In an article in this month's Adoption UK magazine, nine adoptive mothers talk about their experience of a change in identity. They talk about moving away from their old role to a new role, with some transitions coming as a shock for some of the women. This really resonated with me as I think I'm still in shock.
I'm really not sure what my identity is, I feel I've lost something over the last year and I can't quite put my finger on it. I think the speed of our approval, match and placement left me in shock even though I thought I was ready for motherhood. I'm still not sure I feel like a mother yet, though I'm not exactly sure what I should feel like. I look at birth mothers and wonder if there is something different they feel, or maybe being a mother is a shock to many, be birth or adopter.
The article talks about 'public identity' and here I struggle too. Whilst many of my friends and acquaintances know that we've adopted, only one of the 'school mums' knows (well, actually two know - an acquaintance told the second mum and it wouldn't surprise me now if most of the mums knew thanks to second mum), and it's these mums I come into contact with most nowadays. I don't want to be judged and I don't want Missy to be judged.
Before we adopted, I was self-employed and prior to my self-employment I had been a full time PA. But I don't know what I am now. I don't feel I can go back to self-employment as logistically it won't work, plus it's also very hard work and takes up far more time than being an employee. I loved the industry I worked in and the work I did sits strongly with my core values. Maybe that's it, maybe I need to look at my core values and rebuild/rebrand myself. I'm going to start another blog in the New Year under my real name with the subject matter that is dear to my heart, nothing to do with adoption, and that will give me something on which to focus and maybe I can rebuild my identity upon that. I don't want to be seen, or view myself more importantly, as 'an adopter'. Some birth mums I know who are mums full time still talk about themselves in terms of their jobs, even if they are having a five year break until kiddy goes to school full time. I don't know what I am going to do and Missy is already at school full time. I'm confused and the more I think about identity the more confused I get.
One quote in the article hits the nail on the head for me - "It's all about confidence isn't it ...." My confidence is one thing that's disappeared faster than a bar of chocolate after Missy has gone to bed. So I guess I need to work on my confidence as a base for my identity.
In other news, I've done all my Christmas shopping and it's only the 13th!