Pre baby I was just me when people spoke to me it was about me they were interested in me. I’m not someone who needs a lot of self assurance and I don’t like being centre of attention but it is nice for people to take an interest in your life. Granted I’ve had a lot of things going on in quick succession that people were always keen to ask about; engagement, wedding plans, honeymoon, pregnancy! People were always avid listeners for these topics, keen to join in and muse about future plans.
During my pregnancy I noticed small changes in how people treated me. Obviously everyone was concerned for my welfare but they also felt it was ok to just rub their hands on my baby bump. People would ask to touch it or sometimes just dive on in. I mean I was pregnant – not a petting zoo. No one has rubbed my belly after I gave birth – not that I’m complaining but I really feel that was the start of me losing my identity as I was me and the bump.
Giving birth to my beautiful daughter is my life’s greatest achievement. I have always wanted to be a mummy and now I am one. It is the best feeling in the world achieving something you have always longed for. What I wasn’t prepared for was the loss of self. I became ‘Baby’s mummy’ – an amazing title to hold but I’d lost the other half of me. I’d already given up my surname for my husbands and now my first name is gone too.
Again people around you don’t mean to upset you but when you become a mummy you become a secondary person. People can text you or can spend a whole afternoon with you and only ask about the baby and not once ask how you are – it’s totally unintentional but very hurtful to the new mummy struggling to find her way in this crazy new world she has been catapulted in to.
You answer the door to people holding your baby and they put on their best baby voices and coo away to the baby and come into your house for cuddles and no one says hello to the mummy. When they do ask you a question or you tell them a story they are only half listening. This all makes it sound like I am jealous of my own daughter. Not one bit. she is the centre of attention and rightly so. She is the centre of my universe and everything I do is for her and that includes looking after my own mental health which can be difficult at times when to others you seem invisible.
I may have ‘lost my identity’ as a single girl but I have gained so much more as a wife and as a mother. I have a life long partner and my little mini me side kick. Together we will get through anything and everything and have so much fun in the process. Our wee unit is all that matters!