Becoming a Mum for the first time is overwhelming, of course it is, it doesn't matter how many months of cooking a baby in your belly you've had, how many antenatal classes you attended or however many little blobs of black and white scan photos you collected, it still somehow comes as a shock doesn't it? I remember pinning all these mood boards on Pinterest to cover exactly how I envisioned myself as a parent, of course it didn't quite go to plan and I'm not sure if I could look further away from any of those images I had in my head. The truth is you never really know how motherhood is going to affect or change you, until you're amongst the waves and suddenly you're not really too sure who you're meant to be anymore.

When I look back over my journey during the last five and a half years of parenthood, I've changed so much, evolving through different phases of my boys lives and constantly becoming a newer version of myself and trying to morph into the parent and mother I thought I should be. It's hard to figure out the difference of who you truly are now versus who you think you should be and it's something I have definitely struggled with on and off. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sitting here saying I have it all figured out and I know exactly what I should be doing because that couldn't be further from the truth, I'm clueless more often than not. But there are some firm things I know about myself now and no matter how many Pinterest ideas I see, I know what just isn't for me. For example, you're never going to see me baking up seven different colours of homemade play dough or sitting down enjoying an afternoon of crafting, because quite frankly I can't stand glitter and we've had too many dough-in-carpet scenarios to last me a life time.

I do think finding your identity as a Mum is important though, it doesn't mean you have to rush and feel weighed down with pressure to be someone or part of something, but knowing who you are and what you like / don't like is a key part of being comfortable again. Becoming a parent at 21 threw everything that was somewhat important to me at the time out of the window, I didn't have time to go out with friends and drinking or heading on nights out was a thing of the past, heck I didn't even have time to sit and put make-up on most mornings, things I never really thought about until they were things I was facing head on. But never feel guilty for making time to do your own thing, I'm not saying go out and start taking up the gym seven days a week, but if buying a new lipstick or sitting to watch an hour of trash tv is what makes you happy then do it.

For me it really was the small things that helped me remember that I'm Emily too, I haven't gone away, something simple like doing a full skincare routine before bed, or actually treating myself to a face mask. I went through all the phases before I realised this though, I tried dieting with muscle meals to lose weight, going to the gym, finding new tv shows, going out more, all of the above, when in reality I didn't need to do anything new, I just needed to focus on the old.

Motherhood is one heck of a journey and there will always be times that I think we all feel a little bit lost, we never know what is around the corner and it always seems like just when you think you have a grasp on things, it all goes a little haywire. That's ok, it's normal and I don't think any mother in existence is sat there saying they know exactly what they're doing at all times - if so someone give her a medal.

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