Overwhelmed by motherhood(?)

Before I became a mother, my days were usually devoted to doing what I wanted to do. While I’m not for a second suggesting that I don’t want to look after my daughter, there has certainly been a huge change in my day-to-day life. Apart from spending a lot more time at home (which, being a home-bird anyway, I love), my days are now devoted to someone else. Sometimes, that’s hard.

I want to emphasise that 99% of it is wonderful; she’s a blessing and I absolutely adore her. But there are still times when I feel overwhelmed. Being a parent is a full-time job. You’re always “on”. Always alert. Even when your baby is sleeping, your brain is still listening out for sounds and movement. So I try to take full advantage of the times my husband is looking after her.

Photo Credit: Meredith_Farmer via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Meredith_Farmer via Compfight cc

But still, it can be tough. Simple tasks like cooking and cleaning are suddenly made much more difficult when your attention is required elsewhere. Shopping or meeting up with friends is that much tougher when you’ve got a pram with you. Sometimes even finding a few minutes to grab a quick shower can be tricky.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s so easy to lose your identity. I know, at times, I have. I’m still the same person I was before I had a baby; I still like the same things. Obviously, my daughter’s wants and needs come before my own, and that’s OK, but everyone needs a little “me time” to keep them sane. It’s important not to lose your sense of self.

Source: disjointedthinking.jeffhughes.ca

Source: disjointedthinking.jeffhughes.ca

During one particular period of overwhelm this week, while trying to remind myself that things are different now because I have a child, a little voice inside me piped up and said, “Yes, but you’re more than a mother”. It resonated with me, and I’m sure it will resonate with a lot of you.

Yes, I will always be a mother. Yes, when you get right down to it, my child will always come first. But that doesn’t mean I can’t or shouldn’t take care of me too. I’m also a daughter myself. And a wife. And a friend. I’m a writer, a reader, a watcher of TV, an organiser, a web surfer, a shopper, a worker… There’s a lot more to me than “just” being a mother.

juggling-woman

Motherhood is such a wonderful experience; I wouldn’t give it up for anything. Seeing my little girl smile is the best gift I could ever receive. But it’s also OK to acknowledge that I’m still more or less the same person I always was. I still have the same likes and dislikes. I still have the same hobbies and passions. I still watch the same TV and read the same books (albeit in much smaller amounts). I’m still me.

If you’re also feeling a little overwhelmed by the demands of parenthood, I want you to know that you’re still you, too. It’s OK to wish sometimes that you could just switch off for an hour. It’s OK to want to have a soak in the bath, to curl up with your favourite book, to spend a few hours baking, to go shopping with friends. It’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK. It doesn’t make you a bad mother; it just makes you human.

68874_390374141049602_1868110476_n

With that in mind, I set up a private Facebook group as a safe haven for those of us who realise that being the best mother you can be includes taking care of yourself. It’s a place to tell other like-minded mothers a little about who you are. All of you. Not just the part that looks after your babies. Tell us about the dancer, poet, gardener, painter, cook, crossword puzzle solver, trainspotter… in you. Ask a question, give and receive some support, share a laugh, post some helpful tips and tricks, or vent a frustration. Go ahead and share a picture of the kids. I mean, they are, after all, a huge part of you. They’re just not all of you.

Join the group here. And spread the word to other mothers who want to embrace their true selves, too.

It’s time to celebrate you. All of you.

Celebrate You


{If you feel that it’s all a bit too much, please speak to a trusted friend or GP. Everyone gets the baby blues, ranging from being a bit weepy to post-natal depression. The latter is very common, is treatable, and is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Having a baby doesn’t suddenly mean you have all the answers. We’re all thrown in the deep end, and very few of us are strong swimmers. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a float until you get your sea legs. 🙂 }


Advertisements

Please leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s