REAL LIFE STORIES

Jennifer

I am a mum and so much more

Last year, I became a mum. It was something I’d wanted for a long time and as a transformational coach I felt prepared for the change that was about to happen….turns out I wasn’t.

I specialise in working with women who have lost their sense of identity and purpose - both of which are common contributing factors to depression and other mental health issues. I was aware that becoming a mum would be a shift in identity and spent many a whimsical hour dreaming about the kind of mother I was going to be.

Then D day came. I delivered a healthy baby boy and my life as I knew it got turned inside out and upside down.

Charlie was what I call a ‘velcro baby’ from the get go. He would NOT be put down and would cry for 10 hours + a day. He would only sleep if he was in physical contact with another human, being pushed in the pram or driven around in the car. My preconceived ideas about a child simply slotting neatly into our life were smashed to smithereens.

In that whirlwind of the 4th trimester - which thankfully now feels like a distant memory, I was so consumed by tending to this tiny humans every need, that somewhere along the line, I lost myself.

I lost sight of the woman I had been and had no clue who I was. There was certainly no sign of that earthly, wholesome, womanly mother I’d imagined myself to be.

The only way I can describe it was I felt like Mike TV in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when he gets blown into tiny pieces that travel through the air and into the TV to create the tiny TV sized version of him except I never got to the TV, I was still in a million tiny fragments floating in space, waiting to land, for the pieces of me to be put back together again.

I’d walk into a clothes shop and within 10 minutes would leave in tears. How does THIS me dress? What does she wear? What’s her style? What does she like? What does she look good in? What does she feel good in? I DON’T KNOW!!

So, I turned to my own tool kit. One of the exercises I often use with clients (and one that had set my own transformation in motion several years ago) is the “I am” exercise.

I first encountered this exercise on a training course I attended with Matt Hudson (visit matthudson.com to learn more about his incredible work in the field of mental health and education).

The exercise consists of simply completing the sentence I am… ten times with the first answers that come to mind. Give it a go, it can be pretty eye opening!

The words I am are pretty powerful in themselves because what we put after them is what we become (or believe we are) and this in itself can become self limiting. We can quite easily end up unintentionally putting ourselves into a box because we’ll form values and beliefs to support our identities and will generalise, delete and distort information around us in order to evidence and support that which we believe to be true about ourselves.

These beliefs and values will show up in the meanings we create and so I sat down and wrote:

I am a mum and that means……

Blank. I don’t even know I thought,I’m just a mum I thought to myself as I shrugged my shoulders and slumped over my cold coffee. Who am I and where did the rest of me go?

A few days later on one of my many ‘scrolling through Facebook fests' as the baby fed, I came across an article on ‘funny things kids say’ where a child was asked the question: how old is your mummy? The child replied “my mummy is 6”. When the interviewer commented that the child herself was six so mummy must be older, the child replied: “no, because she became a mummy the day I was born so she is 6”. Ah out of the mouths of babes…this was the lightbulb moment for me.

Babies don’t come out with an operations manual and we no longer live in a communal society where several generations live under the same roof and child rearing is engrained in us from yay high.

I had zero prior experience and yet I’d put this gargantuan pressure on myself, this expectation that I was going to be a brilliant mummy from day one.

In my tired, frazzled state, I had neglected entirely to embrace motherhood for what it is. A journey in its own right. An opportunity to learn and grow everyday alongside our tiny humans with fuck it moments, tears and laughter galore.

In that moment of realisation, who I had been pre Charlie came flooding back to me.

I smiled.

I am a mum and so much more!

From feeling utterly lost and small, I realised I can be the woman, the mum, the super human I want to be. I can create her, she IS me but not that me from before, she is a transformed me and she is kick-ass awesome and growing in awesomeness every day.

Whoever you are, remember you are always so much more than that and you are certainly NEVER ‘just’ anything. YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE. So, in a universe of infinite possibilities who are you now?

If this resonated with you, I’d love to hear your story. You can find me on Facebook by searching Jennifer Clare Mansfield or if you’re a mum who feels like she’s lost her mojo, join the evolution of Beyond You, an online community of supportive superwomen who have come together to cheer each other on as they embark on a journey to rediscover their identity and purpose. It’s time to Rise and Shine! xx

 

Real Life Stories


A's Story - Tips on Weight Loss for Mental Ill-health

A's Story

A's story 

Find Out More
a's Story

Angela's Story

Lessons from a sun worshiper 

Find Out More
mark's Story

Mark's Story

A helluva a way to detox: my diary of prostate cancer or ……Very occasionally, if you pay really close attention, Life doesn’t suck 

Find Out More
Adrian's Story

Adrian's Story

How exercise boosted my mental health 

Find Out More
Karen's Story

Karen's Story

Womb cancer and my five really important lessons 

Find Out More
Brenda's Story

Brenda's Story

Top tips for surviving breast cancer 

Find Out More
Ruth's

Ruth's Story

Our journey with anorexia

Find Out More
Linda's Story

Linda's Story

My journey out of loneliness

Find Out More
Victoria's Story

Victoria's Story

Suffering from anxiety

Find Out More
Deborah's Story

Deborah's Story

Self-employment: just a dream?

Find Out More
Jennifer's Story

Jennifer's Story

I am a mum and so much more

Find Out More

 

X

Join Our Community

Close

Do you believe as we do, that everyone deserves to live their very best life? Sadly, few of us have the full set of skills, knowledge and tools to life a fulfilled and positive life, and we all make mistakes and learn along the way.

Here at LifeBuddy, we are worried at the general increase in women turning to antidepressants and the significant increase in anxiety and mental health issues. But what if we could take a short-cut to a happier life?

What if we could access a variety of useful, helpful tools, information and ‘how to’ guides that will enable us to create a great life and make the rest of our life, the best of our life? Join us now and receive regular updates on the latest information for living our best life.

YES PLEASE I WANT TO HEAR FROM LIFE BUDDY