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How to keep your own identity as a new mum

Amy Hennessey ponders what’s left after baby classes, tummy time and CBeebies

If you thought I was going to answer the statement in this blog's title, you've come to the wrong place. Soz. I should have used a question mark, my friend.

Becoming a mum for the first time is all-consuming. Everything you do, think and even feel is about your family's new addition. Your search history is full of things like 'is the colour of my baby's poo normal?' and 'when will they stop pulling out my hair?' Your Amazon wishlist has suddenly become sponsored by Sophie the fricking giraffe and your only pastimes are now singing Baby Shark with 20 other mums sat around in a circle or hunting for the dinosaur that is in fact mine.

I sound like a hateful bore don't I? Do you know what, I genuinely love doing all those things with my son (I think I enjoy our local class Minky Moos more than he does), but in amongst it all you kind of lose sight of who YOU are.

I think I have genuinely forgotten what I ever used to talk about before. I did a 'keeping in touch day' at work recently and everyone joked 'bet you haven't missed this place!' and I got confused reactions when I said that yes, in fact, I really had. One of my mum friends pointed out to me the other day that people only ever ask how her baby is, like she doesn't exist anymore. So it's hard to remember what makes you you.

This is why I'm now making a concerted effort to do some things for myself. As my job in publishing is a big part of who I am, writing this blog is obviously one of them. I've been doing a lot of non-baby related reading. I plan to start up some photography again, and not just of the baby. When you have a small shouty one, fitting in time for these things can be tough, but even tiny things may mean eventually I might maintain enough of my personality to actually hold an adult conversation once again.

But I suppose the truth of it is my identity has changed, and part of the struggle is in accepting that seismic alteration to who you are. I'm now Freddie's mum, and do you know what? That's the best identity in the whole damn world.

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