In this article I want to answer to a question that many women may have pondered on since becoming mothers – what about the old me?
In particular, I received this message.
I have spent the past seven years being pregnant, breast feeding, having sleepless nights, going to soft play and generally being a mum. I gave up my career in HR to be at home with the children and will never regret that decision but they are now both at full time school and I am feeling a little lost. It is hard to fit my old career into school hours, I feel like my body is working against me and as if I just don’t fit anywhere. I would love to know how to get my life and figure back in shape so the old me comes back again. Anna
And here’ is my answer to this woman.
Thank you for opening up with me. I realise this must not be easy for you and I understand how hard it is when that sensation of feeling a little lost arises.
What most caught my attention in your lines is this: “…so the old me comes back again”.
I completely understand your desire, in fact most of the people who come to see me in my therapy room wish the very same thing: they want to be the “old self” again, the person they were before certain events happened or certain symptoms appeared.
However, this wish is not really possible, I’m afraid. You have transformed thanks to your new experience and there is no coming back.
What’s the good news?
Well, once you accept that this is not going to happen, you can start feeling the curiosity for the new you and looking for her. The new you can be a great improvement and a great revelation!
If you think about it, why would you just want the old you to come back? You said that you don’t regret your choices and I can think that the experience of being a mum was fulfilling for you. Sure, you had sleepless nights and soft play afternoons, but how great was, and still is, being a mum for you? How do you feel when you hold your babies, when they hug you or smile at you, when they come back home after school?
My point is: the old you didn’t know any of these feelings before. But now you do and I wonder how amazing it is for you!
As hard as you try to go back to the old you, you won’t find it as it was because in the meantime you have lived and you have experienced.
Very often I can see how frustrating it is for my clients to try finding tho old self. And it’s frustrating because that old part is not the same anymore, it has evolved.
Could this be one of the reasons why you feel a little lost? Because perhaps you are trying to find something that is not the same anymore?
If that’s the case, I would suggest you accept this. This process will allow you to find those elements of the old you that are still there and that you want to bring forward with you in your life. The process will close when you will be able to integrate those elements with the new you.
I am sure you will discover a new more resourceful and enriched person.
How can you do that?
I would suggest you to explore your desires. You have the chance to start from zero again and to focus on finding the job that you really want. What would intrigue you? What kind of work and environment would make you feel it’s worth it to leave your home in the morning?
I also understand that you want your figure back. In this case, try to find the best motivation: what would prompt you the most? Find your inner motivation and set your goals.
Again, your body may not go back just as it was, but I am sure you can find a new shape that you can be satisfied with as it will always remind you that your body has changed because something amazing happened: you gave birth to your two wonderful children.
I could not give an answer to your will to know how to get your life back…. But I hope I equipped you with the right questions, because when you pop the right questions, life usually responds.