When I used to read articles, blog posts and hear comments about how someone thought of themselves as more than just a mother I would gasp in shock. How can motherhood not be the be all and end all to someone with children in their lives? From the moment I saw that positive pregnancy test for the first time, it was like I had signed some contract to give my life over and make it so that I am programmed to do nothing and think of nothing but motherhood.
That thinking had continued over the last several years until recently when I realised that I could actually be more than just a mother. I can be me.
I can be someone who leaves her children with other people knowing that they will be perfectly fine and that separation isn’t necessary a bad thing. My breastfeeding days are over; I do not need to worry about being the only one to settle the baby off to sleep. And Charlotte isn’t even a baby anymore; she is 19 months going on 19.
I can be someone who looks after her body, for so long I have abused it in so many ways. I gave up on it and didn’t care if I was getting rounder and that the only kind of solo exercise I was getting was walking to the shop to pick out a cake. I had joined the gym and dusted off the running shoes again and am enjoying being the runner that I was long before I had children.
I can be someone who shops for herself instead of the children. For so long have I put the children’s wardrobes first and left mine filled with outgrown clothes. The only thing that changed for my wardrobe was the colour of my converses. Out with the old and in with the new is quickly becoming my new motto.
I can let my hair down, and instead of constantly declining outings with friends to the pub I can put the children to bed and go out and have a laugh. I do not need to put my enjoyments aside because after all happy mum is a great mum.
Like Jim, I was using the children as a smoke screen and was just putting ‘me’ aside to be me with a head filled with appointments, parental responsibilities and nothing but talk of cloth nappies and autism. I was someone that got stuck in the routine of doing the same thing every day. Wake up, breakfast, school drop off, lunch, school pick up, dinner, kids bed and blogging. Obviously with lots of kids related fun and activities in between and that I do not regret or not enjoy but then there was never anything for me, I was totally in a rut when it came to giving myself essential me time. Change is good though, and now I am on the road to finding me again I might be able to find a life balance that keeps the whole household happy and running smoothly.