SO yeah! What about me?
One of the hardest things for me when I had finley was the loss of my time. No more afternoon naps, lazy lunches, mooching around the shops for hours, crazy nights out with 3 day hangovers, last minute mini breaks and spontaneous romantic moments!
On the flip side you get this whole new person who is utterly and entirely yours to love, cherish, care for and spoil with love, attention and mothering but when things are not going well; I used to feel quite resentful and sad that my life had in fact changed.
Thinking about the husband or partner role (i.e. those not giving birth/breastfeeding) or for single mums out there – it can be hard adjusting to your new role with ease. I am insanely jealous of those mums who took to motherhood like duck to water, never longed for their old life and embraced their new journey fully. Me? I wanted to hire a nanny when Finley was 4 weeks old so I could get back to work, strap by boobs up so they would stop leaking, get online to buy some lovely NON maternity outfits (I was kidding myself that I would fit into normal clothes I had piled on HUGE amount of baby blubber) and go for long boozy nights out with my friends.
I couldn’t understand how these celebs looked so amazing, how they looked so calm and how they pinged back to shape. There I was struggling with a baby that wouldn’t sleep, a husband who just slipped back into his old life but getting the best bits (i.e. coming home, few cuddles, bath times and then back off to work). I never felt that he understood what had changed for me, that my life had completely and utterly changed and that I felt a shadow of my former self.
Is this normal I wondered? Am I a bad mum for wanting my life back?
After speaking to my mum she said those thoughts never entered her head. She was a mum and just got on with it. It got me thinking and I understood that when my mum had me over 30 years ago, women probably did not have the freedom that we have today. And I mean in all aspects – career, politics, social hobbies and interests, friendships, sex, travel etc etc…. for many women today who have had a wide and varied life experiencing all manner of explorations – having a tiny baby attached to you and that YOU are responsible for this new person literally spins the majority of women around. I felt dizzy, un-prepared and lost.
Together with the isolation you feel when you become a new mum, you feel everyone else is coping and enjoying it – getting back into their clothes with babies that sleep 8 hours as soon as they get home (I still cannot believe this is true im sorry!!!) then no wonder women spiral into a sense of despair and disbelief at this new life
Before Finley I felt that having a baby wouldn’t change me. I would still travel the world, have my career, have boozy nights out, be up for talking about anything other than kids but you know what? Having a baby DID change me. It took me long enough to realise that I hated it at first. I mourned my old life, what I had and what I felt I was missing out on. Post Natal Depression? I think so – I see it now but didn’t then. I should have asked for help but was too proud.
I never really looked at what I had and what I had achieved. I didn’t enjoy the fact that I could go out for a few drinks but all I wanted to do was talk about Finley and gush about how perfect this person was, that I couldn’t never imagine life without him. About how my love for my husband changed into something more real and less frivolous. That I do miss our expensive holidays to far flung places but travelling with a child = fun and laughter (and a little stress) you could never imagine. You make new friends who understand what you are going through and you LOVE your body. I wish I could be a perfect 12 but you know what, life is more than how much you weigh.
Being a mum gave me a new purpose and as I slowly got my head and heart around it, I understood that I was actually ok at it. I am still learning and have made many mistakes but wow – my life is filled in so many amazing ways.
Now I still hanker for those lazy days on the beach reading a good book, having romantic meals, last minute breaks and extra money to spend on new shoes or clothes . Now my new books consists of stories about trains or planes, our romantic dinners turn into family food fights and battles, last minute holidays involve quick dashes down to the coast and into caravan parks and the new shoes? Well – slowly but surely I have built my wardrobe back up but I’d much rather spend on the the family or house. I guess priorities shift, I have become less selfish and more open to just having fun and letting go.
My advice? Don’t feel bad if you hate it. Don’t feel bad if you feel rubbish. Don’t feel bad if you would rather go back to work and get your old life. I think this is pretty normal and I bet soon, you may start to really enjoy being the ‘new you’….spurty breastmilk, bigger body and not as fancy shoes in the wardrobe and all.