Who am I?
I’m Bunny, mum of two boys.
This is how I introduce myself 99% of the time. This is how I define my identity to others. “I’m a mum”. And yes, I am, and yes, my kids are two of the most important people in my life, but if I put the whole “mum” part of me aside for a minute… Who the hell am I? I think as mamas, we often tend to lose a bit of identities or sense of selves. We get so wrapped up under the “mum” title that we forget that we are also individual, unique, strong, powerful women.
Well mamas, I think it’s about time we start rediscovering ourselves.
For those who don’t know this, I became a parent at a younger-than-I’d-like-to-admit-to age; before I’d had a chance to really try out the whole “adulting” thing and figure out who I was as a person, experience life, all that jazz. Now, I definitely don’t regret having my eldest, and I wouldn’t give him back for anything – but I also wouldn’t recommend having kids as young as I did. I often wonder who I would have been or become if I hadn’t had kids – perhaps all mothers think that, no matter what age they give birth. I don’t know. But I’m still really not sure who I am as well as “mum”. So I came up with a very quick, simple exercise to help me find out – and thought this might help others figure out their identities too. Absolutely do try this at home.
Firstly, I wrote down all the things I like doing – or liked doing pre-kids – whether I’m half decent at them or a bit crap at them:
Things I enjoy (in no particular order)
Eating, writing, drawing, making coffee, lettering, baking, laughing, photography, socialising, travelling, cooking, going to the beach, fishing, going for walks, punching and kicking pads during kickboxing classes, camping, yoga, shooting guns, watching movies, playing guitar, singing, dancing, paddle boarding, go-karting, hitting golf balls, sports
Then I wrote a list of things that give me a sense of purpose or life satisfaction (I.e. things that make me feel like I’m making use of my life)
Things that give my life purpose
Raising my kids (duh), being a good partner to my other half, being kind, comforting loved ones in their time of need, joking with friends, supporting others, creating and capturing memories, inspiring other mamas, pushing myself to try new things
Looking at those lists was quite eye opening; I’ve always thought I was the quiet, stay-at-home, introverted, stay-well-within-my-comfort-zone type (unless I was ‘pretending’ to be outgoing while at work, because that’s what you do in hospitality; I call it my ‘work face’)… but actually a lot of the things that I enjoy are social, active things, or things that I’ve only started doing or trying in the last couple years. I’m definitely not quite who I thought I was – I actually am rather extroverted after all! – which is why this exercise was so helpful and enlightening. And interestingly enough, when I talked to a few people who are close to me (and so know me really well) about what I discovered about myself during this exercise, their general response was “well, duh, I could’ve told you that!”. So obviously the Bunny I was seeing and the Bunny other people saw were two very different people.
It’s so helpful for me to have this list of things I like for when I get too bogged down under the “mum” title. I can use it as a starting point for ideas of when I need to go have some kid free “me time”, because let’s be honest; even if we do manage to wrangle some alone time, it can be hard to know how to spend that time (hint: housework is not the answer).
So I’m Bunny – I’m still a mum, my kids still come first. I’m also fun-loving, adventurous, kind, caring and helpful. I’m a mum, and I’m also a baker and an artist, a traveller and a writer. I’m a mum and I’m a partner. I’m a singer and a dancer. A joker and a dreamer and a laugher and a woman.
That’s who I am.
Who are you?