Unstick Me: Removing the Labels that Just Aren’t True.

We all have labels. Think about it. Maybe even take a few minutes to list them out. Single. Married. Parent. Female. Male. White. Asian. Hispanic. Tall. Short. Slim. Curvy. Smart. Funny. Republican. Overweight. Democrat. Religious. Atheist. Homeowner. Renter. Mother. Daughter. Cousin. Wife. Good. Bad. Sexy. Reserved. Creative. Hard-working. Worry-wart. Procrastinator. Straight. Homosexual. Lazy. Fit. Boring. Intelligent. Loving. Kind. Stupid. Selfish… the list goes on and on.

Then when you become a new mom, the world tries to stick a whole new set of labels to you. You’re a good mom because you do things they like. You’re a bad mom because you don’t love being a parent 24/7. You’re a selfish mom because you take “me time.” You’re a crunchy mom because you cloth diaper. You’re a working mom because you only took a 6 week maternity leave. You’re a stay at home mom because you chose to not go back to work. You’re an independent mom because you’re single parenting. You’re a weak mom because you have postpartum anxiety or depression. You’re a fill in the blank mom because you’re unique and do things your own way.

Now, look at your list and think about how each of these labels make you feel. Do you like all of them? Do you honestly identify with all of them?

For years, I labeled myself as someone who didn’t like public speaking. That I didn’t like being in front of a crowd, that it made me uncomfortable and nervous. That was a label that somehow stuck itself to me. It took me quite a while to realize that I could peel it off and redefine this part of me. In truth, when I’m talking about something that I love, like pregnancy, babies, parenting and the 4th trimester, I really enjoy being in the spotlight. I love to share my expertise. It feel more like excited anticipation than jitters before I start speaking. It feels good.

Now it’s your turn. Look at your list of labels, mama, and really think about them. Which ones are worthy of you? Which ones are you ready to remove or redefine? You have the ability to decide how you are defined, so choose wisely. We were all raised to have certain beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world. Just make sure that you actually know them to be true. Sometimes all that it takes is a little bit of space and some perspective to realize that you’re ready to move on from a past label.

Just do you, mama.

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