By Robyn Wilder
Ever since becoming a parent, I’ve read countless articles about motherhood swallowing a grown woman whole, saddling her with the majority of the parental load, and gradually eroding the identity she had before she became a parent.
In my case, though, it was only after I became a mother that I felt my sense of identity beginning to firm up around the edges. I don’t want to suggest, of course, that motherhood somehow “completes” me, or should be anyone else’s path to enlightenment. What I do know is this.
Five years ago,
I Felt Lost In Motherhood. Here’s How I Reclaimed My Identity
It’s realisations like this that have led me to my diagnosis, in adulthood, of several chronic conditions, including ADHD, that I’ve lived with – undiagnosed and untreated – for all my life, and which explain away most of my struggles as trying to apply square-peg thinking to a round-hole existence.
Motherhood hasn’t fixed me, exactly, but it has created an environment where I can examine myself, and now every day I get to know myself a bit better. At the risk of sounding like an inspirational quote on Instagram, I am a work in progress. And one thing I’m particularly enjoying is that I still don’t know what I think about everything – and often I won’t find out until my kids ask me about it – and then we explore it together, which is very fulfilling.
And I’m not so worried about what people think of me anymore. If someone sees my chipmunk-face and starts mansplaining the metric system, or whatever, I’m more able to laugh it off and move on. Because I know what I think of myself; I say it every night as I go upstairs with my hot water bottle and mug of Sleepy Time Tea.
“You used to play in bands,” I whisper to myself. “Indie bands!” And I’m asleep by 8pm.