More than being a mum
"It was that point when you've recently had a baby and your new normal life has kicked in and you're thinking, 'Is this it?'"
It was that point when you've recently had a baby and your new normal life has kicked in and you're thinking, "Is this it?"
Not that you're unhappy or ungrateful for all you have, but just the new routine is sometimes really hard or really dull or both. You feel like maternity leave will last forever and you're not sure how you will be able to be the mum, the wife and the housekeeper for all that time without having something just for yourself. Well that's how I felt a few weeks ago.
I feel that in the first few months, or maybe even years, of parenthood you lose yourself as an individual. You are a mum now and your own identity can be lost in this. I think partly it's down to confidence. You put all of your effort and focus into being a mum so anything outside of that comfort zone feels scary and alien. Right now I look around at my wonderful girls and I feel exhausted. I'm a mum 24/7 with no time for me, Katy. I wonder if all I am is a milk machine feeding round the clock, preparing food for the older girls, constantly doing household chores, which are never ending. I'm battling with who I am. How do I flourish in all of this when I don't even have the time to dry my hair or shave my legs?
My confidence was knocked. I rang the gym to book a class, but hung up before I got through as I chickened out of it. Perhaps part of it was the thought of the physical exertion, but the other part was being in that environment meeting new people and being on my own!
I know! I moan about how I can't even go to the toilet on my own, but then I am scared to be on my own too. My children have become my safety net. When I was pregnant I always felt so confident and sure of myself. I'm not sure if that's all those hormones boosting me or if it's just the empowerment that comes with knowing you are responsible for growing a life. But with that gone, the thought of being on my own in some situations is oddly frightening!
For some, I know it is enough to be at home and provide for your family, but that's not me. When I'm feeling nervous or scared I think I could be that person, but deep down I know I couldn't.
I was invited to an award ceremony at work. When I first heard about it I said, "I'm not going. I won't fit in my clothes and I don't feel up to it." Thankfully L and my good friends encouraged me to just go and enjoy it and I'm glad I did. Nine weeks since the tiny human arrived and I managed to fit into my tailored undress uniform that was measured for me in 2010. Pre kids!! That's an achievement in itself. Plus I received a certificate for some work that I did last year.
Being at work gave me the reminder that I needed that I am more than just a mum. That I have successes and achievements at work in a career I love, which I want to build on. I felt proud to receive an award, especially since my work is so enjoyable and rewarding.
I helped at the local church office the other week and a few people commented on how good I was. This is where people forget that you're not just a mum, but you're a professional who manages a career. So there is more to me than the tired; dishevelled-looking mum dragging three small children around.
Work made me feel like Katy. I came away from the awards really buzzing. It was a blessing in disguise, exactly when I needed it, which was two fold. It made me feel excited about my new role going back to work and that I have something for myself more than being a mum and housewife, but what it also did was remind me how this maternity leave is so precious. That before I know it I will be back at work and juggling that work-life balance (and probably moaning about it) so I really need to make the most of it as already it is going too fast.
It's only now that I'm feeling more at ease with my new normal and I'm certainly not going to wish this time away.
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