An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Mommy Monday: The Redefinition of Self

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mommy Monday: The Redefinition of Self


I've been pretty open about how motherhood has been a struggle for me. Outside of some baby blues issues, I've really wondered just exactly WHY it's been so challenging.

And then my sister posted an article about how, after you birth a child, you are now a "mom" above everything else, and it accompanies all your other titles and labels. You drive a "mom car" and get a "mom haircut" and for those first few post-partum weeks (perhaps longer) you even wear "mom jeans."

Blissfully unaware that motherhood would permanently alter my identity


Everything you now do has the label of "mom" in front of it, as placed there by society. "Ahhh-ha!" I thought when I read that. THAT is exactly it! I'm no longer Paige. I'm "mom Paige." This isn't even a label I put on myself, it's forced on me through the views of our culture. Suddenly (literally overnight, as Henry was born at 10:15pm), Paige was replaced with "mom Paige" and the kidnapping of Paige absolutely rocked me to my core.

Men don't have this issue. They aren't defined by their children. You never hear of "dad haircuts" or "dad jeans" or "dad cars." But somehow, women are completely defined by their little ones. I went from being Paige: writer, marketer, and free spirit to Paige: mom, mommy writer, and mommy blogger (I really had a heart attack the first time I was called that).

The involuntary redefinition of who I am is why motherhood has been such a major adjustment for me. It's not the late nights and early mornings, the diapers, the vomit, the poo (so much poo!), the giggles, the playtime, reading children's books and having nonstop baby talk.

It's that I'm not simply Paige anymore. And I never will be again. It's taken me seven months to accept that. Perhaps some moms are cool with their new labels right away. But if you struggle like I did with it, you're not a "bad mom" a "terrible person" or anything else. You're human. A woman who wants balance between who SHE is, and her role as a mama. And I'm right there with you.

Motherhood is tough, but I was blessed with the happiest little goofy guy!

24 comments:

  1. Amen Sister! It took me a long, long time to put my finger on exactly what you have written here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe it took me as long as it did! When I read the article (wish I had a link - searched and searched but couldn't find it!) it was a major light bulb moment.

      Delete
  2. Love your honesty girl. Obviously I have no experience, but I'm sure I will be the same when I have kids - that's a big life adjustment, and you're right - it's mainly the mothers that it happens to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yeah, there's a big difference between what happens with men and women, and it's definitely NOT all physical!

      Delete
  3. Normally I'd skip a mom/baby post, but I love reading yours because of your honesty. This is my biggest reason for not being ready for kids yet and not knowing if I'll ever be ready. I feel like I'm hyperaware of the fact that not only will my life change, but my whole identity will change, even if I don't want it to. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, and I know that there's plenty of good to outweigh it even if it is a bad thing, but it's still something I think should be heavily considered before having a kid. And I think you're totally right that this happens unfairly to moms and not to dads. I've tried explaining that to my husband and he gets it as much as he can, I think, but since it's not something he'll ever have to deal with, I don't think he can ever fully understand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know what's funny, I also skip most "mommy" posts! But they're some of my most popular, so I keep them coming and try to keep them interesting and relateable to even non-parents. And yes - you're totally right in considering this! I didn't, and therefore struggled for months after Henry's birth. He's 7 months and I think I'm just now coming out of the fog.

      Delete
  4. I totally want to forward this to Mark. I was having this conversation with him on the plane home about all the things that change for me and I didn't want to sound selfish or bratty but the way you worded it is exactly what is going through my brain. Their lives changes but in such a different way. My sister the other day was talking with a group of her friends and they kept on referring to each other as "oh that is Sam's mom and Kayla's mom" instead of using their own names and it was driving my sister (Christina) crazy. You are definitely going to be my go to when I have all these thoughts streaming through my head because we are most definitely on the same page!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes and yes to this whole comment! It's not that I don't want to be known as "Henry's mom" it's just that I don't ONLY want to be known as "Henry's mom." And Mark should totally read it! My blog is the way Kirk figures out what's really going on in my head ;) Whenever you're ready (or... Just pregnant) come to me - I'll be here with open ears and arms!

      Delete
  5. I absolutely love this post and your honesty. I feel like its hard for me to relate to "mommy-bloggers" since I'm not one of them and I feel like they rarely give you posts like this. You are a great mom and honestly I think you are setting a great example for your child too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh jeez, thank you! I can totally understand not being able to relate to mommy blogs. I can barely relate to them! I just wonder how in the heck their kids look perfect, their hair is done, they're in shape and they're making elaborate dinners. Let me tell you, that is NOT my life! I'm just in the thick of it with the rest of the world, like a normal person.

      Delete
  6. I think this will probably be something I struggle with too when I have a little one someday. You're absolutely right. Guys don't have this problem. For the record, when I met you I thought you were totally fabulous in every way and I don't think of you as Mom Paige. I just think of you as a yoga doing, wine-drinking, blogging lady, who also happens to be an awesome mom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY! This makes me so happy! That's exactly what I am. I hope others see me as you do, too! Thanks for brightening my day, girl!

      Delete
  7. Oh girl, I am so with you on this one! Why do we have to be defined by our kids?! I'm more than just a mom! I am realizing that I continue to try to prove that I'm more than just a mom, but I shouldn't have to prove that at all!
    Great post Paige!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Completely right. Men never have to prove that they're more than just a dad, so why do we have to do it re: being a mom?! Ugh.

      Delete
  8. You are so honest and not only do I love it - I so admire it!! I don't have a child yet, but when I do, I have a feeling I'll be in the same boat as you!! And if it means anything -you're one bad ass mom!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Biana! Sometimes my honesty is cringe-worthy, but most of the time it serves me well :)

      Delete
  9. This is such a great post for all the women out there! I haven't been blessed with such great responsibilities yet but I feel I may feel the way you do at some point! It sucks that society always puts a label on women but never on men. We have so much responsibilty as women...be the perfect girl or women, the perfect wife and mom! When will it be enough to just be ourselves flaws and all! I love that you are honest and gives a full look into how being a "mom" can really make a woman feel! I admire that! You have one HANDSOME SON and you know you are a GREAT MOM no matter what society says!

    colorubold.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks girl! Yes, it's unfair how we get treated in light of how men/fathers get treated. I wonder if that will ever change? I'm doubtful but will remain hopeful!

      Delete
  10. Mom life... the struggle is real! I totally get it. Some days I forget what my own name is. :) But, they are only tiny and super dependent for a second then they start becoming their own little person and you have more time to focus on your self again. Their sweet little adorable faces are so worth it. As usual, love your honesty babes!
    xo Krissy @ Sneakers and Sequins

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, the struggle IS real, and that saying is actually appropriate here! I would add that their sweet faces, goofy grins and chunky thighs are totally worth it. Love those baby thighs!

      Delete
  11. If it's any consolation, you're still regular Paige to me. :) I can understand it's hard to feel like you lose your identity.
    Regardless, you're a pretty bad-a momma girl!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I totally feel the same way. I mean I belong to a mom group and everything is run by as "what would your mom self do". Well what about me outside of motherhood? I once was a person....not just a mom. I feel I've lost myself over the last five years and I really need to figure out how to gain that back! Totally relate to this post! You baby is adorable though! So cute!

    I'm visiting from the December Blog Hop on Bloggy Moms and would love for you to stop by sometime! Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete