3 In motherhood

Modern Motherhood: A New Identity

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Today is the final post in the Modern Motherhood mini-series I’ve been doing in collaboration with Mitera Collection. After discussing stay-at-home/work-at-home life, pumping at work and the postpartum body, I wanted to round things out by discussing the new identity that’s formed when we become mothers.

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Fifty-two weeks into this parenting thing, life before Jack is honestly sort of fuzzy. It’s wild how just one year of a new identity—mother—can be so much more prominent than the 28 years previous. Child, daughter, friend, student, patient, employee, wife—these are all identities I’ve carried throughout my life at one time or another.

If I could pass along any wisdom to new moms it would be this: you are not your old self, and you never will be again. You are something brand new. Something holy. Something that is being sanctified with every diaper change, late-night nursing session, sick-baby snuggle and toddler temper tantrum. This work of motherhood, it makes us new and it makes us better—through highs and lows, ups and downs, thick and thin.

These are a few new traits that have become part of my identity since becoming a mother:

A New Kind of Confidence | Being responsible for a tiny life has given me a new, different confidence that I didn’t have before. I second-guess myself less. I own my choices and personality more. I accept who I am for the most part. I’m so far from perfect it’s comical, but I am much more okay with that than I was pre-baby. It’s so much clearer to me now that each day is a brand new day, full of possibility and the opportunity to do differently what I failed to do or did terribly the day before. Also, it helps that there is a tiny person who stares at me with unconditional love and snuggles with me for most of the day :)

Selflessness |  What a gift it is to be so selfless all day. A relief, really, to think of someone other than ourselves all the time for a change. It doesn’t always feel that way, but as I reflect on this first year of motherhood I can honestly see that’s the case. It’s hilarious to think about how much time and energy I put towards thinking about and caring for myself before I became a mother. I’m not saying that everyone who doesn’t have kids is selfish by any means, just that me before motherhood = selfish.

Bolder Creativity | Before Jack came into the picture, I would go through big creative slumps where I totally lacked inspiration and felt like I had nothing to share. Now–probably because I have so much less time to actually create—I feel like the ideas just won’t stop coming. I am always writing things down to remember them for later, and obviously I’ve taken a really big creative leap I never would’ve taken before…I’m starting a small jewelry business!

How has being a mother changed your identity? I’d really love to know!

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*Mitera Collection Dress (c/o Mitera, shortened by my tailor)
Cupcakes & Cashmere Jacket
Natalie Borton Bracelets
Sole Society Booties

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How has motherhood changed or added to your identity?

*Use the code ‘MOTHER’ to save 25% until October 20th. 

A LITTLE NOTE ABOUT TAILORING AND INVESTMENT PIECES: The dress I’m wearing has been hemmed by my tailor for my perfect fit. This dress is made longer (on my 5’4″ body it hit right at the knees) for maximum versatility. It can be worn during and after pregnancy, and also easily worn by taller women or anyone looking for a more modest dress. I like my dresses on the shorter side, so I tailored mine, but it’s worth noting that the dress won’t look exactly like mine when it arrives on your doorstep. As far as pricing goes, this dress is undeniably an investment piece. It’s not for everyone, but it is absolutely a worthy purchase for fellow minimalists who are interested in quality over quantity. It’s ideal for those of you who are pregnant (or plan to be!), work in a professional environment and need to pump during the day, or non-pregnant, non breastfeeding moms who just want to wear high quality pretty dresses that they can wear and throw in a washing machine. (That’s right—this dress is machine washable!) Get all the deets about the Ellen Dress here.

(This post was created in partnership with Mitera Collection, a brand whose mission I love and support. For every dress they sell, Mitera helps support the work of organizations dedicated to improving maternal and newborn health! Thanks for supporting the brands that make Thoughts By Natalie possible!)

3 Comments

  • Reply
    Renee
    September 19, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    I relate to this so much. The selflessness is so true and so refreshing too!

  • Reply
    Le'Nise
    September 21, 2015 at 1:54 am

    I agree with all of these points – I laugh when I think about the acres of time I used to have, the things I used to worry about and the concern I used to have about what people thought of me. Having a child has given me so much perspective on what’s important and what isn’t. It’s also given me a laser focus on my time. If I don’t get what I want to get done during nap time, then I know it just won’t get done until after bedtime. That motivates me to get loads done!

  • Reply
    Amy
    September 22, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Natalie – I stumbled across your blog in search of minimalist outfits on Pinterest several months ago, but quickly discovered I relate to you on more than just clothes and simpler living. I’m not normally one to comment, but I really appreciate this post. I’m a new mama myself (to a sweet 7 month old boy–aren’t they the best?!), and definitely relate to your new elements of identity. I would also add “Adaptability” to mine. I’m daily amazed by our capacity as humans and mothers to adjust to new/unexpected situations with relative ease and grace. As selfish as it sounds, being a mom has benefitted me as an individual in ways I never expected or thought possible. It’s certainly an identity I love and wouldn’t trade!

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