When I became pregnant with my first child, my greatest fear was being defined as a mother. Being defined as a mum, and nothing else. And not only that, but I feared not having room for anything in my life other than feeding, sleeping, nappies, washing, and cleaning.
There's so much more to me than that. And while I knew being a mother could be a completely fulfilling job for some, I needed a sense of Me to feel whole.
So while I was pregnant I made plans in advance to modify my work. I looked forward to regaining my fitness by running with the pram. I couldn't wait to meet up with friends in cafes while my baby slept in his pram. And I knew I'd love having more time to tune into my artistic side.
And then my baby boy burst into this world and my expectations were shattered.
I had a beautiful baby boy who hardly ever slept, and who hated the pram and the car, and who wanted me to be house-bound.
I began living that never ending cycle of feeding, sleeping, nappies, washing, and cleaning. I had no time for Me. For a while there I had lost my Self and I was just a Mum, and I didn't feel complete or fulfilled.
I thought I knew who I was. I thought I was an artistic adventure-seeker, but how could I be that in my new world?
I had to look within and define my values. I had to remember who I was and what I stood for, so that I could learn to be Me while also being a mum. I wanted to learn how to be a mum my way. And I needed to define myself my way, and not as just a Mum.
So I defined my values, and I defined how I show up in this world, and I defined exactly who I am.
And finally I realised it doesn't matter what I do in this world, it's how I feel and how I act that defines me.
I practise and promote my values of Happiness, Freedom, and Love. I have managed to recreate my life around those values, and as part of that I enjoy sharing my story, because I know many mums can relate.
I know you can lose your sense of Self, and I want you to know that it is possible to find You again. It is possible to be You, as well as a loving mum. And it's important to be You so that you can be a loving mum.
When you can define exactly who you are and what you stand for, then you will find it so much easier to make decisions that are in alignment with your Self, and you will find that sense of inner peace and self-assurance that is so easy to lose when you are giving your all to your baby who demands your all.
And when you know your Self, you can truly be You.
Anna Shelley is a coach who helps people define who they are at their core, so they can create an amazing life in true alignment with their Self.
She mostly does this from a brain science perspective, and because she's a little wacky, may also connect with your Spirit Guides for advice.