Can you completely change who you are but still stay the same?

Before I had a baby I used to think of people with children as adults. That when you had children you suddenly became a grown up who would know everything and have it all together somehow. Like there was going to be some sort of shift overnight?! I thought I’d be more mature and sensible…

But really I’m still the same person. I certainly don’t know anything more than I did (and I by this I just suddenly thought I’d have more common sense/general knowledge… I certainly don’t!) I still find the same things and people funny, and I definitely don’t have it altogether! I think I slightly suffer with imposter syndrome, in work, as a wife and definitely as a mother. It takes/has taken me a long time to feel like my opinion matters and that I’m a valid source of information sometimes. You know like the feeling of being a child amongst adults, feeling like people look at you like ‘well what does she know?’. I have to remind myself that my feelings, thoughts and opinions are valid. There’s no better reminder for this than someone appreciating what you do (which is why having a baby is great – they appreciate alll the little things haha!). In all seriousness though, it’s a game changer when you feel appreciated or worthy. Imposter syndrome is REAL. It’s another reason I put off posting blogs, ‘who do I think I am?!’ But receiving positive feedback is just the best feeling and I enjoy it so ima carry on!

However, even though certain parts of me have stayed the same, I have changed. I’ve learnt (very much on the job, day by day) how to look after my child (emphasise on the ‘my’ as anyone else’s I’m not so sure I’d do to well 🤣).

I’ve become someone I never ever thought I would. It’s the age old saying ‘I can’t believe I ever judged a parent before I was one’. Not that I feel like I judged parents but you absolutely don’t know what you’d do with your own child until you have your own child. And even then, if similar circumstances arose again I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it differently the next time. I used to think a child would just fit into your life, not that you’d have to fit in to theirs. And so, yes you become someone who is obsessed with their child, looks at pictures whilst they sleep, talks about what they’ve done that day to your partner, even though they were there- they saw too. But how could you not, when you’ve made another human. Everything they do is fascinating (mostly just to you, your partner and maybe close friends and family, which is something I need to tell myself sometimes…)

There are things I’ve just completely changed my mind on as I’ve gone through the last couple of years. It took me a while for this to sit well with me, because I didn’t want to be a hypocrite but it is totally ok to change your mind. Whatever it’s about. When I was 18 I’d hear people say they couldn’t think of anything worse than a night out and getting home at 4AM. ‘What?!’ I would think… ‘how sad! That sounds like an amazing night’…. but here I am and yes, I couldn’t think of much worse than not getting to bed until 4AM.

Then, on a more serious note, in the past, I’ve fallen for ALL the fad diets in the past (shakes, coffees, groups, diet pills etc.) and at the time I thought I was doing the right thing. How wrong was I?! It’s given me the most unhealthy relationship with weight loss that I’m only just getting over. But I didn’t know any better. So, It may be because you didn’t know all the facts originally, you’ve learnt more, you understand more or just you’d never been in that set of circumstances before.Or quite simply, you’re opinion has changed. It’s totally fine.

But I revert back to, underneath, I’m still the same person. I still want to go out and drink cocktails (/wine by the buckets) with my friends and dance all night (well maybe until 11pm). I’ll still be the one writing the answers on quiz night because that’s my contribution and I’ll still laugh at the things that made me laugh before I ‘grew up’ and had a child. Because let’s face it, that doesn’t change from one day to the next. Perhaps though, it’s growth. Maybe we don’t change, we grow. All of our life experiences don’t change who we are deep down, they just change bits about how we are, how we act and what we want.

My priorities have certainly changed. But again that’s not who I am. My priorities have changed but I have not. I will always put my little girl first now, but sometimes that means looking after me as well. ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’ as they say. A wild night* out or a spa day with the girls doesn’t make me a bad mother. In fact it probably makes me a better one because sometimes you need a break, a release, in whatever form interests you.

*in these circumstances grandparents/babysitters are required for the full day after said wild night out because what’s the point in not being able to mope around in bed eating junk food whilst hungover – that’s one of the best bits right?!

I still get things wrong. In fact probably more so that I get right sometimes. But I’m learning. Again, I’m growing (not growing up might I add – just growing the person I am, growing up is not for me). I may make more sensible decisions than I once did but that’s because it’s no longer just me I’ve got to think about. I may feel nervous about doing things that I used to be totally fine with but this past year probably hasn’t helped that. I may occasionally choose water over wine (occasionally! – I remember those pregnancy days of missing out and they were loonnggg) but it’s probably because I’m choosing my health/welfare over the sweet sweet taste of Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand Marlborough for anyone curious). No one wants a hangover when they have a child to look after the next day. No one.

So, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that; yes some bits of you can change, but ultimately, you will always be the same person deep down. Well, I think I will be anyway. And I definitely haven’t become that grown up I thought I would when I had a baby. I have however, grown. Every day we grow and learn new things. I’m still dealing with being a imposter mother but every day I feel more valid, especially in that role – which of course -is the best one I have ❤️

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