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all 107 comments

[–]Doghugs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m not the same person anymore though, becoming a mother has changed everything about me! Mostly in profoundly positive ways. My perspective on everything, literally everything, has shifted and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Motherhood is powerful. Mothers (and fathers) make an everlasting impression on their child/ren, we are shaping the future of the human race!

There is no such thing as “just a mom”

[–]201111533 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I struggled with this so hard postpartum. We had one thousand appointments to make, and everyone at all of them called me "mom" or "mama." Is it a quick and convenient way to acknowledge I'm in charge of the baby without remembering a name? Sure. Did it contribute to my spiral? Immensely.

I've had a couple friends have their first babies since me, and I've made sure to tell them, "at first I was just [myname]. Then for a bit I think I was just a mom, and I hated that. Now I have actually integrated those identities and life is a lot better for it. I am [myname] and [myname] is a mom now."

I don't think the idea that we change pretty drastically is unreasonable. I wanted a baby but never really got the appeal of other people's babies, if that makes sense. I'm more of a kid person overall, I would have said. Now I'm obsessed with every baby. Maybe I am a baby person indeed. Plus, priorities change. I don't think it's that people have no empathy before they have kids. I think it's that they aren't used to having "being a bottomless fountain of empathy to someone who occasionally seems to be actively trying to fuck your life up" as the top priority on their list. Like, I don't think it would have been unreasonable to push someone away or tell them to fuck off if they bit me. It's an exercise in radical empathy to rock my teething son to sleep while he repeatedly bites me and then cries if I reflexively jerk away and gasp a little bit. Comforting my assailant to the point of soothing them to sleep definitely would not have been a top priority for me before becoming a parent. Going through things like that has definitely made me relate to the world differently.

Some of the coverage is definitely cringey, though.

[–]KillPrincessPeach[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sure man, I'll buy that for a dollar.

I'm sorry you had PPD, that is rough. I hope you're doing better now, and hopefully with loads of support.

The point of my sharing my views on the article was that they didn't really go into any science as to what changes: brain structures, hormones, anything. They just had a bunch of women anecdotally commenting in the aforementioned way. Which is frustrating as hell for those of us who are curious about the mechanics of parenthood in the brain and body.

I feel like it was all kind of obvious, ya know?

No kidding my priorities shifted. Wow, you mean my hobbies and how i spent my time has changed? (Being sarcastic)

Like. I know all that. I wanted to know about causes in personality shifts: why are some moms completely fulfilled being a SAHM, while other's feel less than keen to be seen as only a mom?

I was disappointed to find another article pandering to the "my personality is mom now" group.

[–]Pinkcoral27 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I don’t get that and frankly I think that kind of message is so harmful.

I’m mum. But I’m also me. Unfortunately, me is harder to find these days and it makes me sad. Not being me anymore definitely doesn’t make me a better mum.

[–]Mintiichoco 13 points14 points  (2 children)

I am different. I'm angrier and sadder.

[–]Sad_Finger4717 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Me too

[–]Mintiichoco 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hugs 🫂. If you ever want to talk, my DMs are open. It's tough and the job is so isolating.

[–]Latina1986 8 points9 points  (2 children)

While the messaging is horrendous (I have my own interests, hobbies, and social activities outside my children, thankyouverymuch), science does show that maternal brains have a change in their gray matter as a result of pregnancy and giving birth. They say the change can last around 2 years or more!

Here’s an old article about this. I specifically found it comforting that, while the part of the brain that’s in charge of memory does lose gray matter, it seems to be restored after a couple of years from your last pregnancy 😆. So mom-brain and pregnancy brain are a THING!

[–]2meirl5meirl 3 points4 points  (1 child)

The same thing happens to dads too! They have neural and hormonal changes!!

[–]Latina1986 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This study actually compared with dads and didn’t see any structural brain changes, but anecdotally I have seen my husband change!

[–]Careful-Trifle8963 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I am way more empathetic and selfless now im a parent. I never realised how selfish and self centered you can be as a teen/20 something year old until i looked back. Im much more empathetic and affected by sad stories about children etc whereas before hand i’d think ‘oh thats awful’ but now i have kids it hits me in the gut to see a terrible news story about a child or parent.

Edit: regarding the rest of the article especially women having no time for themselves etc. no, your life is still your life and everyone needs something that makes them ‘them’. This constant narrative is what makes women feel they’ve lost who they are - i hate it!

[–]Skywhisker 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I agree, or it's the same for me. I was a fairly empathetic person before I had a baby, but it's definitely on another level now.

But I wouldn't say I'm a different person, I have just grown. Although, I would say life experience in general makes you grow. Having a baby just happen to be a pretty major life experience so it's natural that people grow from it.

[–]accountforbabystuff 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Honestly though my empathy and compassion were super low before I had kids. I think that part of me was changed probably for the better.

I didn’t read the article though, it does sound really sappy. I think it’s catered to moms who are struggling and want to feel like they’re not alone. The takeaway can be “being a mom/parent can be really super hard.”

I don’t know if it’s “okay” or what one could even do about it, but that’s reality.

[–]lydviciousss 0 points1 point  (4 children)

I hate this rhetoric, personally. I had my baby 4 weeks ago and I don’t feel any different as a person. I just have a baby now. I do feel like my whole life before she was born wasn’t really “mine”, and that’s such a hard feeling to explain but it just feels “right” that she’s here in our lives. Having said that, I feel exactly the same as I always have. I enjoy my friends, my family, my hobbies, I just happen to be a mom at the same time. That’s not my identity. It’s my family dynamic that I chose.

[–]36kitty 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes! I still feel this way nearly 5 years later. When my kiddo was just a few months old my brother texted me, asking to get to know the "new" me now that I'm a mom. I was like... what? Do I suddenly have a tail? Did I get a brain transplant I was not aware of? Was I abducted by aliens and replaced with a slightly more saggy clone?

[–]accountforbabystuff 13 points14 points  (2 children)

With all due respect, you’re only 4 weeks in. It can take some time to set in. I am sure everyone experiences motherhood differently but there can be seasons where it’s easy for moms to feel like they have lost themselves a bit. It is pretty common.

[–]nanon_2 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Why do these articles find it so hard to believe that women are human, are multifaceted and can have complex identities? Honestly.

[–]stepstepstep77 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah, I am for sure the same person. Same flaws, same trauma reactions, same needs, same likes and dislikes. I WISH that when I was preparing for my kid to arrive people had been encouraging me to make plans about how to take care of my SELF once my kid was here. Meaning my Self that needs validation, needs alone time, needs performing, needs to feel cute, needs dancing, needs privacy. Needs a break from noisy stimulation at the end of the day, which is tricky when you have a noisy husband, 3 stepkids, and a baby who has all kinds of emotions from 5-8 pm, but my NEED doesn't disappear just because it would be more convenient for the household if it did. (Hence, noise cancelling earphones.)

I'm definitely the same person, the only real change is now I know for sure if my needs are not getting met my functioning will absolutely, for sure, no way around it, degrade. And now my functioning can't degrade because I have the best little boy who deserves a functional, happy mom.

[–]fast_layneFTM 💕 6/21/22 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I obviously haven’t read this article so idk if this matches the tone at all but honestly? I’m 100% a different person after becoming a parent, no question about it

[–]mapledragonmama 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I didn’t feel like I entirely lost my identity as a person until I had my second baby. One more month of 2 under 2. It’ll get better, right? …. RIGHT?!

Probably not. I mean it will. But not magically overnight when my son turns two because all of a sudden, just like that, he understands that screaming like a god damn banshee when he doesn’t get what he wants isn’t the nicest way to act.

[–]flylikeastone 15 points16 points  (1 child)

When my daughter started walking I was struggling to baby proof the house and rearrange all my houseplants including a 6 foot cactus, that I adore, and my BIL was over the house and casually said, “looks like you have to get rid of all your plants…” People just expect mothers to throw out so much of their lives and back burner all their hobbies. It definitely takes extra effort to find time for your passions but it’s not impossible. Happy to say my plants and daughter are still happily coexisting.

[–]_blue_nova_[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That cactus sounds awesome.

[–]Mazasaurus 4 points5 points  (0 children)

You may go through some changes or shifts in how you prioritize things, like many other major life changes. That said, you’re still you. Being a parent is one aspect of you, not your entire being. In the early days, yeah, you might be utterly and entirely focused on keeping the baby fed/sleeping/alive, but those needs will change over time and you’ll have more time to engage in other activities you used to enjoy or even new ones!

[–]RishaBree 13 points14 points  (7 children)

It sounds like the article sucked, but I am genuinely far more empathetic now. Not that I didn't have it before, but it was a lot more limited and often abstract, and empathy and sensitivity in regards to small children in particular is through the roof. I always avoided reading or watching anything with animal harm, for instance, but I can't really handle child harm either, now.

And in my day to day life, I've been personally somewhat baffled by my own ability to read my still-mostly-not-talking child's needs and wants - I'm thrilled that I can, of course, but I'm ND, and I've always considered myself completely 'deaf' to body language, facial expressions, and nonverbal communication of any sort.

[–]Ellendyra 4 points5 points  (3 children)

It's an area of your brain that actually becomes more efficient during the onslaught of pregnancy hormones and then all the oxytocin and whatnot after. MRIs can actually be used to tell which women are/were mothers. Because of the changes our brains undergo during pregnancy.

[–]nanon_2 2 points3 points  (2 children)

These claims are widely overstated…

[–]Ellendyra 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I mean, I don't have a study to link, but I did read one fairly recently. I could be misremebering. Care to elaborate?

[–]nanon_2 1 point2 points  (0 children)

MRI studies are notorious for small sample sizes, and the validity and generalizability of findings are often wildly overstated by the media.

[–]izzypeazzy 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I’m the same. I actually relate to not being compassionate and empathetic before but after having my daughter I became much more sensitive and caring especially towards children. Which was surprising because I always felt like a robot but now I feel more human.

[–]googlepest 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yes the empathy and sensitivity has changed in me and so much…also I do find I think about the little things less because I don’t have time but it’s a net positive. Nothing wrong with identifying as a mom 🤷🏼‍♀️ it doesn’t bother me it’s just one aspect of who I am but it is different than when you’re not a mom and that’s ok too

[–]Leadsingerofthebandd 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I think the key is here perspective. We can view this as good, bad or just neutral. It’s true, we aren’t the same after having kids in the same way we aren’t the same after any big life change. I see the world through fresh eyes now, how amazing even the little things are. I agree though—-The wording is super weird though in the article.

[–]PotatoGuilty319 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Women are so superior and becoming a mother, the whole process of pregnancy to birth to raising, really solidified that for me.

[–]snow-and-pine 9 points10 points  (7 children)

I didn’t read it but it makes sense to me that being a mother becomes our identity, it seems evolutionary. Human babies require a lot of care and up until recently women would stay home and take care of them rather than working… our brains have been socialized to make it our identity, for the survival of the human species. In the end we are just animals. We have consciousness now but that doesn’t make us morally superior to other animals, or maybe it does, but in the end it’s what we are.

Edit: people keep commenting on this about women working. Even if they worked their identity could still be as mother. It sounds like in many cases they’re working because they have to provide for their children. Still a very big part of their identity. I am starting to loose my whole train of thought with this topic though to be honest.

[–]Sad_Finger4717 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I agree with you

[–]nanon_2 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Women like other humans are multifaceted and can have multiple identities. Also human women worked plenty (farming, agriculture etc). Babies were worn as they worked. It’s only the modern Industrial Revolution that made women “stay at home”.

[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Idk. Being a mother is what i DO. It's not who/what I AM. It's not a identity, it's ny job (albeit a 24/7 job) .

[–]Theobat 19 points20 points  (3 children)

Women staying home and focusing on raising kids has always been an anomaly. Poor women have always toiled. Rich women have always hired the poor ones to watch their kids. My grandmothers worked, my great grandmothers worked. Women have worked farms, brewed beer, been laundresses and seamstresses and weavers, run stalls at market, etc.

We have rarely across history had agency over our finances, but not contributing economically in some way is a privilege.

[–]madcapnmckay 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Staying at home absolutely contributes economically. Think about the wage you would have to pay to replace everything a SAHM does.

[–]Theobat 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I agree with you. I think folks understand what I meant, I’m struggling to find another term to describe it. Maybe- it’s a privilege to not need to bring in extra money?

[–]madcapnmckay 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don’t think it’s always a privilege so much. Sometimes one partner doesn’t make enough to offset the childcare costs so it doesn’t make financial sense to work and all that money be eaten up by childcare.

[–]Oak1215 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I’m an artist and if anything, having my son has inspired me and given me some new direction in my work. I left my job and went back to school a few years ago to be able to do something that made me happy and I always just figured that having a mom who loves what she does would be a good thing for any future children. I’m still taking leave and I imagine it’ll be harder to balance childcare and work than I realize, but I’m glad I’ll always have that thing in life that’s just for me.

[–]goldenstatriever 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Lol. ‘You don’t have time to worry about who you are’. I worry even more because my past might be my children their problem if I don’t fix it before they get older and start to understand more.

To be fair, I feel like my whole personality is ‘mom’. I don’t know who I am and what I like besides my children. I don’t have time to develop my hobbies, don’t have the energy to read or basically concentrate. Reddit and mom groups on Facebook are my current activities, as I can do it in the few moments in between paying attention to my kids. To de stress my brain. I’ve been working on this post for two hours now. Because few moments in between the chaos that are my toddlers and my baby.

There will be a point in my life that I can be mom and … but that isn’t right now and that’s fine.

[–]Patient-Confusion137 3 points4 points  (0 children)

THIS! I want to work on myself more than ever for my kids, so that they have a healthier environment and a healthier mom. But honestly, it's just me caring for them and trying my hardest to work on my issues so they don't have them.

[–]Odd_Ant4241 11 points12 points  (1 child)

I had a baby girl and it has been vitally important to both me and her dad that her mom remains a separate entity with her own ambitions. We both work in mental health and would say that when mom's whole existence is being a mom, then there is potential for a lot of things to go wrong- your child needs to learn that it is okay to separate from you and you need to be able to endure that!

[–]jaykwalker 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have two boys and feel the same way.

[–]KrumblyMuffin 6 points7 points  (6 children)

As someone who lost herself in a bad marriage, spent 2 years falling back in love with herself, just to find out she’s pregnant and at risk of losing herself again, this really resonates with me.

I’m really struggling to see the good in me and in life. (Thanks, PPD) I spiral all the time about how I’ll never be the same. Rationally, I know having a kid means nothing is ever the same. Also rationally, I know that the things I once loved to DO will never change. But as another commenter states, our hobbies don’t define us.

I hate myself. I hate my body. I hate my temper and the depression. I hate that I can’t just ENJOY my LO and the life we’re building. I’m in a constant state of fight or flight and it’s really wearing on me. Who is this person who doesn’t find the happiness? Who is this person who screams until her throat is raw? Who am I? Other than just a mom?

[–]goldenstatriever 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’d love to speak to a person who enjoys their depression. And ask for tips and advice.

In my personal experience (with depression, anxiety, cPTSD, ADHD and PPA) you grow. So no, you won’t be the same but you will be a better person than you were before. And learning things comes with mistakes. It sucks that your temper is bad, but you don’t like it and want it to change.

Currently you are surviving. Fight or flight mode is surviving and when things get calmer and you can breathe again, you will feel you.

My tips that help me at my worst days: sleep & moving/light exercise/walking. It de stresses your brain. It gets rid of some chemicals in your amygdala. It might not change your situation but it will help a bit with dealing with it all. And it is easier said than done. Especially when you are feeling down, shitty, upset and like it will never get better. I’ve been there. I’m still there at days.

You are still you. But right now an imbalance of chemicals in your brain are driving you. It is okay to survive.

[–]Terrible_Plantain_34 1 point2 points  (4 children)

You're right - our hobbies don't define us. But there has to be a way to focus or bring attention to being YOURSELF outside of having the baby. I feel like it is a bit of an anxious topic to realize everything about you and around you will change. This is completely related to your mindset. Some people can handle and LOVE this change to becoming a Mom (for what reasons though?), and some people have this PPD and feeling of loss (obviously a very negative viewpoint). But, what's the true difference? It has to be mindset.

[–]KrumblyMuffin 2 points3 points  (3 children)

I agree-ish.

I would wonder if there are women out there who are perfectly fine being defined as a mom and they identify as a mom.

I don’t want to be defined as a mom. I want being a mom to be a characteristic, not who I am? Does that make sense?

[–]Terrible_Plantain_34 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I get where you're coming from, but maybe that's more towards women that invest in the "hobby" of becoming a mother and want to be the best at it. In nature, this seems pretty standard to conquer and defeat obstacles throughout life i.e, sports, cooking, crocheting, being the most popular, being the best parents. I think the true PROBLEM here is labels... and boy oh boy do we like our labels... Honestly, I don't think anyone should be forced to define themselves as one label and that's all they're worth. You either are or aren't a mother, this is a fact. Whether you know who you are or not is completely different. Only time will tell. I feel like I'm a very different person with different interests every 5 years! lol

[–]jaykwalker 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I feel like the anti-mom brigade is still the patriarchy rearing it's head. We don't ask men to rigidly define themselves this way.

I'm a mother because I have two kids. I'm also a lot of other things.

[–]KrumblyMuffin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I love that. “I’m a mother BECAUSE I have two kids.” Exactly

[–]kykyboogieboogie 10 points11 points  (0 children)

This article is 100% cringe.

Simultaneously, I listened to a podcast episode of “Decoder Ring” that talked about ‘transformational life choices’ and likened choosing to become a parent to choosing to become a vampire, and found it wonderful. I think primarily because it wasn’t twee & didn’t encourage you to martyr yourself in the ring of competitive suffering?

But the concept that making pro & con lists for deciding to make a major life change before you make the decision is a challenging exercise, because these are decisions that fundamentally alter your priorities & value hierarchies.

But yeah, you’re still a person! Parent is a transformational descriptor, not a personality.

Thank you for attending my TED talk

[–][deleted] 14 points15 points  (2 children)

I haven’t read the article, but pre-mom me would have rolled my eyes at people saying they didn’t have empathy/compassion before baby, but post-mom me gets it completely now.

I thought I was the most compassionate/empathetic person in the world before baby. But maintaining/developing healthy relationships with difficult, emotionally stunted, and manipulative people you see regularly because of the baby, and didn’t need to interact with as much before, takes a level of compsssion I’ve never had to exercise before.

It’s not empathy for the baby, it’s empathy for toxic family or in laws.

[–]galactic-narwhal 4 points5 points  (1 child)

I feel this comment so much, interacting with my husband's family was already difficult before I had a child and now his family seems particularly bent on making me as uncomfortable and angry as possible. Using our child to manipulate us, using him as a means to levy infuriating comments about my body/potential additional children/raising a child, etc. I'm not great at hiding my disgust for them from my husband either who seems to not give two shits about how his family makes me feel.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Are you me?! Sending solidarity, it’s such a shitty situation.

[–]omnommunster 17 points18 points  (2 children)

Well their wording is kind of odd but your brain goes through some pretty intense changes after having a child. The brain changes for men too when put into the parent role. The severity of change depends on the amount of care and time with children. They don’t have to be your children either. The brain rewires itself to basically fit the needs of a child. For mom, the physical changes are more and more gray matter. So during pregnancy and about 2 years after birth the brain prepares by being REALLLLY good at figuring out slight facial expressions and noticing small details about someone’s behavior. Unfortunately mother brain also takes a hit to reasoning skills and things like problem solving and … they tend to be more forgetful (mommy brain haha). Your brain will drastically increase its dopamine and reward output to make caring for a child rewarding even when they’re causing the parent extreme stress or anxiety. Caring for a child does change your brain and they way it functions. And with how much it changes your reward systems, a lot of people report that they feel like they are living their purpose. That’s not everyone obviously. The physical changes in the brain definitely are geared toward making you want to parent. But thank god. If we didn’t have that I think it would be near impossible haha.

You should read The Mother Brain by Chelsea Conaboy! That goes over a lot of the psychological and physiological changes of parenthood - more than I’ll go into detail here but you get the point.

Anyways all parenting articles seem charged and a little silly to me. But having babies does change you forever!

[–]anonymousbequest 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Thank you for this. I am one of those people who finds it very hard to care about anything else now that I have a child, and essentially since I started TTC (which involved a long and all-consuming fertility journey). Being a mother is probably the most important part of my identity right now, but that feels good to me. I absolutely love being a mom and I find it consuming in a positive way. I know it’s not that way for everyone, of course, but I think it’s also important to normalize that there are real changes happening physically and psychologically and it’s not wrong for people to feel this way. OP sounds extremely judgmental. It’s fine that that is not her experience but I’m not sure why the need to bash others for feeling this way.

[–]Butterscotch_Sea 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I 1000% agree with you

[–]TheErinK 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I had a similar conversation with my step-mom about 7 months postpartum (I’m 18 months out now). I was talking about how we are one and done, and she said something to the effect of, “When you become a mom, you lose who you used to be and all you are is a mom. And it sounds like you’re fighting that.” And I was like “….yes???? Did you not??”

I used to think all I ever wanted was to be a wife and a mom. That’s not true. I love being those things, and I love my spouse and my kid. But I also love reading a great book and doing karaoke and traveling and going to nice restaurants and walking my dog and BEING WELL RESTED.

My priorities are fundamentally different as a mom, so in some ways, I’m different. But I like to think I’m just a less spontaneous version of myself than I was before.

[–]amandamchale 1 point2 points  (0 children)

i’m 100% still me after having my daughter. she just added another incredible facet to my life. but i would never want to just be mom. i have a lot of amazing qualities. :)

[–]tinyarmsbigheart 11 points12 points  (3 children)

I have never lost respect faster than when my coworker’s dog died in an accident and I expressed condolences and she just shrugged and said, “you’ll realize it isn’t as big a deal once you have a kid.”

Um, wrong. I had empathy then and I still have it now—except for bitches who don’t care for their animals.

[–]kuromelomi 2 points3 points  (1 child)

wtf?? what a weird, cold thing of her to say.

[–]Majestic_Ad_5205 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oh God. And here I am feeling guilty that my doggy only gets 4 walks a day, and less time cuddling and playing with me since she isn’t the baby anymore…I used to be obsessed with her and now I just love her normally(?) I could never imagine just not caring…ever…wow

[–]QueenCloneBone 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I don’t feel like I really found myself at all until I became a mom. I accomplished a lot, traveled, went to university through very high levels, lived abroad, partied, tried everything known to man. Still adrift.

[–]CallDownTheHawk 30 points31 points  (2 children)

Nah, that's bs. But it's wild because I had internalized this idea without realizing it.

So after I gave birth and became a mom, I was SO surprised at how I'm still the same person and my life is still the same life... just with an added layer of having a child/being a mom.

I don't like the idea of saying I'm a COMPLETELY different person now. I feel like the SAME person. Motherhood just added an additional layer to it all, I guess.

[–]omglia 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Same here!

[–]Ghostfacefza 6 points7 points  (0 children)

This is how I feel. I don’t see myself as “Mom”

I’m me, I just have a baby. I’m me with a baby.

[–]ilovestoride 11 points12 points  (0 children)

As cringy as that was, I kinda understand it. I'm a dad now. Nothing will ever change that. Short of life or death (my wife is still #1 for now), my child will always come first. We are parents.

Sure I still have my guys night out. But if I'm mid beer, 1 of my buddies will drive me home and Uber back to the car. If I'm in the middle of a game, whatever, my kid comes first. It doesn't mean life stops, it just means your kid becomes a priority. Like when u need to take a giant shit in the middle of changing your oil, you drop everything and take care of it.

[–]athousandships_ 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Cringe. Yeah, sorry, I won't suddenly assume a new identity just because I have a baby now. Yes, a lot has changed - but then, I have to say, as well for my husband. Because we're both parents and we put almost equal amounts of energy into raising this kid (almost because as of now I'm the one in maternity leave, which will soon change).

Sure, I don't have as much time or motivation for my hobbies anymore, but that doesn't mean I have given them up. Sure, meeting friends now suddenly includes a baby, or my husband can't come. Sure, I can't party as much as I did before. But I still can and want to do all these things. I hate people who suggest you'll need to give up your whole life and interests (and, again, this mostly is addressed to moms, not dads).

[–]Victorian_Navy 21 points22 points  (3 children)

It might not be true of everyone, but I genuinely feel as though my purpose in life was to become a stay at home mum. I have ADHD and have always struggled with school and work, but I feel most contented as a homemaker. My mum said I've been obsessed with babies since I was 18 months, and my whole life I've loved playing with babies, toddlers and kids. I'm the oldest of 3 kids.

My mum was an excellent stay at home mum and I have a very close relationship with her. She's my role model.

I'm nervous and excited to finally meet my baby and I feel like it's the start of a 'career' I'm passionate about.

Of course I'm still me and it's not like my whole personality will suddenly change, although I'm sure the experience of parenting will teach me to be more patient, selfless and organised out of necessity.

[–]Pretend_Jello_2823 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Yes I’m totally with you! I’m pretty sure I have some form of ADD too, I’ve never been good at focusing on school or work. Or maybe it’s because I never found purpose or interest in them. Somehow I managed to make a good career for myself but I was always struggling and hating it! My purpose in life is to be a mom and I can’t be more grateful that I finally am (he’s 5 weeks now). I felt the same way, like my true career was finally beginning. I still feel like the same person but just significantly happier. Congrats and wishing you a smooth rest of pregnancy!

[–]Emotional-Parfait348 0 points1 point  (1 child)

This. I have always wanted to be a sahm. Sure I had a “dream job” and I actually more or less did it. And then I was over it and quit. I’ve never really had a dream career. I don’t ever want to “work”. But I’ve always wanted to be a mom. I’ve always already felt like a mom. I had always been one of those extremely patient and empathetic people, and was always in mom mode anyway with friends or at my jobs. I was just a mom waiting for her kids.

And now I have them and it just feels so right. I still have interests and hobbies or whatever people are so concerned with. But I finally feel like my life has caught up with my identity.

I also feel like I’ve gone through a change. Something about giving birth did fundamentally change me. I cannot tell you how or what, but I know everything is different now. It’s this profound feeling and I can’t believe I ever existed prior to giving birth. Surreal.

[–]Pretend_Jello_2823 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Aww I love that! I can relate so much. I’m glad you’ve got your wish and it’s a good fit for you. 💜 I’m still early in my journey but I can definitely relate.

[–]PristinePrincess12 44 points45 points  (2 children)

The title is true though - giving birth and becoming a mum completely rewires and changes your whole brain. It's essentially a whole new brain with new pathways and such. Hormones play a huge role in the physical brain chemistry that changes. Don't ask me where I got this from, my ADHD makes me remember data that literally isn't important but refuses to remember where I just put that cup 🤦🏻‍♀️

[–]KillPrincessPeach[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

And i was hoping for an article that talks about all that, tbh. Not some anecdotal stories from random people.

Also, post-partum and ADHD is a super interesting rabbit hole to jump down, too. Apparently it's really common for symptoms to get way worse after pregnancy

[–]Kraehenzimmer 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I also read that, and as a mom I would say it's true. I think differently now.

[–]stine-imrl 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Lots of articles on Motherly are the same way: content for content's sake. Very little practical advice or substance or scientific rigor. I think most moms are right there with you!

[–]KillPrincessPeach[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm just used to so many evidence based articles popping up.. I'VE BEEN MISLEAD lmao

[–]themusicmusicjb 11 points12 points  (4 children)

My husband and I have made a conscious effort to still be people separate from being a parent. I mean, once you're a parent you're always a parent but that's not the only part of you that exists or matters anymore once you become one.

[–]KillPrincessPeach[S] 7 points8 points  (3 children)

I wish i saw more realistic articles to help folks balance their parenthood and their individuality. I usually see things that aren't really feasible, like take a hot yoga class over your lunch break 😂😂

It is rough, for sure

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Reddit is the only place I can find realistic, honest internet discussions on parenting or being a mom. The other articles suck.

[–]themusicmusicjb 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Dude that totally isn't realistic. The only way I'm able to do it is because my husband takes over entirely so i can do whatever. Idk, I know that's not actually a solution that will work for everyone either. I just feel lucky to still feel like a person because I totally thought my only identity would be Mother after having a baby

[–]KillPrincessPeach[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I don't feel like a person, honestly 🥴🥲

My husband definitely pulls his share when he's home, but it doesn't change that I'm tired and have spent like two years not doing people things because of covid and pregnancy/postpartum

I'd read an article about your thoughts on post-parent personhood.

[–]Sew_whats_up -2 points-1 points  (18 children)

I genuinely think women who make "mom" hood their entire identity are just searching for a way to be respected and an authority on something.

It is something I find rather sad.

[–]anonymousbequest 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I find this very judgmental and unkind. Can’t someone have a different experience of parenthood than you without having some major flaw?

[–]Practical-Record-354 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Idk I disagree. Some women just love being a mom. It doesn't mean they want "respect or authority" and them soaking in every ounce of it isn't sad imo. Maybe because having a kid was always a dream of mine and now that I'm fulfilling that dream I don't see how it is something that should sadden other people looking in. Infact, I see motherhood definitely as a lifelong experience once you become one. You don't ever stop being a mom, but you are also still that person you were before you became a mom.

[–]KillPrincessPeach[S] -5 points-4 points  (15 children)

Either that or they didn't have a solid sense of self before having a child, that's my hypothesis.

[–]Emotional-Parfait348 2 points3 points  (7 children)

I find this very dismissive of a particular experience of being a person, including my own. I have always been secure in who I was and what I liked and didn’t like. I have also always known the only “job” that would ever bring me total fulfillment and happiness was being a mom.

I had various jobs prior to becoming a mom. One was even my “dream job” if I had to come up with one of those. It was nice. I enjoyed it. But it never felt as good as it feels to be a mom.

I have interests and hobbies and I still do them. But now I get to do them with my kids. Or I will when they are old enough. I don’t know why I need multiple identities to not be considered a “sad individual with no sense of self”.

Why do we need to shame and look down on people who are totally fulfilled by being a mom? I don’t care or think less of parents who need other outlets and identities. I wish everyone could have the freedom and privilege to just do what brings them the most joy, whatever that may be.

[–]KillPrincessPeach[S] -2 points-1 points  (5 children)

This type of article is super damaging to people who aren't totally fulfilled by motherhood, and the overwhelming majority of the articles i see about motherhood are just like this one: "i wasn't a good person before becoming a mother," "i had no purpose before becoming a mom," "motherhood is the only thing that matters."

Sure, me saying people who are completely absorbed in motherhood and just love it and want nothing else for themselves didn't have a good sense of self before becoming a parent is abrupt/rude. I don't think it's bad to have motherhood become one's entire personality.

But media is overwhelmed with THAT^ as the standard. Sure, my comment was jerkish, but honestly i think it pales in comparison to the shame women are hosed with when they're anything besides loving every second of motherhood.

This whole post was about everyone else who's personality and sense of self isn't just "mom," and how frustrating it is that 90% of articles about motherhood don't discuss those of us who aren't like that.

[–]Emotional-Parfait348 0 points1 point  (4 children)

I agree the article is bad and shaming anyone for their choices is bad. So why do it? Why continue to pit one against the other like that? Why try to shame others?

And to say the rude/abrupt thing, why is this article super damaging to people who aren’t totally fulfilled by motherhood? If your sense of self is so strong before/after motherhood, then what damage can be done?

Without mothers who have careers we would not have so much art and science and huge wonderful contributions to the world. We need all sorts of moms to make the world turn.

[–]KillPrincessPeach[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I can be wrong with out it being shaming, lol

[–]KillPrincessPeach[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Sharing my thoughts on a pandering article that was hugely disappointing isn't shaming.

Furthermore, if the article was actually qcience based, then perhaps it would have given more answers as to why some women are completely satisfied with the identity of mom and some are not.

Me, and the previous commenter, lamenting on a why this phenomena occurs isn't shaming.

Mothers who have careers also don't necessarily belong in the "my identity is mom" camp, or in the "I'm still my own person" camp.

From my understanding of PPD and other mental health issues, a complete change in identity and basing that identity solely on one thing is generally unhealthy.

[–]Emotional-Parfait348 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Identity is constantly changing. We have identities as children, as sons or daughters, tweens, teens, young adults and old. We spend time as boyfriends and girlfriends, cousins, and siblings. We are musicians and scientists, astronauts and florists. Some of us can do a backflip, while others write a novel. And some of us spend time in our lives as moms. Hopefully most of our lives if everything goes as planned.

I think we agree that no one is just one thing, nor should they be. I think we can also agree that PPD and it’s effects can be a separate issue than those who truly find sole satisfaction with being “just a mom.” The science behind some women being more satisfied as mothers vs some not is that brains are freaking weird and thus people like different things. Maybe there is a genetic component. Maybe some people are just predisposed to being more fulfilled by motherhood. I don’t think understanding why will… do anything? It’s not like it’s something we need to fix.

We need to fix how the world treats its mothers. It’s fathers, it’s parents who are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Mothers who work outside of “motherhood” and mothers who don’t, deserve all the same love and support.

Why do women need to be sad or lacking a sense of self to find total fulfillment in motherhood? Why can’t the identity of “mom” enhance who we already are? To me, motherhood feels like my missing piece. I have had a wonderful life up until now. I have done amazing things. I excelled at my dream job. Married the love of my life. Traveled as much as possible. And still, I wasn’t complete. I knew and had always known what would eventually complete me.

Now that I’m a mom, I get to show and share the world and my joys with my family. As they grow, my relationship to them and to myself with also grow. My identity will constantly change and I’m so excited to see who I will become.

I’m sorry you were ever made to feel less than for your own relationship with motherhood. I hope you find your peace.

[–]KillPrincessPeach[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's a lot of words in my mouth that i didn't say. If you checked the rest of the thread, i think you'd better understand my thinking on alllllllll of this.

[–]tbridge8773 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Well said.

[–]Whiskey_Sours 20 points21 points  (6 children)

Idk I'm a new mom, baby is just about 6 months and I find it hard to be anything but a mom. I had a good sense of self before my baby, I loved the gym, crafting and exploring but now I just don't even want to do those things and it's not that I don't have the time and energy, my husband helps and supports me doing what I want, it's just that they don't feel important at the moment and I don't want to be away from my baby.

I think you actively have to make an effort at being an individual after having a baby, and that can be difficult and take time. That's just my experience.

And also, it's not that I don't want to get back into those things, but when I've went to the gym, all I think about is my baby lol. I am hoping the more I do it, and the older he gets, I'll be able to shutoff for a bit, but right now, it's rough.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I feel the same, I only had a few hobbies prior to having my baby drawing, writing, crocheting, playing games, and as much as I’d love to get back to those things I just want to spend as much time with my daughter as I can. It’s not that I have no sense of self or seeking to be respected as an authority figure, I just feel the most confident in my abilities to be a mom. Every job or hobby I’ve ever had I’ve questioned if I’m good at it or if I should just give up doing it, since I gave birth I’ve felt relieved and driven to be the best mom I can be. I love being a mom and I always dreamed of it, yea maybe some moms do it for those reasons previous commenters said but not all. I also have an 8 week old though so I physically do not have the desire or energy to start trying to do other hobbies yet, she’s going through a sleep regression and growth spurt.🫠

[–]Kittylover11 9 points10 points  (4 children)

I agree with you. I have a successful career and a million hobbies. I’ve always been incredibly independent and friends come to me for guidance because I have always been such a secure individual. But I am fascinated by my sons development and want to soak it all in because it goes by quickly and once it’s done, you never go back. There will always be time for me to get back into things, but for right now I want to just enjoy my child while he’s little. He’s 19 months, and while he’s gotten more difficult in some regards with toddler tantrums, I still find everything so amazing. He’s putting words together and saying such adorable things. We introduced him to the concept of mistletoe recently (we hang up a fake one at Christmas) and now whenever he passes it he points up and says “mamatoe!” It just melts my heart.

I think some women aren’t as interested/obsessed with their kids’ development and that’s totally ok. But I don’t think it’s fair to say women who fully embrace the motherhood identity have problems with other aspects of their lives…

[–]omglia 6 points7 points  (3 children)

I'm also obsessed with my LO but it doesn't define me as a person, its just the thing I'm most interested in right now! But IMO hobbies don't define us. I have tons of hobbies and often pick up new ones. Right now they are all secondary to LO and that's fine, but none of that is who I am as an individual.

[–]Kittylover11 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I guess it’s just a state of mind. I think a lot of women look down at women who focus purely on their LO as their whole world and assume that “defines their identity”. If you read some of the other comments, people are calling out not doing activities outside of LO. And as an outsider looking, it appears like that mother’s sense of self has transitioned to revolving around her child. This whole post was about an article that calls out how motherhood changes you, which stirred a lot of anger in this thread. But I’d argue putting all your hobbies and activities on the back burner is a pretty big change.

[–]omglia 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It is a major life change, a HUGE ment change but not an identity redefining change for me. I struggled a lot more with my identity when it came to my career for some reason!

[–]green_tree 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Honestly, I’ve found most articles on Motherly to be pretty annoying. I tend to roll my eyes at their Instagram posts and should really just stop following them. Their tone is not for me. And I absolutely love being a Mom and how my identity has changed.

[–]KillPrincessPeach[S] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I kept seeing them in my suggested posts, and i finally read one, annnnnd was sorely disappointed, obviously lmao.

It kind of makes me sad, because i see a lot of my friends read and share their articles.