I’ve recently started back at work after the birth of my son Finn on 12.1.21 (yes, the coolest birthday ever!) I’ve been enjoying the time off (well, different pace of life) with my family and getting to know this gorgeous little human.
Recently I was speaking with a friend about how everything was going with my motherhood journey. And she asked “so how are you finding your new identity?”
I really struggled with this subject during my pregnancy. The “role” and “title” of mother and the “new identity” kept coming up in conversation. I felt very fearful for a lot of my pregnancy about losing myself I’d heard so many women had felt they had lost their identity during their transition to motherhood. I also really struggled with this concept of new role and identity as it felt like I had to leave behind ALL of my old self and my old life and I would somehow become a new person. I just couldn’t get on board with that.
My work is built around helping people to connect with who they really are. I truly believe that you are who you are, always. Uniquely you. But over the years it can get lost under a mound of roles, titles, expectations, opinions and outsider views. You lose that connection to the authentic you and it can be hard to see yourself clearly.
So of course, I was going to fight fiercely to defend and hold onto the person I was. And the person I am. I struggled and pushed and rallied against this new role, even pushing away the “mum” title and rejecting it. Because I felt like it was going to take over my life and my identity, I wasn’t able to see at the time how this role and identity could fit. I wanted to have a family and I wanted so much to have this little person join my world, but I didn’t want to lose myself!
However, as I spoke to this friend, I realised that this new role was integrating into my life. I said to her that motherhood was now a piece of me. And there are many pieces of me. There’s my work of course, there’s my family, my friends, my passions, my travel (a big part), my experiences and so much more. This journey and this new piece is a pretty massive one, arguably one of the biggest additions I’ll ever add into the picture, but it’s still a piece of me.
I said that I see it as a puzzle. We are all a beautiful puzzle with many many pieces. Without all the pieces, you can’t see the complete picture. Sometimes we lose pieces (check between the sofa cushions). Sometimes we get pieces muddled or in the wrong order. Sometimes there are so many pieces, we don’t know how to bring it all together and get a clear view. But it’s important to know that it’s only when we have all those pieces together, that we get to see the whole and beautiful picture as it’s meant to be.
Motherhood is another piece of the Emma puzzle. I am still me. I am first and foremost Emma. Of course, I’m still integrating this change and navigating this journey (and will do for the rest of my life really) but I’m very much enjoying this additional piece and adding it into the bigger picture.
And you lovely one, are a beautiful puzzle. A combination of hundreds of pieces coming together to make up the full picture. But perhaps you have just misplaced a few pieces – I can help you find them!
Your personal brand is made up of all these pieces. It is the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to see you. It is the telling of your story, and how it reflects your conduct, behaviour, spoken and unspoken words, and attitudes.
It’s what makes you, you!
So, is it time to put the pieces of you together so we can all see the beautiful picture?