have you find that you are a bit lost?

It is so easy to lose your identity when you become a Mum. Hormones, pressure from social media, pressure from family and friends and ultimately pressure on yourself to become the perfect parent can mean that you lose all sense of what you stand for as a woman, as an individual in society and sometimes even as a human. This may sound overly dramatic to those who haven’t experienced it, but for those women who do find themselves lost down a rabbit hole with no Cheshire Cat to guide them it can feel more than overwhelming, to the point of frightening.

Pamela Rae-Welsh

As a proud Mum and Auntie to two adorable, fearless and intrepid not-so-mini-anymore female warriors and the owner of a growing Manchester brand design agency people often look at me and think gosh she’s got her shit together, look at what she has achieved, she is a superwoman. I want to tell you that the reality is somewhat different. Behind the exterior of high achievement, the pretty nails (fake) and the positive expressions, there lies a lurking insecurity and an anxiety which needs to be managed. I am an achievement addict, borne out of my desire to find who I stand for, to establish my identity and, dare I admit it, find acceptance. My self worth is directly linked to what I contribute which can be exhausting – and in 2020 one of my goals is to really work on this and find more joy in just being. I have been to dark places emotionally over my feeling of loss of identity, and I know that there are other women who feel the same. I want to let you know that you are not alone, that actually it is more common than you think, and it can be really scary when you realise that you may have lost what you stand for. I’ve got a few pointers on what has helped me this year with my journey which may be helpful for you…

Funny Mum Pins
  1. Step away from the social. Take a full break from the accounts and platforms which do not bring you joy. I’ve really stepped back from my personal Instagram account because to be honest the feed just fuels my insecurity rather than bringing me joy. If you can’t stop entirely then why not swap instead? I have become a bit of a Pinterest fan recently as you can search for the most random and beautiful things and no one is telling you that they are better than you!
  2. Buy something for yourself that is just for you. If you have no money, then make it a chocolate bar that you do not share. Or buy one of Iris Dares Mum pins to brighten up your jacket. If you can afford a bigger treat then buy something that is purely indulgent – you will be surprised how much a T-Rex bag can boost your self esteem! This is just an example, but the joy of these bags is that they are so unique and different – and they make a real statement too. The kicker here is to not feel guilty. You do deserve to give yourself things. You do deserve to give yourself time. Honestly you do.
  3. Write stuff down. Journaling is all the rage at the moment but even that has become a pressured environment with beautiful journals, handwriting and colours FFS! You don’t need to have a degree in graphic design to be able to write down your thoughts and feelings – a poundland notebook will do. It can be really therapeutic to just get everything off your chest but without needing to share it with another human.
  4. Review your circle. This is a tough one, but if you do take the plunge and look at who you spend time with and what impact they have on your self esteem and mental health you can find you have a lightbulb moment. I am not telling you to cull your friends or family – just think about the proportion of time you spend with certain people and what impact that has on you and your behaviour. It can be really liberating I promise.
  5. Laugh at yourself. I have made a point this year to laugh out loud at my absurdity on a daily basis. When I think something really irrational, or I do something stupid, I laugh. We are all human and the constant quest to be something ideal and perfect means we take everything too seriously. I think the world would be a nicer place if we all laughed a bit more. You will also find out what is really important to you when there is something you cant find a reason to laugh about it. That can really help with finding your identity and what you stand for again.

#idare to be different

So there are my five pointers which I hope can be of some assistance to helping if you think you have become stuck in a rut, or are feeling a bit lost. When Nic started out and approached me about her childrenswear business concept I quickly realised that she was creating more than a range of funky dresses and cool accessories; she was creating a movement. #idare is becoming more than just about empowering our next generation to break glass ceilings, its about being brave enough to be different. #idare you to love yourself the way you love your kids. The results would be incredible.

And even if you are not in a place where you can take any steps to move forward right now, then you can at least know that you are not alone – and that "friend" Susan on your Instagram feed who looks like she has all her shit together? Last night she ate custard from the tin as her supper. Cold.

treat yourself

Pamela Rae-Welsh is a Manchester based Brand Design and Online Visibility specialist. Providing business consultancy services and support to female entrepreneurs, Pamela regularly writes a small business blog giving tips and advice on how to navigate the world of self employment and how to get your business seen in the search engines.