When I became pregnant, I wasn’t sure of what kind of mum I wanted to be, but I did have all these big plans about how I wanted to still be me. Yes, I knew my life would change, but I wasn’t planning on quite how much.
When you have a newborn, self care pretty much goes out of the window! Everyone says to look after yourself (including me to other mums), but it’s hard to think about anything but the baby (whether those are happy thoughts or not). I forgot about my needs for a while. Everything was to do with E. She would only sleep on me and fed, what felt like, round the clock. How was I meant to do anything for me? Yes, I have a wonderful husband who would do anything to help but all of a sudden I wanted to be Supermum! I refused help. I shouldn’t have.
16 months down the line, I still find it hard to put myself first. And it’s something I need to work on, because sometimes I feel lost and like I don’t know who I am any more. Becoming a mum has given me a new identity, but also made me lose a lot of who I am.
I sometimes miss the old me. I miss the freedom of not having to think about what snacks I need when I leave the house. I miss being able to agree to plans at last minute (not that I did that). I miss being able to have a night out and not worry about needing to be home, because E won’t sleep without me.
I feel like I’ve lost a bit of who I am, even though I’ve gained more than I could have ever wished for.
So, I’ve started baking more to make me feel like my old self. I used to love baking, still do, and I’m really happy when my KitchenAid is whirring away and I’m mixing up some icing sugar. I ordered some craft boxes to see if that was part of the new me. I’ve not started them yet, which lets me know that the old me is still alive and well. I’ve been buying tonnes of clothes (although, this is nothing new), but I’ve been trying different things, some are terrible, but I’ve realised that when I can actually go outside and do normal things again, but I want to feel like me. Not like a typical mum. Yes, I’ll always love skinny jeans, a T-shirt and converse, but I need my twist. I need to feel like me. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Motherhood is definitely a long and complicated journey. You lose yourself in this little person, they become your world, but you need to be you. You need to show those little people that it’s good to be you, it’s good to be individual and have your own interests, that it’s good to be a little different, and that it’s good to know exactly who you are. It might be a long and complicated journey, but each phase of their life, and yours, teaches you something. Be you. Do what makes you happy, for your sake and your baby’s.
I might’ve lost sight of who I was, but I’m excited to see who I’m going to become with the sassy little girl we’re raising at my side. I’m taking some of the old with me and trying to merge it with the new. Hopefully, I’ll become the best version of me!