One of the most monumental changes in your life is when you become ‘Mommy’. I don’t think I’m the first woman to feel that by birthing two gorgeous babies I lost a part of myself, and I certainly do not begrudge the fact that I had children.
Your world is literally upended when you give birth. Whether or not you’ve had major abdominal surgery or been in labour for 48 hours, in order to birth said baby, your number one concern becomes this little person who is 100% dependent on you for survival. Fast forward to 5 years and not much has changed. As a Mom I automatically put the needs of my children, and husband above my own. The need to love, protect and cater to their needs is of the utmost importance to me. Need to do to my hair! That can wait, the kids need new shoes. Would love some new clothes! Soph needs to start swimming lessons and Oli has weekly Speech Therapy. And so it goes. Often I’ll get to the end of the year and think gosh, did I get or do anything purely for myself this year?
Body. This body has grown two beautiful children, has battled two monstrous pregnancies, been cut open and stitched back together twice, and been abused by a lack of exercise and bad diet. This year I’ve decided to dedicate more time to myself. I’m going to let the kids spend an extra hour at school and spend that time on myself and my body at the gym. I need to invest in myself and my wellbeing, something that fell by the wayside when I dedicated myself to two little beings. The kids love school, by spending a hour at the gym I’m not in any way taking anything away from them, in fact, I’m giving them a stronger, more confident and more physically fit version of myself to call their Mom. I’ll have more energy to run around with them and push Soph for hours on the swing.
Read. Something I did before I had kids that I literally haven’t done in years, is read. I’d happily devour at least a book a week – my bookshelf pays testament to that – now, I have books I got for Christmas 2016 that are collecting dust. I find after a day at work, being with the kids, cooking and blogging that I find myself reaching for the TV remote and watching some mindless show. That’s going to change. I’m going to enrich my mind, escape to far off countries, live vicariously through others and come back as a more well-rounded and well-read Mommy.
Husband. How many of you call your husband/partner “Daddy” at times (be honest!)? I’m guilty of it. When exactly did ‘my love’/’babe’ become “Daddy?”. I’ll tell you – somewhere between the poopy nappies, 3am feeds and school runs. It’s a natural oversight, but one I want to correct. I don’t feel like I lost some of my previous relationship with my husband, becoming parents solidified our relationship if anything, but I sure felt the shift. Who knows, maybe in 2018 we can also take a few days to ourselves and take our first holiday without the kids? A happy marriage equals happy children.
Friends. We all know how it goes, they’re often the first to take the backseat with your promotion to ‘Mommy’. Even more so the friends who don’t have kids. While I’m happiest at home with my husband and kids, I do need to make more time for the amazing friends in my life, to catch up over a coffee or lunch and over the phone for those precious people across the country.
Sleep. Oh how I miss those days of 8 hours, uninterrupted, blissful sleep. Saturday afternoon naps are thing of the past, but, even after a restless night’s sleep, when I wake up early to that find both the kids are in the bed with us, limbs flung all over, making a lie-in virtually impossible, I remember that these little bodies are mine, and I’m their Mommy.
I asked a few of my fabulous blogger friends their opinions of this – here’s what they had to say:
As mothers, we’re all juggling the demands of a home. We’re trying to nurture our marriages or relationships while trying to raise our children, but we can’t forget about ourselves, and that we were someone with our own identity long before we saw those two little lines appear on the pregnancy test. Even if it’s small steps, schedule a couple of hours to yourself every week to do something purely for you, your family will thank you later. Set yourselves goals. What do you want to accomplish for you, no matter how small and menial it may be. I am not ‘lost’, I am refocusing on me.
Not for one second will I hesitate in saying that being a mother isn’t the best thing in the world but I’m going to gain back now, not what the kids made me lose, but what I didn’t prioritise, and this is the time!