What No One Tells You About Loss Of Identity In Motherhood – 10 Must Do’s

Feeling a loss of identity in motherhood? Don’t worry it is normal and a huge percentage of new, and old mums feel that way.

Luckily there is plenty you can do to curb the feelings of losing your identity within motherhood. The fact you are on this post is the first step, now it is time to find yourself again.

Life is a process of losing and finding who you are and who you want to be. Motherhood adds another layer to that so being able to acknowledge it and then do something about it is helpful.

How Does Motherhood Affect Identity

Motherhood can have a profound effect on a woman’s identity. It often involves a shift in priorities, values, and roles, which can lead to a sense of loss or confusion. This feeling is common and is often a result of the sudden and intense focus on caring for another human being.

When you are suddenly so invested in another human being. You sort of forget about the world around you. You and your partner included. Motherhood is a huge task and it doesn’t leave room for much else which is why it takes some adjusting.

You’re normal if your struggling. It is all a part of the adjustment of priorities and it can be challenging but it is worth it.

What Is Depleted Mother Syndrome

Depleted mother syndrome is burnout. Now if you have never heard of burnout, it is essentially where you keep pouring until your cup is empty, or maybe you accidentally threw your cup away altogether.

Symptoms of burnout/depleted mother syndrome can include but are not limited to:

  • Exhaustion
  • Low mood
  • Struggling to manage emotions / having a temper
  • Feeling unexplainably down
  • Struggling with everyday tasks
  • Feeling overwhelmed by simple things
  • Lack of appetite or stress eating
  • Being continuously unwell or struggling to get better

Depleted mother syndrome shows when you aren’t taking care of yourself. Or attempting to pour from an empty cup. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a mother is realise you have to come first or you can’t turn up for your kids.

Why Burnout Affects Your Mental State

Burning out affects every part of you and every part of your life. Burning out leaves you empty, exhausted, and even unwell. So when you aren’t taking care of yourself, and you’re trying to continue to show up this is going to have a knarly effect on how you are coping mentally.

As humans, we are designed to function with sleep and roughly 8 hours so a good amount. With motherhood, you get limited sleep and limited recovery time. Choosing to manage your mindset and everything in life is a conscious choice, if you’re tired you are going to struggle to choose.

This takes a toll on any normal person’s mental state. So when you add motherhood and burnout to the equation it escalates everything to a new level. Burnout affects every part of your life and most definitely affects your mental state.

Why Do I Not Feel Like Myself After Having A Baby

There are so may big changes that come with starting a family. You always hear everyone say it, just how much life changes after a baby. Ya think yeah, yeah heard that before. But it is true.

Every element of your life is different once you have a baby. Your whole life now revolves around a tag-along. For mums who have had intense careers or had a time where they have been alone a lot. This adjustment can be huge.

For any mum the adjustment is massive. So understanding you might not feel like yourself is normal. Feeling like you are not the person that you used to be is a normal occurence as your life changes so drastically.

You can’t hang on to an identity that existed when it was just you and maybe your partner in the world. So it feels like you’ve lost it and lost yourself on the way.

Who Am I Besides A Mother?

You might even find yourself in the early months asking who even am I besides a mother? This loss of identity in motherhood is truly more than normal.

Your existence before was to do what you liked when you liked within reason and making sure you had your keys and wallet.

Now; life looks very different. You need keys, wallet, car seat, baby, extra clothes, nappies, food, milk, maybe food and water for yourself if you breastfeed, to time travel with naps.

When your whole life is an overwhelming whirlwind of learning how to function with a baby, function as a human, heal, and try to thrive whilst doing it is a lot.

If you are breastfeeding on demand this can especially create feelings of simply being a food machine, can create those feelings of not having anything else. Breastfeeding on demand also means that you can’t have a huge break from your baby. This can create trapped feelings.

What you need to know is almost all mothers ask themselves this question at one time or another. You are normal.

loss of identity in motherhood

Why Do Mums Lose Their Identity

Loss of identity in motherhood is a common phenomenon that affects up to 62% of mothers. It’s often characterized by feelings of confusion and burnout due to the drastic shift in priorities and roles. Depleted mother syndrome, a form of burnout, can lead to exhaustion, emotional instability, and a sense of being overwhelmed.

With everything that comes along with motherhood, it is no surprise that a vast majority of mums lose their identity when they walk into motherhood.

Exhaustion and huge life changes are always going to cause something to give and this is something that needs to be talked about more.

Mums lose their identity because motherhood is life life-changing expierence that completely reroutes the course of your world.

“Being A Mum Is Not My Identity”

Realizing that “Being a mum is not my identity” is a significant step towards reclaiming your individuality after becoming a mother.

It’s a point where you understand that while motherhood is a significant part of your life, it does not entirely define who you are. It’s the moment you recognize that you have unique passions, interests, and goals outside of being a parent.

This realization often comes when mothers start to feel a sense of loss or disconnection from their pre-motherhood selves. It can be triggered by various factors, including feeling overwhelmed by parenting duties, craving adult interaction and conversation, or missing their careers or hobbies.

Acknowledging this feeling is the first step towards addressing it, and it can lead to a journey of self-discovery and self-care that ultimately enhances your ability to be a nurturing and fulfilled mother.

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Loss Of Identity In Motherhood Statistics

Loss of identity in motherhood affects far more people than we realise. The statistics show that up to 62% of mothers face loss of identity. That’s more than a 50% chance. Peanut and Tommee Tippee carried this study out, with more than interesting results.

Loss of identity in motherhood is way more common than we like to think. When your entire focus becomes keeping another human alive, it is easy to lose track of what you are doing next let alone who you are.

With more than half of mothers facing it, we need to have more resources and awareness about this challenge of motherhood.

Luckily today we are going to give you 10 good ways for you to refind your identity after motherhood. With these, you can pick and choose the ones you like. Sometimes making them a regular part of your routine will help as well.

How Do I Rediscover Myself After Motherhood

So the question posed is how do I rediscover myself after heading into motherhood? Well, we have 10 ways you can use to start finding your identity within motherhood.

loss of identity in motherhood

1- Get A Better Understanding Of Yourself

The first thing you need to understand is motherhood is an extremely life changing time. With growth and change self-reflection is needed.

There is no extra time for that in motherhood! When your baby is sleeping, you are either sleeping, eating, showering, or catching up on the endless list that comes with a baby.

As your baby gets older and you find more time, make the effort to have some alone time and get a better understanding of yourself. Simply sitting with your thoughts has so many benefits.

You can consider how proud you are to be keeping a tiny human alive. Then go on to think about the things you want in life, things you don’t. Who you want in your life, how you want them to make you feel.

Counselling is another great option if you want to get your thoughts out loud. Counselling allows you to talk to a neutral party and work out who you are, who you’ve been and who you want to be.

2- Find Your People, Connection Is Important

Motherhood can be an extremely isolating time. Your main focus is your kids, and especially with a newborn, it can be so hard to have outside connection.

Connection is so important for us as humans and as mums. Connection with good people, our people helps to fill our cup and remind us we aren’t alone.

You can find connections in lots of places as a mum:

  • Facebook groups for mums.
  • Mums and bubs music groups or social groups through Plunket.
  • Mum blogs can help you feel connected reading what someone else is going through and their advice.
  • Parenting classes or workshops: these can provide education as well as a sense of community.
  • Local community centres often have mum and baby groups where you can connect with other moms.

3- Find Things You Enjoy Doing

It may seem simple but it isn’t. When we step into pregnancy and motherhood we tend to drop all the old parts of our lives. It is a subconscious reaction as we shift our focus to our babies, it is what makes us good parents in the early days.

Finding things you enjoy doing after becoming a mother can be a great way to reconnect with your identity outside of motherhood. It’s important to remember that while being a mother is a significant role, it’s not the entirety of who you are.

Whether it’s picking up a hobby you used to love or exploring new interests, finding joy outside of your parenting duties can revitalise and provide a sense of individuality.

Some possible activities could be reading, journaling, running, painting, yoga, or even joining a book club or cooking class. Spend some time experimenting with different activities to see what brings you joy and makes you feel like yourself again.

Journalling is hugely beneficial and can help you figure out more about what you want to do. What things light up your soul, and make you feel a bit happier?

4- Go Back To Work, Or Help Out Somewhere

As your baby gets older, going back to work can be a great opportunity for some mums. Just as certain careers are not for some people.

Not every person loves mothering and homemaking full time, and that is ok. Journalling about this sort of thing might help you figure out a bit more about how you feel.

If mothering is draining your cup and you think that working may give you a sense of purpose and motivation then going back to work, or doing some small hours even helping out can be a great way to feel useful again.

Unfortunately our society doesn’t look at motherhood as a “useful” and “productive” pastime. This is crazy considering one year of breastfeeding your baby ends up being around 1800 hours. A 40-hour work week comes in at 1960 hours.

You are looking at 160 hours difference between a full-time job and a mother breastfeeding. Then you add in her taking care of the kids, running a household, keeping up with the chores, and possibly working as well.

Mothering is far more important than we realise and we have to keep reminding ourselves of this.

5- Take Some Time Away From Your Kids

Taking some time away from your children can make you a better parent. When you have time to yourself, you can recharge, refocus, and engage in self-care.

This can help reduce stress and improve your mental well-being, allowing you to be more present and patient when you’re with your children. It’s important to remember that you are not just a parent, but an individual with your own needs and interests.

Being able to have that quiet thinking time, whether you go for a walk, a drive, or coffee is beneficial.

6- Travel Somewhere Alone Or With A Friend

Stepping out of your daily routine and environment can offer a fresh perspective and much-needed rest.

Travelling alone or with a friend can allow you to reconnect with yourself outside of your role as a mother. It allows you to engage in activities that you enjoy, explore new places, and simply have some time for yourself.

Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a day trip to a nearby city, travelling can provide a refreshing break from your responsibilities as a mother.

It’s important to remember that taking care of your well-being is not selfish but necessary. When you return, you’ll likely find yourself rejuvenated and ready to be the best mother you can be.

7- Listen To More Or New Music

Music can be an incredible form of self-discovery and expression. Listening to new genres or artists can help you explore different aspects of your personality and emotions. It’s also a great way to relax and take a break from your daily routine.

If you’re up for a challenge, learning to play an instrument can be a rewarding experience. It not only stimulates your brain but also provides a sense of accomplishment. Plus, it could be a fun activity to eventually share with your kids.

Remember, it’s not about being perfect but about enjoying the journey and expressing yourself. So, put on those headphones or pick up that guitar, and let the music guide you to rediscover your identity.

Music can teach you more about yourself than you realise and can help settle your mind. Sometimes music says the things we can’t. Music can really help with a loss of identity in motherhood.

8- Join A Club

Joining a club or a group that shares your interests can be an excellent way to rediscover your identity and form connections.

When you’re a part of a community that shares your passions, you can engage in meaningful conversations, learn new things, and simply enjoy the company of like-minded individuals.

This can help you regain a sense of identity outside of your role as a mother and remind you of the things you love and enjoy.

There are heaps of different communities to join in our world, it could involve animals, crafting, writing, or reading.

9- Go Fishing, Swimming, Or Adventuring

Sometimes the things that fill our soul can be adventures. You can even take your kids on these missions. Things are as simple as going swimming at your local river or throwing a line in. You can fight the loss of identity in motherhood by finding new adventures.

Embarking on outdoor activities such as fishing, swimming, or adventuring can be a refreshing and revealing way to rediscover your identity. These activities take you out of your daily routine and offer opportunities for self-reflection, relaxation, and enjoyment.

The connection with nature can also be therapeutic and help you gain a sense of peace and self-awareness. Whether you’re fishing quietly by a lake, swimming in the ocean, or hiking up a mountain trail, you have the chance to reconnect with yourself, enjoy your own company, and find joy outside of your motherhood role.

10- Make The Mundane Tasks Fun

Loss of identity in motherhood can be helped by finding enjoyment in the small things. Making your mundane tasks fun is a unique and effective way to rediscover your identity in motherhood. The daily tasks and chores that come with parenting can often feel overwhelming and monotonous.

However, injecting a bit of fun and creativity into these tasks can make them more enjoyable and give you a chance to express your personality.

Whether it’s turning cleaning into a dance party with your favourite music, making meal preparation a creative culinary experiment, or turning laundry folding into a mindfulness practice, there are countless ways you can transform mundane tasks into enjoyable experiences.

Taking this approach not only makes the tasks more enjoyable but also helps you reconnect with your interests and passions, thereby helping you rediscover your identity outside of motherhood.

Using organisation tools like Notion can also help you feel more inspired and motivated. Having a plan is hugely beneficial. Notion is where I store EVERYTHING, and as a mum I wouldn’t be without it now.

Bonus Idea – Start A Creative Project

Starting a creative project can be a rewarding and fulfilling way to rediscover your identity in motherhood. It provides a platform to express your ideas, talents, and interests, which are individual and unique to you.

Whether it’s painting, writing, knitting, or starting a blog, a creative project can serve as a reminder that you are more than just a mother. You are a creative, resourceful, and talented individual capable of creating something beautiful and meaningful.

The most simple way to find somewhat of an identity in motherhood is to find something you enjoy doing and do more of that. Feeling like you have a purpose is going to help create an identity.

Loss Of Identity In Motherhood?

Now you have 10 ways to re-find your identity after motherhood. If you start practising these and making an effort to grow and find who you are as a person. You will find that you start becoming not only the best version of yourself but the best version of you as a mother.

Motherhood is a draining and busy time, it is more likely than not that mothers will suffer a touch of losing their identity. So with this knowledge, we can start trying to help ourselves feel settled and know a bit more about who we are.

In an ideal world, we all get breaks but hey, it isn’t an ideal world. Finding ways to spend time with ourselves and get to know who we are is a habit, and it takes practice. Conscious practice. You got this mumma.


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