How does your identity change when you become a parent? On Mothers Day, I had a conversation with my own mom about my fears of my identity evolving due to marrying another person or becoming a mother. Join us as my mother reflects on her own journey, and shares some lessons for all of us.
Hello, everyone. You’re listening to fake ID hair. We will share stories that break down the complexities that make up our identity.
So today is May 9th and it happens to be mother’s day. And I thought it would be good to focus today’s episode on this concept of taking on these big roles in life that may impact your identity. For example, becoming a mother or being married. Yeah.
I tend to have a negative view of motherhood and even marriage, because even though I really want to become a mother one day, I love kids. My fear is that when I look at the moms out there and even married woman, it looks like they had a previous life before they got married or had kids. And they have a life afterwards, which is completely different.
And it almost seems like they had to give up a lot of the roles and ambitions and dreams that they had in their previous life to make room for these new roles. But what’s interesting is that when I look at my own mom, she doesn’t actually fit that mold. If I look at her life, she has managed to build a life that is extremely well-balanced.
She is an excellent mother. I mean, she’s been there for everything in my life and she also has a great career. So today I thought it would be really interesting to sit down with my own mom and talk to her about how has she preserved or evolved her identity as a result of having these new roles come into her life.
My identity two days of a patriotic, Pakistani and ambitious psychologist and being a mom. But the things I just mentioned, but not always a part of my personality, you will be surprised to know that I was actually not that ambitious while I was growing up. And I never felt that I could fit into the role of mother.
I just wanted to leave a Cutlass full of fun. Honestly, this came as a shock to me. I have always seen my mom as this extremely ambitious career oriented woman, I guess I couldn’t even fathom this idea that before all this was a different person.
In fact, when I began my career as a lecturer, my friends would make fun of me. They would say you avoid all duties apart from just the basic teaching that you have to do. And that that’s true. Perhaps I would try to avoid all new responsibilities that the principal would ask them to do. And in fact, I was doing the bare minimum needed to get the job done, but after I did my PhD idealized, my ambition was within me somewhere.
I became very, very hardworking at that time. And it all came naturally to me in the fall of years, I worked really hard to set up my career and pushed through all the adversaries. For example, becoming the first female chairperson in a renowned university in Pakistan. That is just a university. In fact, the funny thing here is that they had to change the official title from a chairman.
Particular person only because of me. And I liked it later in my life. I became a licensed psychologist in Canada, despite having lived my entire life in another culture country, which somehow you could see that headed. Different educational standard. And today I am running my own clinic. So it happens that sometimes you will discover new parts of yourself that you never thought could it be true?
And they will become a big part of what you are now, as you can see, what’s happened with me.
So, as I mentioned before, it turns out that even though my mom discovered new parts of who she was over time after becoming married or becoming a mother, there are certain parts of who she is that she’s always carried throughout her life.
There are three things about my identity that have remained consistent my entire life. These are my core values that I have always cared about such as being lively, being honest. And always making sure to take care of my son.
To me, likeliness is living with full vigor, energy and enthusiasm and stay today. I feel I have so much enthusiasm for life. Even warm sunshine really gives me energy and it will fill me with full of planes. And funny thing is I have some time, more energy than my kids. And then people like to go somewhere.
They are feeling lazy. They would save why in the morning you are starting to make plans. And I would say because the day is so beautiful, it’s sunny.
Yes, it is true. I am quite lazy in comparison to my mom. Well, growing up, I also heard a lot of stories about how my mom was this really cheeky, naughty girl, where she would be pulling pranks on everybody. And I feel like there is mostly, every relative has been sort of like a victim of
as a kid and then young adult. I was always very naughty. There are many stories that I can share with you, but I will describe one
after the morning prayer, when my cousins will come over. So then. Myself. And my mom will go to the park in the early morning. It was still dark and no one was usually, I don’t,
even though it was so early, I would still make sure I was wearing a nice dress. And you know, that is important to my self-concept. Or number of vocal work, there are several fruit carts and because it was really early, the fruit carts owners had tied the cart with ropes and pieces of plots to protect them while they were awake.
And I wouldn’t dare to my cousins to always pick an Apple from the cards. But none of them were not enough. So I was the one who would always try to slip my hand in and grab an Apple, but North feed, so guilty. Of course, we will make sure that there were some rules in place. Like maybe get only one Apple and each one can share it by taking a few bites.
And this part of me has still not changed. I still like to play pranks on people around me, including my case. Oh yeah. I can be a Testament to the fact that my mom loves playing pranks because I’ve had many pranks played on me. And they’re really hilarious because. All her pants and her jokes fill our house with lots of light-heartedness, especially when things are really tough.
So in over residential society, there was a neighborhood representative who would ensure that the society was running smoothly. One day, I thought that it would be really funny to put a plaque on my hand, let’s do it. So I wrote a letter pretending to be him and addressed it to, to my daughter. And the letter stated.
We have running a competition amongst the kids of the society. The kid with the cleanest and most organized drone will be given a granite price we’ve installed by randomly in a week to inspect the bedrooms of the child. Yours, truly the bus
at this time. Well, he was 10 years old, so I actually wanted to make it look really real. So I went to the post office to mail them a letter back to my own home. To make it seem. So I remember receiving this letter and being pretty pissed at first because it was kind of ridiculous that I had to clean my room because someone else was asking me to do it.
But I’m also very competitive. So I was pissed at first, but then I was like, you know what, I’m going to keep my room, the cleanest. And it’s going to be the most beautiful room in the entire neighborhood and I’m going to get that prize. So I got really into it and I kept it up for a week and I tried my best.
And it wasn’t until maybe two weeks later that I overheard my parents talking about this. And I found out that it was a prank. I was so devastated, but at the same time, I wasn’t shocked because it’s such a thing for my parents to do.
When my mom became a grandmother, I asked her, are you going to continue pulling pranks on your grandkids? And she said, yes, of course. Or you always pull pranks on people. I love the.
So another thing that I really admire about my mom is that she’s always so put together, in addition to taking care of the people around her, she’s also always taking care of herself. There were probably many moments where things got really tough for our family, but to be honest, I had no idea that things at home are rough because she never made it seem so.
Did happy, actually some difficult moments in my life. That it was going to be quite hard to take care of myself, but I would still make sure to practice self-care before Maheen I had a daughter, but she was sick from her birth because of a very serious congenital heart disease. It was really hard.
Nobody participate in social gatherings, even dress nicely because of the caregiving duties, but I would continue putting in extra effort so that I’m able to achieve both taking care of my daughter and taking care of myself. I would dress up as you put on makeup, go to the parties. And love with friends, even though I had to work hard to my daughter, comfortable by continuously rocking her, talking to her so that she does not cry that much, because that is a chief would do her sickness.
I did my best as a mom. But they also did not give up who I was in this process. So talking to my mom, I realized that this concept of not feeling like you’re fully fitting in, because you have a different type of lifestyle is something that I thought was unique to only me and my family. But it turns out that my mom has faced us for many years, herself, not many people, her age experienced life, the way she does.
I think in Pakistan, particularly people have some preconceived expectations from women that how should they behave after marriage? And when they age, for example, women should not make plans with their girlfriends over the weekend. As that husbands might be sitting at home while this obligation does not apply to men at all.
Similarly, when you age and you have adult children or grand children, people mistakenly think that with age, your desires are no more there. And you would like to enjoy sitting at home, playing with your grandkids. Okay. I don’t think this is true at all. I have seen many women stating the same desires that they could be having when they were 20 years old, but they internalized that cultural archetype that transfers from one generation to another.
And women pick this idea that, because that expected. Who sacrifice that is who they are, but this is not true at all. At least for myself, I can say that I haven’t changed a bit, guarding my desires and my needs.
And I guess that is a Testament to the strength of my mom’s identity, because she has been able to keep up with those desires and needs and address them despite not having the support system that one may need. Maybe to give you some examples, like one example was that I would like to make plans with my friends over the weekend if it suits us, but hardly any women will be ready for that because their husbands should not be sitting at home.
So, because I would not always have a friends available to share my activities and interests, I don’t mind doing them myself. If my family is not available, of course. I can go and I do, uh, going and watching movies alone. I can travel alone. I enjoy being with myself and I go for walks. Even my friends sometime will be surprised that how could you go in a trail by yourself?
How could you sit in a restaurant and eat a dinner? Why not? I enjoy it. But of course, my first preference will be if my family is available, but what if they are not because they are busy then should I not enjoy my life? No, my brain doesn’t buy decide
this mother’s day. I am grateful that I get to reflect on how my mom’s identity has evolved over time. I think listening to her story, I’m realizing that I shouldn’t be afraid of the future. I shouldn’t be afraid of this idea that just because I’m married or because I’m a mother that my identity will evolve in ways that won’t serve me.
I would like you to be aware that when you were born, you were an individual person don’t ever forget that you can be simultaneously a devoted mother and wife. But you also have a duty to yourself. It’s a myth that becoming married or becoming a mother means that you are starting a totally new life, that your old patterns and habits and your individuality is going to finish.
I have seen many women even neglecting themselves by not picking care of themselves after marriage. But that should not be the case in psychology. That is a popular sink. When you take care of yourself and when you love yourself only, then you can take good care of other people.
I can happily say that after all this time, I am aware about what I really wanted from my life. And now I would like to spend the rest of my life in the same way that
thank you for listening to fake ID. I’d like to say happy mother’s day to all the moms out there. If you haven’t wished your mom, please do so. And even if it’s not mother’s day, I hope you can reach out to your mom and tell her how much you love her. If your mom is not around, or if you don’t have that relationship with, with your mom, maybe just even spending a few moments today, thinking about your relationship and what is it that you can take from that.
And what is it that you would want to do differently? If you enjoy this podcast or this episode, I would love it. If you could share it with someone who might also enjoy it, I really appreciate all the support and I’m excited to share upcoming episodes with all of you.