As a photographer who photographs a lot of newborns and children, I get to speak to a lot of mums and there is one thing that they all seem to have in common.

They feel they have lost their identity.

Yes having children is one of the greatest joys you can possibly have and we would never change it.

However the cost can sometimes be the lost of self. You are no longer just you, you are mum, partner, taxi, house keeper, cleaner and your families PA.

Its taken may years for me to regain my identity.

Before children I was a happy go lucky person who took each day as it came. I would ride my beloved horse a few times a week and go to the gym at least twice a week before work.

I had a passion for shoes and handbags and always wore make up and had my hair  and nails done.

Fast forward to just after the birth on my first child. I was a stressed & depressed. I only wore flat shoes and my beloved handbag collection had been replaced with a giant nappy bag.

I hadn’t got the time or the energy to put make up on or do anything other than tie my hair back.

I had to put my horse out on loan as I just didn’t have the time to spend with her and forget going to the gym.

I had become a mum.

That was now my new identity.

And as much as I loved being a mum (even with PND), I felt that I had lost who I was.

Everyday was spent doing mum things and putting my children and husband first.

Sometimes we need to make time for us. Even if its just for a hour a week, do something that is just for you. Take a long bath, go for a walk, get a facial or your nails done. Leave the mum guilt at the door.

I love the saying “A happy mum, happy child” (or as my husband keeps saying “happy wife, happy life”)

We always want our children to be happy, but if your run down and feeling lost, your child will pick up on that.

If we look after ourselves and take time out to do something just for us we will start feeling a little happier, regain even a small part our identity, not only will we feel a sense of happiness but that will also rub of on our children. At the end of the day, our main priority is the happiness and wellbeing of our children, but that can sometimes be something a simple as being happy in ourselves.

Never underestimate the importance of self love and happiness. It doesn’t just affect you, it affects your whole family.