Who am I besides a mother? I’m thinking about it and it’s kind of obvious to me and kind of not. Should I say “besides a mother” or perhaps “in addition to a mother”? There is a difference, isn’t there?
I remember in the first year of my Bachelor degree in Psychology I had a course “Introduction to Psychology” where we learned about identity. We were asked to write a list of things that described who we are. The first thing I wrote on that list was that I am a woman.
Probably the first thing I would write there now is that I am a mother.
My role as a mother takes over the majority of my day and my being.
Would I have written that I am a wife as the first thing on that list? I have been married for 3 years now so why is it that the role of motherhood has such a strong effect on my identity, more than my role as a wife?
The moment we birth to our baby also brings up memories of ourselves and how we were born. Raising a child brings up memories of how we were raised and so the mother-child lineage and relationship continues through generations and all of a sudden we sound like our mothers.
This is why motherhood is such a strong part of who we are as an identity.
Besides my motherhood, my work as a postpartum doula has also consumed a big part of my identity in the past months as I have taken a deeper dive into my work. I find that whenever I am not with my baby, I am working, thinking, planning, growing, developing, learning.
What fuels my passion is conversation with other mothers or mothers to be. Hearing the situation they are in highlights to me every single time just how much work is still needed and how much moms need more support. No one has ever said that they had too much help or support!
I am also a wife
My identity as a mother is sometimes so big that it covers my identity as a wife and the lines get blurred. How much of myself am I giving to my baby, how much to my work, how much to my husband?
The time my husband and I used to spend together so naturally and organically is now easily consumed by my role as a mother. Spending time together now has become much more intentional and mindful. To make time we need to arrange for it, plan it. This is something we work on every single day.
The list of what composes my identity goes on: a daughter, a friend, a dancer, a Latin music lover, a foodie, an Israeli, a Jew, a sister, an expat, and so on and so on.
Yet, in my entire life, I hadn’t experienced a bigger identity change and shift in my being as I did when I became a mother!
Becoming a mother is big! It’s big and it deserves attention and acknowledgment. It deserves to be recognized and celebrated so that moms come out of this massive transition feeling whole and powerful!
This is my mission, and this is who I am besides a mother.