New Mum Identity Crisis

Today I wrote my Christmas list for the husband. Usually by this time of the year I have more than plenty of ideas of the nicest this and the latest that, that he could buy me. In fact, I usually have a list so long that I write everything down in order of preference. But not this year. This year I seem to lack inspiration. Not just because Ive spent the last four months obsessing over all the lovely dresses, jackets and shoes that I could buy the little lady instead of keeping one eye on whats new in Zara each week, but because I seem to be in the midst of what I can only describe as some kind of identity crisis.

It sounds so cliche, but let me explain. Ive never been one to think that just because you become a mummy you have to dress like one. In fact, I aspire to be the epitome of the yummy mummy. However, my daydreams of being a mother have always rather oddly featured me in soft draping cardigans and sumptuous cashmere, out shopping or hosting Sunday lunch with my imaginary brood. The reality is though, that at 28 I couldn’t be further from this daydream that has been running in the background of my mind for the last few years, and therein lies the problem.

After years of figuring out what my style is, with a quite a few faux pas in between, I finally know what suits me, and what doesn’t. I know what colours to wear and what cuts to buy. I know how something will hang on my body before I try it or buy it. I can quite confidently say that I know what works for my body. But there is something about having a child that makes you consciously yet subtly consider the way you dress. That makes you start to question “what type of mummy” you want to look like, because after all mummys come in all shapes and sizes, and that is the dilema I suddenly faced when I sat down this afternoon. What type of mummy am I. What do I want to look like. How do I want to be perceived. Because lets face it, everyone knows that first impressions are formed in just seconds whether we like it or not. You could argue that becoming a mummy doesnt mean having to change your style. After all, you are still you. Arent you?..I thought I was, up until this afternoon. But then I realised that something had changed. Subtly. Without me even noticing it. Window shopping online previously would have kept me happily entertained for hours, but today I just couldnt quite find anything that piqued my interest, and I realised that it was because I wasnt quite sure how I want to look now that I am a mummy. Ive been so used to working in the city for years, and my career being such a big part of my life that my work wardrobe overshadows my casual wardrobe by a long way. In fact, I have much prefered my work wardrobe for a long time, and shopping trips over the last few years have been very much focused on building out the work wardrobe I so adore and cherish. My casual wardrobe has been a bit of an afterthought for quite some time, which wasnt a problem, until now. Now that I spend more time in my casual wardrobe than I had ever imagined.

I realise now that a big part of my identity has been what I do for a living, but like my wardrobe that is being overshadowed by my new role as a mummy and I seriously need some new clothes to go with it. I want to look sophiscated, yet need funtionality because realistically what mummy totters to Baby Sensory classes in court shoes. I want to look chic, yet come across as approachable, because what new mummy doesnt want to make friends at messy play. I want to be as on trend as I was in the city, yet I want to be comfortable when im trying to balance the car seat, the changing bag and the shopping bags all at the same time. But most of all I want to look and feel confident in how I represent this new part of my identity through the way that I dress and carry myself when I’m with my daughter.

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4 Comments

  1. January 18, 2014 / 10:15 am

    Totally understand this! It has taken me so long to work out ‘who’ I am, and also to get back to some sort of ‘me’. I was really confident and happy when I was pregnant, with how I looked, Dressed etc and I finally felt ‘myself’. Cue baby and I was quite literally a mess! Now she’s almost a year old I am starting find my feet again. I hope you start to work it out too! One tip I think is not to be scared to try new things, and I’d you feel like trying something new to wear, give it a go! It might work x

    • January 18, 2014 / 10:35 pm

      It really is baby steps isnt it. I dont think my sense of style has massively changed, although im finding that I seem to think a lot more about where I buy my clothes from these days. Its only now 6 months on that im starting to finally feel like im finding my fashion feet again and it feels really good!

  2. January 18, 2014 / 11:03 am

    I think one of the biggest blows that comes with motherhood is our body image. And only because we are expected to look fantastic while taking on such a huge responsibility. I’m going through the same thing. After becoming a mom, I not only shop less, I consider my ‘mommy status’ before deciding what to wear. I don’t know if that is a good thing, though.

    • January 18, 2014 / 10:29 pm

      Im exactly the same. I think twice before I buy something for myself now because of my new, more grown up status. I find it surprising though because although I expected to feel differently about my body after birth, its not in the way that I thought it would be. Im actually quite happy with the way my post-birth body looks, I think I got away relatively unscathed. Its more about how I feel about my body that has surprised me the most.

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