I’m Calling This Blog Post Part 1.
I’ve lost myself since I became a mum.
When you get pregnant, you know that soon your life is going to change. And if you didn’t realise that fact, you soon would since the entire 9 months of pregnancy you seem to be inundated with advice and words of wisdom from ‘experienced’ parents. The ones who have been there and done that, usually a decade or 2 ago;
“Oh, you’re going home to relax in the bath…. well enjoy that while it lasts, you’ll never get to do that again once the baby gets here!”
“Oh, you had a long lie today….. well make the most of that because once the baby gets here you’ll never sleep again!”
“You’re going out for tea are you – you won’t be doing that soon!”
“Your house is tidy is it – it won’t be for long!”
And of all of these, ahem, optimistic pearls of wisdom, none included what I have found to be the hardest transition of all; the way in which you can lose yourself in motherhood. And I’ve lost myself since I became a mum.
Post-Becoming a Mummy
After Aiden arrived safe and sound, my life changed alright and mostly for the better. For the first year I felt like I was the happiest and most settled I’d been in a long time.
You see, before I had Aiden I was very lost. I was no longer the 20 year old carefree person who lived each day to party and had no inhibitions, no fears, no responsibilities. Yet, I also wasn’t a married 30 year old homeowner with a stable job and a committed partner. I was in a toxic relationship with a narcissistic loser who enjoyed mentally wearing me down whenever there was a glimmer of confidence and independence shining through.
Once I had Aiden, I was thrust into this single parent life where my days revolved around naps, feeds and nappy changes. Running on coffee and autopilot never really pausing, just getting through each day one at a time. As the new born phase drew to an end, my days then revolved around naps, feeds, nappy changes and play dates with other mum friends. But I was happy. It was like being a mum was what had been missing from my life. I embraced it. I loved it.
I soon learned that raising a small human is really just a series of phases;
Newborn blob – rolling over – sitting up – crawling – walking.
Regular night feeds – less night feeds – sleeping through the night.
Moses basket – cot bed – big boy bed.
10 nappy changes a day – 3 nappy changes a day – potty – toilet.
Milk bottles – pureed mush – soft finger foods – eating everything and anything…..
Your life becomes a series of phases revolving around this one tiny person who needs all of your time and attention. An hour to yourself to enjoy a bubble bath or getting a full night sleep feels like a luxury and a holiday.
When Aiden hit 2 it started to change. It started to get harder. Much harder. More tiring. More stressful. Less fun. I got so engrossed in making it through each new phase – challenging phases, exhausting phases. Trying to hold it together. Trying not break down. I started to isolate myself from my friends.
You live each day as a single mum with only a child for company, the odd playdate or coffee with a friend here and there but mostly being too tired for anything else. You countdown the hours to bedtime because you just need the day to be over so you can sleep away the exhaustion. You start to feel drained and worn down. Before you know it months, even a year has passed and the most time you’ve spent being you and not mum is close to 0.
I’ve Lost Myself Since I Became a Mum
Aiden is almost 3 now.
I’ve forgotten what it’s like to get ready for a night out; choosing the perfect dress, perfect feels, hair done make up done.
Come to think of it, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to go out for a night out full stop. To go out at night to an adult place surrounded by other adults and not a screaming toddler in sight.
I’ve forgotten what it’s like to have conversations about things that don’t involve how you get your kid to sleep at night or how you potty trained or how you got through the chicken pox.
I used to know all the words to all the songs in the charts (and their dance moves) now I know all of the popular kids TV show theme songs, nursery rhymes and their actions.
I used to stay up until 1am watching movies and sleep until 10am. Now staying up past 10pm makes me feel like daredevil rebel and also slightly panicked that I’ll only have 7-8 hours left before Aiden wakes and we start all over again.
I’ve forgotten what it’s like to talk to guys. I’m single after all. Am I not meant to be ‘getting back out there and trying to meet someone’? How do I do that if i can’t even talk to a man anymore? What do I talk about? Oh, my son did the biggest poo the other day… He had the shittiest tantrum in Tesco…. My son hates eating veggies so we live on sausages and potato waffles…. My life is my son. That’s all I know now.
I’ve forgotten what it’s like to completely switch off my mind and just have fun. To go out with a friend and not have my phone sitting out on the table in case i get an emergency phone call.
I’ve lost the old me. This means I’ve outgrown that 20 year old me. I’ve grown up. I’ve learned to let things go. I’ve learned to adult slightly better. I’ve learned to not let petty things or petty people get me down. But it also means that I’ve also lost every other part of me. The confident, sassy, fun me. The me who loved a drink and a girls night, who was funny, chatty and outgoing.
I’ve lost all of her and I don’t know how to get any of her back.
Lost in Transition
I’m stuck in this transition between who I was before I became a mum and who I am now.
The thought of a girls night used to fill me with so much excitement. I would start planning for it on the Monday and count down the sleeps till Saturday night. Now the thought of a night out fills me with dread. Anxiety. Panic.
I yearn for a night off. A night to myself. A night to switch off and have a break from it all and a long lie afterwards. But when it comes all I can do is worry if Aiden is ok. If he’s sleeping ok? Having fun? Thinks I’ve abandoned him? Am I selfish?
I never used to dare leave the house without make up on. Now it’s been so long since I did my make up that I’ve forgotten how to apply it.
Aidens wardrobe is overflowing with clothes and I’m lucky if I can find any clothes that fit and aren’t 5 years old and worn out. I used to love shopping. Now i sit and stare at the ASOS screen and it looks like a minefield – is that the trends people are wearing now? How do I wear that? I’m even finding that my style is changing. I’m drawn to outfits i never normally would have liked.
Before I had a son, I had no idea how all-consuming motherhood would be. It is constant. I mean, really constant. I figured I’d have breaks. Me time and those breaks would help me feel like me again, rested and relaxed. But I can’t relax. I’m always a mum. Always switched on.
I can’t find any part of the me before i had a child and i miss her. But realistically, i know that i’ll never fully be her again.
I’m just now figuring out that I have to take a little time to learn who this new mum-me is. To learn how to hold on to the best parts of who i was before while embracing the new person I’m becoming. To find a happy balance between the two.
I don’t know how and I don’t know when that will happen but I know someday I’ll become the best version of me. For now though, I’m just a bit lost.
So I’m calling this blog post part 1. I’ll write part 2 once I get there.
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