Parents perspective on maintaining your identity after children - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Parents perspective on maintaining your identity after children

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Bringing home a newborn takes young parents to the top. It can also quickly have them feel the bottom fell out!

Midnight feedings and sleepless nights become the new norm. Husband and wife now are 'mom and dad.' What does that do to the couple? What does that say about who an individual really is? 

It is challenging, but not impossible to keep that side of life going strong too.

31-year-old Rachel Callahan cherishes moments playing with her two toddlers, Noah and Ally.

She recalls the feeling, when she first became a mother. "(Is it) always going to be like this? I'm never going to feel like myself again. I dreamed about my baby, every thought was about my baby," says Callahan. "And I thought I completely lost who I was. I literally could not separate in my mind, Rachel from Ally's mother."

While she may be a stay at home mom, Callahan finds time to separate herself from that full-time responsibility. She began writing a blog "Grasping for Objectivity" as a way to maintain her own identity.

"I needed some sort of outlet," she explains. "It also ended up giving me a ton of relationships from outside of my house, which was great to interact with my friends all day."

Callahan says, in  time, she and her husband were able to find time for each other and for friends. A critical part of maintaining a personal identity.

"Date nights are really important, my husband is very supportive of girls night, having time with my girlfriends to talk, because he knows us girls need
to be able to relate to each other and tell each other that we're normal," says a laughing Callahan.

Korliss Datcher and her husband Kelvin have been married three years.

Their son Zach turns two next week and their daughter Zoe is 12-weeks-old.
They agree, it's important to find free time for each other.

"We have a really good family, our family is great, they can take care of the kids when we want to get out for a day or spend an evening with some friends," says Datcher. "An hour without changing a diaper is paradise. It's nice to be able to take a step back, a deep breath before you dive back in."

Kelvin has embraced his new identity as a father though. He says, "(My identity) changed, but I don't feel like I've lost anything. I feel like I've gained a lot."

Callahan loves her role as a parent as well. However, she says finding a balance can have great benefits for the whole family.

"You need to carve out time for yourself and enjoy it, your kids need you to have time for yourself, you're going to be a better mother because of it," says Callahan.

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