Losing your Identity in Motherhood: The Symptoms

Terri Fry - creator, mom like that

Terri Fry - creator, mom like that

Losing your Identity in Motherhood: The Symptoms

“What made you want to start this podcast?”

I get asked this question quite often. The answer to this is not binary for me; many reasons have led me to create the Mom Like That platform and finding myself again after having kids is one of them. But before we discuss what finding yourself again looks like, its important to examine what losing yourself looks like as well.

As mothers, we’ve all gone through this experience of losing our own sense of identity after our children are born. It happens consciously and subconsciously on so many levels, and before we know it, we find ourselves years later wondering – what have I done for myself that’s just for me over the last many years? It took me almost 2 years to understand how I had lost myself, why I had lost myself and how to find who I was again. Being lost and feeling lost was never a clearly recognized experience for me. The truth is, I didn’t feel “lost”. I felt a lot of other emotions instead.

I felt resentment. I resented my husband at times, because the lack of movement in my life outside of motherhood was confusing to me. When I wasn’t making magic happen for me, it felt like it was his fault. That he wasn’t doing enough to bring excitement in my life.

I felt discouraged professionally. I felt that I didn’t deserve success as a professional in my career because I had kids. That my duties for the kids would be the reason I wouldn’t climb the ladder – because through these prime child caring years, I would never be able to give the attention and time to work like I wanted to. And then I felt resentment and bitterness towards my peers without kids that were reaching new heights.

I felt isolation. I didn’t know why I felt so lonely even when I had such a good support system. Friends and family who had my back, my kids who absolutely loved me and a husband who was supporting me unconditionally the best way he knew how. I didn’t talk about this feeling since it felt made up. As if it was in my head and I had to shake it off. I felt as if the world was moving ahead and everyone had it together except for me. I was trying to play catch up with people who had kids and those without, but I was so far behind, so insecure and unsure of myself that I didn’t know how to catch up. I was living with never ending fear of missing out on everything the world was doing.

I felt so many mixed emotions and confusion that ultimately took over my sanity and affected not just me, but my family and my life with my husband.

No one knew I was going through these things. I kept it together on the surface and battled the confusions internally. It took me a great deal of self-evaluation and self-destruction to understand that all these feelings were symptoms of losing myself as an individual after becoming a mom.

For over 4 years I stopped prioritizing myself. I put the needs of my family above and ahead of any of my individual needs. Anything that mattered to me alone was no longer a priority. What was important to my husband and what was valuable to the family unit came first. And often these things came at the cost of my suffering even when they didn’t need to. The guilt of doing something for myself, even when time and opportunities allowed me to do so, was bigger than taking the action or enjoying the act of taking care of myself.

Without feeling lost as a person, I was ultimately lost. The symptoms of losing myself were emerging for far too long before I realized what they meant.

So, what changed? I am not sure. It wasn’t one moment, but a build up of many moments, a lot of frustration, and all the feelings mentioned before that led me to a breakdown. A breakdown that happened in many doses over many years before I hit my rock bottom.

For me to find myself again, for anyone to go through a path of rediscovery, it is important to recognize the symptoms you feel when you are lost. You may be feeling (or have felt) some of the symptoms I felt or yours might look entirely different. But you can’t discover your identity without recognizing your pain points. You must pay close attention to the indicators and reflect on why you are having those feelings. It’s easy to project your feelings as a reaction onto others actions and doings, but true self discovery can only begin when you start realizing that your feelings are your own, they are not the responsibility of others and only you hold the power to free yourself from these symptoms before you can find yourself again.

So how will you reflect on this today to find yourself again?

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Episode 52: Let The Drinking Games Begin

Let The Drinking Games Begin with Sarah and Sterling Buckley

Grab yourself a drink, start a tab with us because the much awaited drinking games series is finally here! We kick off this epic series with 2 of the funniest people I’ve met on social media – Sara and Sterling Buckley from Not The Worst Marriage Podcast. Sara was on the show before on episode 40, “She’s Not the Worst Mom”, which is the most downloaded episode on the podcast to date. Sarah came back and brought along sterling for an epic conversation with drinks flowing and hilarious questions being answered. We got really personal (like really personal) and got to know all sorts of things about each other. From learning about who threw up on who, the not so smart drinking choices made in the past, to “self” care (we mean masturbation really) and porn habits, we got to know each other a bit too much. Most importantly we got a great laugh and you will to! So grab a drink and play with us! But please drink responsibly and follow the drinking age limits in your respective states and countries.

Ps. Our drinks of choice were champagne, red wine, and gin.

Check out Sara and Sterling over at www.nottheworstmarriage.com and follow them on their social media channels: @nottheworstmarriage @sterbuck @nottheworstmoms

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Episode 51: The Things We Do on Social Media

Episode 51: The Things We Do On Social Media

The podcast is back everyone! After taking the month of September off, we are back with a new look and a new episode. This week on the podcast we talk about all the strange things we do on social media. From the type of comments we leave, the meme community and the backlash it gets, our obsession with gifs, memes and emojis and our desires to be influencers. We cover these hot social media topics and activities in a funny way. But we also get serious about the trolls who feel the need to put others down on social media because they feel triggered by a joke. We’ve all seen those nasty comments and on this episode we have a thing or two to say about that. You know what else we have something to say about? The Mom Supporting Mom and Women Supporting Women movement. We discuss how this has been taken a little too far and the expectations we’ve put on women with this movement are unrealistic. We also share why. Lastly, we give you a scenario of what would happen if all moms who interact in group chats on Instagram got together in real life. That would be funny! Check out the episode and share with who you know! 

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Episode 04: Motherhood, I Wasn’t Prepared for this!

Episode 04: Motherhood, I Wasn't Prepared For This!

In Episode 4 we talk with guest host Auroosa about the unexpected emotional journey motherhood took us on. We discuss the surprise emotions, physical changes, vulnerabilities and the comical moments we didn’t expect motherhood treating us with

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Episode 03: You’re at Work, and the kids at school

Episode 03: You're at Work, and the Kids at School

In this episode we talk about the challenges working moms face with school aged kids. The guilt, the emotions and the judgments. Guest host Saima shares her shocking experience and comparison with the movie Bad Moms.

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Episode 02 – So You’re Going Back to Work

Episode 02: So You're Going Back to Work

In this episode we discuss the anxiety and emotions we felt around returning back to work from maternity leave. We talk about the challenges and give tips on making the transition back to work as smooth (and anxiety free!) as possible.

Special Guest: Roslyn M.

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Episode 01 – The Intro Episode!

Episode 01: The Intro Episode!

Welcome to Mom Like That Podcast! In this first episode get to know me and why I started this podcast. We talk about recognizing that we are all different but sticking together as moms in our common thread, that we love our children. We discuss comments and judgments moms receive on the go and get you ready for the Mom Like That podcast journey.

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