We had another marvellous Mums' Make Date on twitter this month, with 45 mums chipping in to the chat about "I'm a Mum and a..." How do mums really feel about our identities post-birth? Check out the storify below.
For a significant number of us, it's when we follow our passions and get creative that we feel most like ourselves - when we blog, write or dance. (So that's an excellent incentive to come and play with us at story of mum, ladies!) For others, it's when we rest, when we take a peaceful walk alone, or when we work, that we most feel like ME.
Having said that, most of us, including me, admit we're still on a journey to find quite who we are, still very much "a work in progress".
On to answering the much-dreaded question "So, what do you do...?". Oh how we disliked how it defined us, or implied that being a mum isn't a valid occupation!
Tellingly, many of us found we still responded with a reference to our past work, to our life before children. Why do we feel a need to give ourselves a 'work' identity in addition to our role as mother? Do we feel we have to prove our worth in a way that society apparently values more? (Having said that, some mums have some brilliant comebacks to this question, check them out in the chat below!)
Inspired by recent guest posts from Cintia and Lyndsay, we asked each other 'What do you believe that defines you?" Some fabulous answers here: Love, hope, faith, friendship, caring for others and teaching our kids to do the same. Plus, always being prepared, girl scout style!
We talked about the parts of our identity that we felt we had lost with the birth of our children: Our independence, our minds, our sense of style, confidence, pain-free backs, toned tummies and crazy dance moves. But some of us were happy to have lost the bits we no longer needed, like workaholism. And for many, that independence and sense of self is creeping back as our children creep forward towards their own independence.
Lastly, we explored what motherhood had added to our sense of identity: Compassion, patience, a newly opened heart and mind, a fresh perspective, incredible strength, an amazing capacity for pride, and a stronger belief in advocating equality and social justice for all. Along with an inspiring sense of being part of a wider global community of mothers - our children, twitter and sites like story of mum connecting us all.
Finally, fabulous I'm a Mum and a... photos were shared!
Another big thankyou to the wonderful Aimee of Artsyville for our fabulous prizes (see her gorgeous print above). Enjoy the chat below, add what YOU think to the comments below, and come join us next time!