When I was planning this outfit I was 6 months pregnant & fully determined to hold on to my identity. I just wanted to be me & then a mum on top but I guess I underestimated the identity crisis that can occur in motherhood. Trust me when I say I was putting a lot of pressure on myself not to lose my identity. The original title for this post way back when was “refusing to let go of me.”
I was just so done with people telling me what it’ll be like & what would have to change. It was all…
“You won’t have time for that.”
“Your nails won’t be that length for long”
“You can’t wear those boots pregnant”
“You can’t spend money on yourself”
BLAH BLAH BLAH!
Honestly if you think you are doing pregnant women a favour by saying anything along those lines then you’re wrong & actually it’s pretty rude to tell people what they can & can’t do. It absolutely drove me mad & it made me want to prove them wrong even more.
I think part of the reason I had such an identity crisis during those early days is because when I was pregnant I was full of happy hormones. Plus other than buying a few things in a size 10 instead of 8 I didn’t change anything. I just wore more comfy clothes & I was a little rounder with a waddle instead of walk.
I didn’t feel like I had to change because I was pregnant. I can be pregnant & where platforms god dammit!
Even when my pregnancy got a little more complicated & I gave birth early it didn’t hit me. Of course the next few days were a bit rough. I was a waddling mess of pain & exhaustion. Then I went back to my colourful dungarees & felt a little more like me. It just hadn’t hit me.
Then it did hit me. All in one go & I felt utterly broken & lost.
I can’t tell you how shattering it was to realise that people might be right. That I might now just be a mum & Shelley was lost forever. People might just want to talk about Jasper & god forbid they ask if I was okay. Maybe now I was just a walking talking feeding machine to this tiny human that kept me captive.
I can’t remember exactly when it became a thing, when my identity crisis in motherhood reared its ugly head. I had a wonderful first summer with him & we did lots of fun things. Then that stopped & I was home with a baby by myself. I think that’s when it really kicked in.
I craved alone time, I craved time to rest & I craved time to just be the old me. That made me feel ridiculously guilty because shouldn’t I want to be all about my baby?
The thing is I never wanted to just be a mum. I always wanted to be me & then a mum too. I didn’t want bybusby to turn into a parenting blog because there’s more to me than raising a tiny human. Shocker I know! Unfortunately the reality was in that time I was in a parenting bubble & it was the thing that was most natural to write about or to talk about.
The guilt of not feeling like me on top of the guilt of thinking “why don’t I want to spend every minute with my son” drove me crazy. Plus my clothes didn’t fit & my body looked different so I was going into meltdown mode.
I just didn’t feel like me & I didn’t know what to do about it.
I just needed time.
Time away from being a mum 24/7.
Time to sit down & write a blog post about an anything other than motherhood.
Time to blooming wash my hair & put clothes on that A)fitted & B)wouldn’t be immediately puked on.
I needed to find something that was my thing & not baby related.
Then I needed to accept that I was a mum & the old me was becoming a new kind of me. Equal parts mother & Shelley. Simple as that. I had to let go off the expectations I set myself & the need to prove everyone wrong. I had to admit that I experienced an identity crisis in motherhood.
I eventually did find a balance where I feel content in who I am & I’m darn proud to be Jasper’s mum. I adore talking & writing about him but that will never be my only thing. I don’t have to feel guilty about it either.
Still to this day I get those earth shattering wobbles where I feel like I’m a shell of my former self who’s sole purpose is to keep this baby alive. I have to shake those feelings off because it’s not true. It’s just my mind playing tricks on me & making me feel crap.
So hi I’m Jasper’s mum but I’m still me. I may not fit into my favourite mum jeans (ironic right?) but I still stomp around in my platforms, I have yellow hair cause why not & yes my nails are still that long.
I’m Shelley & I’m not just a mum.
Photography by: Tessa Holly
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