you were a parent say you were invited out for a few drinks by someone from work. You just started working in this new job and it’s a great opportunity to get to know people. That person who invited you will introduce you by your name, “Hi everyone this is Sharon she’s just started with us!”. Now imagine you are taking your child to nursery for the very first day, everyone does that awkward stand around and smile like a fool at how cute every ones cherub is. Soon someone will strike up a conversation and you introduce yourself… “Hi nice to meet you I’m Sophia’s mum.” This could happen at playgroup, baby group, in the play park, basically anywhere. This is the moment my identity crisis started. I stopped being Sharon and became just Sophia’s mum.
Now I’m not saying I don’t want to be Sophia’s mum in case anyone thinks this is me hating being a mother it’s not I bloody love it. This is me saying I’m Sharon and I have interests and conversations to be had that aren’t about my child. This is me saying I think it’s important we know one another by name and as an individual. What’s your name? What do you do? What hobbies do you have? Lets for only five/ten minutes of our day speak about ourselves and think like our pre child personalities. “Hi I’m Sharon, I’m 26, I love watching horror films and I’m partial to the odd cosmopolitan now and again and when I have too many I think I can dance like Beyonce!” not “Hi, I’m Sophia’s mum, Oh today we watched some Peppa Pig and went to soft play, have you heard about who is reading the bedtime story for Cbeebies?”.
Recently I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed by this and I’m sure I am not alone. Loosing my name had a snowball effect on other things. Some days I feel like a robot on auto pilot. Wake up, make sure Sophia has had breakfast, get us washed & dressed, drop Sophia off at nursery, come home and try to clean the house, do laundry or a food shop, pick Sophia up… you know what I’m talking about!
Do I do anything for myself? As an individual? Do I hell! Do you!? I think it’s ok to set time aside some me time. It’s ok to do something you enjoy or something that provides you with a sense of fulfilment and identity. I can say that the last time I spent time with my friends was October 2017. Even then it was for one of their sons birthday party. So really the last time I went out with friends and it was a 100% adult occasion where my best friend who is also a parent and myself went out with our other friends who aren’t parents was in July… that’s six months ago. Interestingly when we do have these get togethers it’s the non parents who constantly ask about family life. Us parents are the ones with a unwritten rule. That rule is to be us again. Ask me how Sophia is and what we have been up to and then give me some sweet sweet grown up conversation, I’m desperate for it!
Let’s get the ball rolling!
So mums and dads it’s time to get to know one another! What’s your name? Where do you come from? What do you like to do? It’s time to get your identity back even if it’s just for five minutes a day… you’ll feel amazing for doing it.