My fragile identity

Inspired by "I'm a mum and a..."  the lovely TJ shares how she feels about her changing identity as she grasps for fleeting moments of self.

I feel that since becoming a mother to Grace that my identity has become so changed that it is lost.

My ego has had to let go, lose its grip from the known to tread a new path.

Being in the moment every minute of the day and quite often throughout the night, responding to Grace's needs before my own, has meant that I am on a constant "getting to know myself" journey.

I have asked myself so many times who am I in this new body shape? The pre-baby clothes that no longer fit, my working life no longer fits me and even some of my friends no longer fit me! So who am I?

          butterfly mama

It's easy to place myself in the roles handed to me from moment to moment that fit the all encompassing "mother" role: one minute I'm dressed in fairy wings dancing with my little girl who is equally adorned in fairy wings; we become dancing butterfly ballerinas fleetingly, and I'm taken back to all my memories of a lifetime of dancing, first in tap shoes as a child, then in contemporary classes as a teen, eventually to move on to a dancing degree.

And then I am in a poignant and perfect world where Grace and I are dancing between the lines, we overlap in our connections; me in her world of dressing up and butterflies and she in my world of moving fluidly to classical music revisiting the ballet that my body still knows.

I am grateful for these moments as a mother, the in-between, where I still see a glimmer of who I am, keeping the best bits and throwing away the baggage of my identity that no longer serves me; I am in the joy of being a mother, a pure moment of being!  

Then before I know it I'm back in the kitchen trying to cook another healthy meal and Grace has decided I'm her living sticker book covering me in her stickers instead of placing them in her book!

And when she wakes in the night for the fifth time screaming "mamma cuddle" I too can become a tantrum toddler, touching that deep part of me that wants so much for a mamma to cuddle me to sleep and place me gently back in my bed and pull a warm soft blanket over my back.

I am everything and nothing. I am a fleeting moment of me, of her, and of us entwined.

One thing I know for certain in the presence of my little girl, is that I AM ALIVE!


This month we’re sharing self-portraits that complete the sentence “I’m a Mum and a…” What’s the first word that comes into your head? Write it on a piece of paper and take a photo of you holding it up. You can see what other mums have told us about their identities and share your photo here

For more posts on motherhood and identity, try

On a Quest for Balance Pippa Best

My Mum-Hat is stuck on my head! - Ericka Waller