When you become a new mother, you may feel like you no longer have any choices available to you. A loss of identity is normal, especially if this is your first child. In the first few weeks after giving birth, you may want to focus solely on your baby, and not give your future a second thought. However, after some time, you might start considering what you want to do with your life outside of parenthood.
It is completely normal and important that you still have personal goals, and an identity, outside of motherhood. Figuring out what you do in the future, when your child is with a childminder, family member, or at preschool, can be fairly daunting. Depending on your home situation, and income, there can be several options at your disposal.
Work from Home
For some women, it may be possible to stay at home with their baby and not need to worry too much about their finances. For others, that may feel like it is not a possibility due to the need for extra income to pay the bills. This is where working from home can benefit you greatly. If you are able to come up with a business idea that will work for you, you could always work from home on a self-employed basis. Using email and telephone communication, your skillset, a computer, and invoicing software, it is possible for you to generate either a full or subsidiary income while also raising your child.
Return to Work
Some women may want to have time away from their family, and that is natural, or perhaps they simply do not want to work within their home. At the same time, these may also be women who have worked hard to build up their career, or simply enjoyed their job prior to giving birth. By discussing a return to work with your employer, as well as the potential for flexible hours to suit your parenting needs, you might be able to continue working and parenting at the same time.
Return to Education
If you have childcare covered, and are able to survive without working, or on reduced hours, you may also want to consider returning to education. Studying as a mature student is increasingly popular, and there are many educational routes available. Some parents like to study full time, the same way that a lot of school leavers do. Others may prefer to learn on a part time basis, so they can still manage their home. Some providers may also offer courses via distance learning, meaning you could gain a qualification from home while looking after your baby.
Whatever you choose to do, it is important that you recognise that you are still a woman and an individual. Being a mum is just one part of who you are and, while important, you want to continue nurturing the rest of yourself too.