Learning About Ourselves Through Motherhood

3sHurh1467901548I recently spoke to a mother who had was finding it difficult after a 3 year break from her career to get back into her old line of work. She felt confused by the knock backs because she knew that, compared to before having a child, she had learned so much of value. She knew more, could manage more. She felt better able to deal with demands and the complexities of working relationships. She explained to me that it would only take her a matter of weeks to get back up to speed and that she had so much more to offer an employer because of her experience of motherhood.

This conversation got me thinking about the learning curve of motherhood. I have written about it at length in my book because it strikes me time and time again as an undervalued and little talked about aspect of raising a child.

If nothing else, motherhood is surely a learning curve. Click To Tweet

If nothing else, motherhood is surely a learning curve. We learn about raising a child, about being human and most of all we learn about ourselves through our children.

We learn through the love that we feel for our little ones which allows us to understand them and so ourselves in new ways.

We learn through having demands placed on us and rising to the challenge or, at times, failing to. We discover strengths we didn’t know we had and have our weakness’s highlighted, so once again we can grow.

We learn through being in a constant relationship with our child and determining to be the best parent we can for them.

We learn through the contradictions of raising a child; from the great love that we feel to the great uncertainties that come with it.

(My list could go on. There is a much more in-depth discussion in  my post called ‘7 Ways Our Children Teach Us About Ourselves’.)

Whatever we have learnt about ourselves through motherhood it aids us in everything else we do. The skills are not isolated to raising a child. Okay, so looking at the basic skills of changing a baby or breastfeeding or making baby food, well those are purely about raising a child. But these types of skills are not where the bulk of the learning takes place. The majority of the learning is about ourselves and about being in the world. These lessons are useful in any walk of life. Be it in the work place, our creative pursuits or within our relationships.

The learning of motherhood is with us for life and it can fuel everything we do. Click To Tweet

The learning of motherhood is with us for life and it can fuel everything we do. The mother I mentioned at the beginning of the post knew, even though others who were hiring didn’t, that she had grown and changed for the better. She knew that her skills were greater than ever before because of raising a child.

What have been the biggest things you have learnt about yourself through being a mother? I would love to hear about your experiences. I reply to every comment as soon as I can.

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42 thoughts on “Learning About Ourselves Through Motherhood

    1. I would like to think things have improved too but some of the women I encounter tell me that it is still an issue. Thanks for commenting.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Fi and your entry. I am really glad this post resonated with you. the amount we learn as parents is very rarely talked about and when it is, it is mentioned only in terms of parenting, yet what it gives us is amazing life skills.

  1. I recently conducted some research on confidence among mums and how their sense of self has been affected since they had children, and the results have been staggering. 82% of mums said they felt less confident since having children. I think there is so much work to do on helping to support mums reconnect with the new version of themselves and to enable them to see their new capabilities and growth since becoming a parent. This is a brilliant, heartfelt post and I know it will resonate powerfully with my audience so I’ll certainly be sharing it with them. Thanks so much for writing this. #coolmumclub

    1. Thank you very much for your comment. Your words really resonate with me too. i would love for women to feel good about their abilities and skills. Motherhood is such a journey and even though it is not recognised by society we become much stronger as a result. My vision is for all women to value their role as mothers and understand how much they have to offer the world wether or not they choose to work or stay at home or some combination of both.

  2. Motherhood really is the greatest learning journey we can go through. I have learnt so much about myself – some good, some not so, but I think the good thing is when you learn so much about yourself, it eventually brings a certain self-assuredness which can only be a good thing. Thanks so much for linking up to #coolmumclub with another incisive post! x
    Talya recently posted…Pumpkin recipe ideas: 5 things to do with pumpkinMy Profile

    1. Hi Talya, I really agree there is not such thing as bad learning. Even when we learn that we are less patient than we thought (as an example) it still aids us in the long run. Thanks for commenting.

    1. Hi Jemma, It is being stretched to do so much as a mother that makes it all come easier eventually. I am the same, what I used to find overwhelming before kids I now just take in my stride. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Such a great post – it’s so very true that motherhood changes us in many ways and there are so many skills that we learn through parenthood that can be beneficial within the workplace too. My levels of patience have certainly improved since becoming a mum as well as my ability to juggle lots of things! #coolmumclub

  4. I’m FAR more equipped now to handle the job I did pre-kids. Firstly, I know how to handle tenaciously irritating people without picturing myself strangling them. Secondly, priorities change. NOTHING is as big a deal when you’ve survived giving birth and being responsible for little humans! #picknmix
    Mess & Merlot recently posted…*VLOG* Vogue 73 QuestionsMy Profile

  5. So much love for this… I think it is integral for Mommas to embrace the change that Motherhood brings for the positive. I am so much more confident in the public domain socially and although its taken me a while to be confident in my appearance again, now I have embraced the change I feel great! I am way more organised and better with time keeping… Mommas have so much to offer employers and should be confident in that. <3

    1. Agreed to all of this Rebecca. We bring so much to the world. I am glad your confidence with your appearance is back. It can take time to adjust to the physical changes. Thank you for commenting. Kirsten

  6. I think you tend to lose confidence after being off for so long. I found this and the motherhood early bubble at home caused this. This post is great as really highlights the skills you do gain as a Mother. We all need to realise this and boost our confidence as we head bsck into work!! X #marvmondays

    1. I do agree that being at home can make us feel less capable but the reality is that that is only temporary but what we have learned will last us forever.

  7. Yes, this is very true. It has taught me how to respect other people’s opinions, even when you may feel they are not as valid as your own – they may surprise you by coming at something from a different perspective, such as teenagers. Employers should certainly reflect on the skills that a parent can bring to a job. Alison x #mg
    Alison (MadHouseMum) recently posted…Move OnMy Profile

    1. My kids have taught me about other perspectives too. they bring with them their own unique view of the world and it helps us broaden ours. Thanks for commenting Alison.

  8. Interesting post. I’ve learnt to trust my own decisions and to be confident in my ability to do the right thing. I’ve also learnt a lot of patience …! #twinklytuesday

  9. I agree. I’m only seven months in to this journey and I have already learnt SO much about myself. I am quite confident in the decisions I have made so far as a parent, but what I find the most difficult is the internal reconciliation of this ‘new me’. I’m still learning who I am these days, but loving trying to figure it out!
    I’ve entered your giveaway. I don’t believe in mummy guilt, so I’d be interested to read your book and see what you have to say!
    #mg

    1. Hi Lucy, Thank you for your thought provoking comment. There is a big change once we become mothers the levels of responsibility really do change us. It does take time to adjust to that. For me personally there were times I loved it and others that it could be a little daunting. Thank you for entering the giveaway. My book will be on sale as an ebook this Thursday/Friday for only 99p if you are interested!

  10. Having responsibility for a life is truly life-changing, the responsibility, the selflessness, the 24 hour, nonstop care required. I can’t believe anyone can become a parent and not say that the leaning curve was steep and challenging. #bigpinklink
    Sonia recently posted…One Pan Mild Thai Green CurryMy Profile

    1. I agree wholeheartedly with you sonia. the learning curve is “steep and challenging” and ongoing. It is life changing and gives us so much. Thank you for adding your thoughts to this discussion.

  11. I couldn’t agree more. Motherhood has changed me and made me wiser, and more confident. It has also made me better at time management and knowing what to prioritise. It has made me more compassionate and less self absorbed. It has also taught me how to stop and embrace the small moments #mg
    Mackenzie Glanville recently posted…I’ve been taggedMy Profile

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