identity after motherhood

Last Updated on February 8, 2024

As moms, we often find ourselves struggling to hold onto our identity after motherhood. And despite our call in God’s Word to be fruitful in multiply, this happens to us Christian moms, too!

The demands of raising children can be all-consuming, leaving little time for self-care or personal growth. But it is possible for us to hold onto our identity throughout motherhood.

I’ll never forget realizing after the birth of our first son that this new baby would pretty much take over our lives for the time being. At the time I was a stay-at-home mom, because in my mind, that’s what every good mother should be!

Most new mums will remember the days of sleepless nights and napless days, breastfeeding struggles and and the urgent need for alone time. I was somewhere between going crazy from the lack of sleep while desperately wanting back my free time and social life.

When postpartum depression set in, I didn’t know how to name what I was feeling. I just knew I wanted so desperately to be my old self again. Is this really how God wants us as mothers to feel?

A motherhood identity crisis

According to a Pew Research Center study in 2023, 88% of moms surveyed say being a parent is the most or one of the most important parts of who they are as a person.

Maybe you’re a new mother still on maternity leave from your full-time job, trying to take that first step to figuring out your new normal.

Maybe you have school-age kids and have experienced a loss of identity as you cart them around to soccer practices, piano lessons, and family obligations with your church.

Or maybe you and your spouse are empty nesters for the first time, and you’re trying to figure out what this new life will look like without your kids around.

One thing that is guaranteed on our motherhood journey is that things change – and they always will. 

But as things change, God, the Creator of the Universe, stays the same through every season.

Our identity is not solely defined by our role as a mother, but He can use that part of our identity to bring Him glory and impact the people around us.

If you feel like you’re in the middle of a motherhood identity crisis right now, please know that you are not alone. There is hope and there is more to your story!

Here are a few ways that you can begin to regain your identity after becoming a mom.

motherhood identity crisis

How do I not lose my identity to motherhood?

Becoming a mother is a life-changing experience that can bring about a lot of joy and fulfillment. However, it can also be a challenging time as we try to navigate our new role while still holding onto our identity. As Christian mothers, we have the added challenge of trying to integrate our faith into our new identity as a parent.

Here are some tips for embracing motherhood while still staying true to ourselves and our faith.

1. Focus on finding balance between parenting and personal growth

One of the biggest challenges of motherhood is finding a balance between our responsibilities as a parent and our own personal growth. It can be easy to get so caught up in taking care of our children that we neglect our own needs and desires. Be we have to remember that God also created us as individuals with our own unique talents, interests, and goals.

To find this balance, we can start by setting aside some time each day to focus on our own personal growth. This can be as simple as spending daily time reading God’s Word, enjoying a good book, taking a walk, or taking an online class for something you’ve always been interested in.

We can also try to involve our children in our activities, such as reading to them or teaching them a new skill. By prioritizing our own spiritual and personal growth, we can become better mothers and role models for our kids.

2. Integrate your faith and motherhood

As Christian mothers, we want to raise our children with a strong foundation of faith. But it can be tough to integrate our beliefs into our daily lives as a parent. One way to do this is to make faith a part of our daily routine. This can include reading the Bible together as a family, praying together, or attending church services regularly.

We can also try to model our faith through our actions and interactions with our children. For example, we can show them love and kindness, forgive them when they make mistakes, and teach them to be grateful for the blessings in their lives.

By integrating our faith into our daily lives as a parent, we can help our children develop a strong foundation of faith that will guide them throughout their lives.

3. Find a supportive mom community

As a Christian mother, it can be challenging to hold onto our identity while balancing the responsibilities of motherhood. Building a supportive community can help us stay connected to our faith and maintain our sense of self. Not sure where to start to find community?

Attending church and participating in a small group or prayer group can help provide a sense of belonging and support. Look for one at your local church so you can meet other mothers who are going through similar experiences. This is also a great space to share your struggles and triumphs.

If your kids are young, lots of local libraries and play centers have story time and play groups where you can meet other moms. Have older kids? Get to know their classmates’ parents at sporting events and birthday parties. You may meet someone that you really connect with.

Lastly, another option is to volunteer when you can in church and community activities as a way to feed your own soul and help others, too! No matter where you look, it’s essential to find a community that aligns with your beliefs and values.

4. Continuing with your personal hobbies and interests

In addition to our spiritual growth, it’s important to continue pursuing our personal hobbies and interests. Whether it’s painting, writing, or playing an instrument, these activities can provide a much-needed outlet for creativity and self-expression.

When you make time for your hobbies and things you loved before kids, you’ll be able to continue nurturing your own interests and passions, even in the middle of motherhood.

5. Setting Personal Spiritual Goals

Motherhood is such a great opportunity for us to be stretched and grow in our faith.

There are so many lessons that God will teach us through our kids, if we’re willing to listen.

So why not prioritize your spiritual growth and set personal goals for yourself that help you grow closer to God? This could include reading a certain number of Bible verses each day, attending a weekly Bible study, or setting aside time for prayer and reflection.

By setting these goals and making them a priority, you can continue to grow in our faith and maintain our individual connection with God. They’ll also help you to become a more patient, kind, wise mother for your family.

6. Create time for fellowship and self-care

It’s crucial to make time for fellowship and self-care outside of our responsibilities as mothers. We can schedule regular playdates or coffee meetups with other Christian moms to socialize and recharge.

We can also prioritize self-care activities like exercise, prayer, and nourishing our bodies with healthy choices. By taking care of ourselves, we can better care for our families and maintain our identity as Christian women.

Looking for fellowship? Building a supportive community takes effort and intentionality, but it can make a significant impact on our well-being as Christian mothers. By engaging with church and faith groups and creating time for fellowship and self-care, you’ll be able to stay connected to your faith and maintain your sense of self.

7. Seek help when you need it

There is absolutely no shame in getting help if you feel you’re going through a motherhood identity crisis. Reach out to a counselor or therapist if you need a listening ear. Ask you spouse to take the kids for a day if you need to reset and have some quiet.

Do a babysitting exchange with a friend so you can get some date nights in with your spouse. If you’re struggling as a parent, talk with a trusted pastor or leader at your church who has been in your shoes. There is so much wisdom that we can get from others. Don’t be afraid to ask for it when you feel nothing else has helped.

There’s no doubt that every season of motherhood can be both challenging and rewarding. By finding a balance between parenting and personal growth and integrating our faith into our daily lives, we can become the best mothers and role models for our kids.

Navigating challenges and embracing change

Through all of the life changes that moms face, from diaper changes, to graduations, grandkids and beyond, there will be many challenges along the way.

These are 3 mindsets to take with you as you navigate the challenges of motherhood.

1. Fighting the lies of the enemy 

As moms, we have to remember that it is the enemy, the devil’s job to try and get us off course. He will often do this by trying to get us to believe things that are against the promises of God.

He will try to get you to doubt your abilities as a mom, to believe that you don’t have value outside of motherhood, and sometimes will try to even get you to believe that you’re in this on your own. Cling to the truth and promises of God’s Word and regularly ask yourself whose voice you’re listening to!

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8 

2. Dealing with guilt and comparison

As mothers, we often feel guilty about taking time for ourselves or pursuing our own interests. We may compare ourselves to other mothers who seem to have it all together or who have achieved more than we have. Being on social media every day only adds to the guilt and comparison that so many of us deal with. But we have to remember that online, we’re never seeing the full story.

Every mother’s journey is unique. God has created your path and your kids just for you, and none of us can judge ourselves based on someone else’s standards.

One way to overcome these feelings is to practice self-compassion. Practice treating yourself with the same kindness and understanding that you would offer to a friend. Ask God to help you focus on the strengths and accomplishments He gave you rather than comparing yourself to others.

3. Adapting to Life Transitions with Grace

Motherhood brings many changes to our lives, from sleepless nights to shifting priorities. It can be tough to adapt to these changes, but it is important to approach them with grace and flexibility.

One way to do this is to embrace the present moment and focus on what you can control. Seek support from your community, whether it be through friends, family, or here on MomLife Today! It’s also helpful to set realistic expectations for ourselves and our families, recognizing that we may need to adjust our goals and plans as our circumstances change.

13 verses on what God says about you

Last but certainly not least, here’s a reminder of what God says about you as a mom! You were created by God to parent your kids and in Christ, you have everything you need to do it well.

When you’re in need of some encouragement and confidence on your motherhood journey, check out these promises from scripture.

  1. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9
  2. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11
  3. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:14
  4. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
  5. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5
  6. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
  7. “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” – Isaiah 64:8
  8. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10
  9. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” – 1 John 3:1
  10. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
  11. “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” – Matthew 10:30-31
  12. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
  13. “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” – Zephaniah 3:17

No matter what you will face ups and downs as a mother. And as you get older and your kids get older your identity may shift, and that’s okay!

Our prayer is that this would be a reminder that you still have value in the eyes of God and you do have an identity as a mother, no matter where you’re at on your parenting journey.