Today I want to talk about something that isn’t discussed enough – dealing with an identity crisis that we can go through after becoming a mom.

See if this sounds familiar – you went to college for accounting, started an accounting career, and began your professional journey.  Your days are filled with meetings, deadlines, and the satisfying sense of accomplishment that comes with excelling in your career. 

Then, you become a mom.  Suddenly, your world shifts on its axis. Your days are no longer solely yours to command. 

They’re now filled with diaper changes, midnight feedings, and the overwhelming responsibility of nurturing a tiny human being. Amidst the chaos of motherhood, you may find yourself struggling with a sense of loss – not just of sleep or free time, but of your pre-motherhood identity.

This is when an identity crisis can begin for many working moms. It’s when the roles of career woman and mother collide, leaving us to navigate conflicting expectations and self-doubt.

Unfortunately, society bombards us with images of the “perfect” mother – where we effortlessly juggle a thriving career, keep an immaculate home, and our gifted children always sleep through the night. Yet, the reality is often far messier. 

If you can relate, you probably find yourself torn between the demands of work and the desire to be present for your children, questioning whether you’re doing enough in either role.

I became a mother only a few years out of college and was working at Deloitte at the time.  I had studied and worked incredibly hard to be where I was in my career, and then I unexpectedly became a mom.

My ex-husband and I knew we wanted children, but I thought it would take me longer to get pregnant.  I know we’re never fully prepared for motherhood, but I was definitely not prepared for the identity crisis I was hit with.

Even one of my grandmothers was worried because she said, “You’re so book-smart.  I’m not sure if that translates to being a mom.”  I remember laughing at the time but also being more than a little worried that she was right.

How was I going to blend my career aspirations with the overwhelming demands of motherhood?  When I was at work, I was constantly distracted by thoughts of my daughter, and at home, I couldn’t shake the guilt of not being as productive as I used to be.

I know I’m not the only one who has had this struggle.  The pressure to excel in both the professional and motherhood worlds can leave many of us feeling like we’re falling short in every aspect of our lives.

But here’s what I most want you to know – you’re not alone. The identity crisis after becoming a mom is a shared experience for many working moms, and it’s something we don’t talk about enough.  

This week I’m going to discuss why we can go through an identity crisis after becoming a mom and what to do when you’re struggling. 


Why we can go through an identity crisis after becoming a mom

Let’s start defining what an identity crisis is.  The easiest way to describe an identity crisis is like feeling lost or confused about who you are. 

It’s when you start to question things about yourself, like what you believe in, what you want to do with your life, or even what makes you happy. It often happens during big life changes, like becoming a parent or starting a new job, when you’re not sure how your old self fits into your new life. 

It can feel unsettling and make you anxious as you try to figure out where you belong and what’s important to you.  I think one of the biggest identity crisis we can go through is when we first become moms.  

For example, you go from being just you – with your own dreams, goals, and routines – to suddenly having this tiny, needy human who depends on you for everything. Your whole world shifts overnight, and it’s like you’re thrown into this new role without a manual. 

You might wonder, “Who am I now? Am I still the same person I was before I became a mom? Can I still pursue my own interests and goals while taking care of my child?”

It’s a bit like trying to navigate through a maze without a map. You’re constantly trying to find your way, but every turn seems to lead to more questions than answers. 

And with society bombarding you with images of the “perfect” mom who seems to have it all together, the pressure to figure it all out can feel overwhelming.

So, an identity crisis after becoming a mom is when you’re struggling with all these questions and uncertainties about who you are now that you’re a parent. It’s a time of self-reflection, soul-searching, and trying to find your footing in this new chapter of your life. 

Again, you’re not alone in feeling this way – many moms go through the same thing, and it’s okay to feel lost sometimes. The important thing is to give yourself grace, take it one step at a time, and remember that it’s all part of the journey of motherhood.

It’s worth noting that the identity crisis after becoming a mom isn’t just about adjusting to the responsibilities of caring for a child. It’s also about reconciling your old identity with your new role as a mother. 

You might find yourself questioning whether you’re still the same person you used to be, or if motherhood has changed you in fundamental ways.

For example, you might have been a career-driven go-getter before becoming a mom, but now you’re torn between your professional ambitions and the desire to be present for your child. Or perhaps you were known for your adventurous spirit and love of travel, but now you’re hesitant to leave your child’s side for even a moment.

These conflicting feelings can leave you feeling like you’re living a double life – trying to be the person you were before motherhood while also embracing the new identity that comes with being a mom. It’s a delicate balancing act that can leave you feeling pulled in a million different directions.

And let’s not forget the external pressures that contribute to the identity crisis. As I said earlier, society often puts unrealistic expectations on mothers, expecting them to effortlessly juggle work, family, and personal fulfillment without missing a beat. 

It’s an impossible standard to live up to, yet many moms feel the weight of these expectations bearing down on them every day.  So, in addition to navigating your own internal struggles, you’re also contending with external pressures that can make the identity crisis even more challenging to overcome.

But here’s the thing – while the identity crisis after becoming a mom can feel overwhelming at times, it’s also an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. It’s a chance to reassess your values, redefine your priorities, and embrace the complexities of motherhood with courage and resilience.

So, if you find yourself struggling with questions about who you are now that you’re a mom, know that you’re not alone. It’s all part of the journey of motherhood, and with time, patience, and a healthy dose of self-compassion, you’ll find your way through the maze and emerge stronger on the other side.


How to effectively deal with an identity crisis


Now that I’ve talked about why we go through an identity crisis after becoming a mom, I want to focus on finding solutions to help navigate through this challenge.  While it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and uncertain during this time, there are steps you can take to regain a sense of clarity and confidence.

Self-Reflection and Acceptance – start by taking some time to reflect on your values, interests, and priorities. Consider how motherhood has changed you and what aspects of your identity are important to preserve.

Think of it like coming to that crossroad where you get to define this new chapter.  With some self-reflection and acceptance, you have a chance to live your new best life.

For example, you might find that motherhood has shifted your priorities, leading you to place greater importance on spending quality time with your family or pursuing a more fulfilling career path that aligns with your values. For me, that meant beginning to work part-time because I wanted to find a balance between continuing an accounting career but also being there for my daughter.

Redefining Priorities – the next suggestion is about prioritizing what’s most important to you and your family. This might mean reassessing your career goals, setting boundaries around work and personal time, or reprioritizing activities and commitments.

Remember that it’s okay to say no to things that don’t align with your values or contribute to your well-being. Focus on what brings you joy and fulfillment, and let go of the rest.

For example, you may decide to transition from an employee to a mompreneur like our CPA MOMS franchisees so that you’re able to be home more with your children during their formative years.  Or maybe you choose to pursue flexible work arrangements that allow you to balance work and family responsibilities more effectively.

Seeking Support – next, it’s important to reach out to friends, family, or support groups for guidance and encouragement. Connecting with other moms who are going through similar experiences can provide valuable perspective and validation.

For example, consider joining online forums or social media groups like the CPA MOMS private Facebook community where you can connect with other moms who share your interests and experiences. Building a support network of like-minded individuals can provide you with a sense of camaraderie and belonging, as well as valuable insights and advice on navigating the challenges of motherhood.

Additionally, don’t hesitate to seek professional support from a therapist or counselor if you’re struggling to cope with feelings of overwhelm or anxiety. Talking to a trained professional can provide you with the tools and strategies you need to manage stress and develop healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with the ups and downs of motherhood.

Carving Out “Me” Time – next, you’re going to want to make self-care a priority by scheduling regular time for activities that replenish your energy and nourish your soul. Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some regular “me” time.

For example, you could designate a specific time each day or week to indulge in activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it’s taking a long bath, going for a walk in nature, or curling up with a good book. It’s important to carve out this “me” time for yourself, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day, to recharge and rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.

You might also consider enlisting the help of a trusted friend, family member, or babysitter to watch your children while you take some time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for support when you need it – taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your family, and you deserve to prioritize your own well-being.

Reconnecting with Passions – another suggestion is to rediscover your interests and passions outside of motherhood. Reconnecting with activities or hobbies that bring you fulfillment can help you reclaim a sense of identity and purpose beyond being a mom.

For example, if you used to love painting or crafting before becoming a mom, consider setting aside some time each week to indulge in your creative pursuits. Whether it’s attending a local art class, joining a crafting group, or simply setting up a small art station at home, allowing yourself some time for artistic expression can provide a much-needed outlet for self-expression and creativity.

Similarly, if you were an avid hiker or nature enthusiast before becoming a mom, make an effort to reconnect with the great outdoors. Plan regular hiking trips or nature walks with your family, or carve out some solo time to explore nearby parks or nature reserves, helping you to feel grounded and rejuvenated.

Celebrating Achievements – the last suggestion is to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. Recognize and acknowledge the value of your contributions as a mother, partner, and individual.

For example, take a moment to celebrate the small victories that happen every day – whether it’s successfully getting your child to eat their vegetables, managing to squeeze in some quality time with your partner amidst the chaos of parenthood, or simply making it through another busy day with grace and resilience.

Additionally, don’t forget to celebrate your achievements outside of motherhood as well. Whether it’s completing a work project, reaching a personal goal, or simply taking steps towards self-improvement, acknowledge the effort and dedication that went into your accomplishments.

No matter what, don’t be afraid to take some time to acknowledge that you might be going through an identity crisis.  There’s nothing that’s gone wrong; you just need to redefine what you want and then be willing to give yourself permission to create your new best life.




Amidst the chaos of motherhood, you may find yourself struggling with a sense of loss – not just of sleep or free time, but of your pre-motherhood identity.


.While it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and uncertain during this time, there are steps you can take to regain a sense of clarity and confidence.