I never fully appreciated that part of motherhood is also grieving the identity I had pre-Being Mummy.
A concept I struggled to voice and in all honesty I am still wrestling with the guilt about.
Because I truly love Being Mummy.
But sometimes I just miss Being Me.
I find it equally endearing and yet strangely weird that I am “T’s Mummy” to some. That is, after all, everything I have ever wanted to be – yet somehow it’s strange that people are surprised that I also have a job that requires more than wiping noses …
How many times have you caught yourself thinking “I wish I knew before we had kids…”?
When you come to motherhood it can be a hard reality that we have to let other things go. There is so much pressure on being everything, to everyone, all of the time.
I remember being told by a friend at work that I wasn’t in my “career season” if I wanted to be the Mummy I was talking about. My initial reaction was to rebuff that. I took it personally – as if she was saying I wasn’t capable of doing it all.
Reality check: her words: my perception.
If I truly listened to what she was saying I can see the wisdom … it’s a season. Season’s change. Priorities change. Nothing is a perfect balance; something always has to come first.
In this high pressure world of striving to have it all we run the risk of total burnout.
When telling my GP about the guilt I felt:
I “should” be happy – I have beautiful kids, I have been able to go back part time after mat leave, I have the house and the perfect guy … why am I depressed, why am I not happy? I just shouldn’t feel this way.
She said it’s scary the number of women now seeking help (just like me) because we have spread ourselves so thinly trying to do it all that something had to give. And usually it’s us.
So my self care journey is not getting back to me. It’s about redefining me. Becoming a new me.
And actually that’s quite exciting!
Are you relearning who you are? Can you relate to the “Old Me Guilt”? Let me know in the comments below. I’m just off to wipe some noses!
Love Ali x
PS here are some great books that have really helped me on my journey so far. Maybe they’re right for you too?
Getting Back to Happy – I LOVE this book so much – I could highlight all of it for re-reading!
Outer Order: Inner Calm – I was surprised by this book as I thought it would be more copy heavy. Actually, because of the format, it’s a great go to for quick pick me ups when I only have a couple of moments as well as when I have a bit more time.
Cozy Minimalist Home – no I haven’t put this in the wrong place – trust me! This is a book that takes my need to nest and be homely and surrounded by familiarity to ground myself and marries it with my desire and aspiration for our home. Myquillan hits the nail on the head – it’s a home not a photo set and it needs to be right for you and your family in the now.
Next on my reading list is Chimp Paradox … will keep you posted on how I get on!
PPS book recommendations very much welcomed too! I have a lot of nightfeeds to fill on my kindle fire!