Moving from a non-parent to parenthood is one of the most significant shifts in identity that any person can go through.
Pregnancy is transformational on every level – the physical, emotional and most importantly, the spiritual dimension. It is an opportunity to do some house-cleaning: letting go of fears, unhealthy beliefs, rust, junk and make space for the new to be established.
When we found out that we were PREGNANT, my personal emotions ranged from elation, shock, fear, overwhelm, to a deep sense of gratitude and wonder for being part of the process of creating a human being.
In a world that makes it is easy to look for answers and validation from the external, I fought the initial urge to broadcast to the world that “we are going to have a baby!” I decided to take the first crucial months of my transition into pregnancy and motherhood to look into my inner landscape, taking time to process and tune into my feelings rather than the overwhelming public opinion of the masses on the subject of pregnancy and parenthood.
I felt that it was very important for me to listen to my emotions, thoughts, dreams and desires. I knew that this major life intersection is not just about giving birth to a new life, but also birthing a new me. I saw it as a spiritual invitation for “my rebirth,” as I prepare to birth our baby. I needed to allow myself to go through the birth canal first, as a rite of passage as I transition into becoming a mother. I’m still in my birthing process. There is a new path opening up in my identity.
As I continued to reflect, I noticed some patterns in my life. Before getting married, I thought marriage was burdensome and laborious, and so, a part of me wanted it and a part of me resisted it. It took me a while to jump off the cliff and get married. Upon getting married, I realized that my beliefs were false! I realized that the fear that I had of losing my identity because of marriage was non-existent. Marriage only brought out more aspects of who I am, adding to my sense of purpose and destiny. It has been such an enriching experience. Although I delayed getting married, staying single for a long time allowed me to discover and grow a stronger sense of identity, and when I eventually got married, I knew who I was and I wasn’t going to lose my identity in marriage. Rather than feeling lost, it enhanced who I am, I became more of me when I added on the role of a wife.
In the same way, I had similar beliefs about having a baby. The woes that I’ve heard was that having a baby meant the end of your life. So, my idea of that pregnancy was not a very happy one. The thought of babies would overwhelm me with a sense of responsibility rather than the joy of nurturing another life. I thought it meant the end of “my life” indeed. And as such, after getting married, I wasn’t broody and was not eager to become a mom. After about 4 years of marriage and now that I am pregnant, again I realized that my feelings about pregnancy were untrue. I am still alive, and very happy! Life is only becoming more dynamic with the changes, challenges and the possibilities that lie ahead! I am extremely grateful for the gift of experiencing pregnancy, the humbling but honouring process of a baby growing inside me.
I love it!
I cannot wait to meet the life that we co-created, to love this individual that would come out of my own body. To share in a new joy of nurturing a life with my husband. The rewards are overwhelming!
I’m not saying that it will not be hard work, I am very aware of the limitations that come with being a new mom (as I have seen and heard from family and friends). I know there are sacrifices and concrete life changes, but I also know within my heart that I have cultivated a very strong sense of who I am and why I am here on earth, so I am not too hung up on what many call “lose your identity”. I believe in life, there are different seasons, and seasons bring about change. I will change, I will let go of my old structures, I will learn new ways of living. I will be different, but the core of who I am and my life mission will not change. I am expanding.
I have heard people talk about the loss of identity when you become a parent, I understand some of it. Generally, in every transition, there is a sense of loss, which is why we are terrified of change. But I see it slightly differently. Rather than a “loss” of identity, I see it as an “expansion.”
One of the teachings of the PIN Code is to understand one’s CORE and one’s ROLE.
My CORE is the essence of my purpose and the DNA of my soul.
My ROLE are some of the things I do outwardly, the work, the mission, the activities that I engage in. One of my roles in life is to be a mother but my Soul is bigger than the any of my Roles in life.
In my reflections, I have taken the time to process and embrace the fact that my old roles may change as I enter into a new season, but at the same time I am very grateful that my CORE will continue to grow through my choices, challenges and life opportunities. I know that as I enter into this new season, the core of my identity will only expand, rather than be lost. My wardrobe will change but my essence will be the same. My priorities will shift but my purpose in life will get sharper. I believe that as a woman, the ability to give birth and be a mother is something that God has already included in my CORE, so instead of seeing motherhood as a loss of identity, it is actually an expansion of my Identity.
Pregnancy is about being open to change, about surrendering to the higher purpose of life and allowing myself to be a portal of new beginning for myself, my husband and our baby.
What were some of your thoughts during your pregnancy? Or maybe you are not pregnant yet but have some thoughts to share?