Identity, Baby: What Happens When “Me” becomes “We”?

It’s not uncommon for expecting parents to consider (ruminate over, perseverate on, agitate in…?) how their identity will fare when “me” becomes “we.” At LUMO we’ve had thousands of conversations with clients about this very topic. And, while we can’t promise we’ve heard it all, we’ve definitely been privy to quite a mélange.

We’ve heard:

“I’m going to stay exactly the same. People have been having babies for thousands of years. It’s fine.”

“I see my friends with kids and they’re so ensconced.  They’re not even the same person. Will that happen to me?”

“I’m worried that parenting is going to be so demanding that I won’t have enough energy for work and I’ll lose my professional footing.”

In short, many new parents worry that their managers, family members, coworkers, friends with kids, friends without kids… basically everyone will see and treat them differently. That feels scary.

Another concern that emerges for people in partnerships is that their dynamic with their partner will change when their child arrives. It likely will, but that doesn’t mean it will change in a negative or erosive way. Dare to imagine you and your partner forming a formidable duo of badassery wherein you tag-team your way through the gauntlet of new parenting, supporting and loving one another.

One thing we can promise you is that, if you and your partner enter parenthood with a collective sense of humor, the inside jokes will be endless and eternal!

The die of your future is not yet cast, and the amazingingly awesome news is that you have autonomy and control over how it goes. Can you control your child? Hahahahaha. No. Can you control how other people see you? Also, no. But that’s a them problem, not a you problem, so tarry not on that issue.

Our identities shift and transform throughout our lives. Instead of seeing parenting as something that should or shouldn’t change you (“shoulding” on yourself is such a pointless energy leak, after all) endeavor to see this change as an up-leveling. An unlocking of new skills and perspective. An expansion of your identity. You will be you, but MORE.

If you think checking your identity in exchange for becoming a parent is necessary, well then… you will create your premonition as fact. (We strongly discourage this approach.)

There’s no denying becoming a parent will impact how you see yourself and change your life. When people ask, “what’s up?” you’re not going to keep it a secret that you have acquired a new, adorable, roommate. Others will see you in a different light because you’re now a parent. (Ta-da!) Especially if you’re wearing a baby around in an Ergo. You will definitely be pegged as “that parent carrying a cute baby.” But you’re still YOU, in that Ergo, so… embrace it!

Our whole point: You get to say how it goes.

Get present to what your needs are now, because when your child arrives you’ll have more responsibilities and your daily schedule is going to change. Maybe your child is already in residence? That doesn’t mean it’s too late to consider what you need in terms of fostering your personal identity. Take some time and ask yourself:

  • How do you see yourself today?
  • What do you love about yourself?
  • What do other people come to you for?
  • What are the things that are most important to you in terms of work performance?
  • What daily activities or rituals support your well-being, energy level, and spirit?

Grab a piece of paper and a pen, or open a note on your phone and tiny type it out with your thumbs. Dare to bother to write it down. Put it on post it notes hanging on the bathroom mirror by your bed in the kitchen:

I am hilarious.

Get on your bike and ride!

Create connection time with my team.

Go dancing with my BFF.

I am a sexy beast.

If you have a partner, schedule a date night or a power breakfast so the two of you can discuss the things that you both need to stay happy, healthy, and grounded. You’ll not only be doing each other a favor, but also helping create a loving and balanced environment for your child.

New parents are often so focused on their child or children that they forget themselves. Leave yourself a breadcrumb trail back to yourself, and make sure you schedule some time to wander that path. You will always be you. AND: the newly expanded parental version of you that you’re about to unlock will give you access to skills, experiences, and feelings you didn’t even know existed. You got this.

To learn more, visit or follow @lumoleadership on Instagram.


LUMO is a collective of certified executive and leadership coaches and trainers. We use the tools, principles, and philosophies of leadership coaching to empower parents to become leaders in their careers, their relationships, and any other areas of their lives where they are feeling unmoored, disempowered, or not living up to their full potential. We provide companies the training to support their parent employees in a radical new way.