Hey friends! I'm back on the blog! After my last post my laptop slowed way down and is basically unusable. This makes me very sad as I can't afford a new one. BUT a very kind and lovely mama friend of mine has lent me hers of which I am incredibly grateful!!
If you follow me on Instagram you'll see I've been just as active as ever and have had some pretty hefty up and downs.
Does anyone else not feel like a person any more? Does anyone else just identify as a Mumbot?
When it was just me, Husbeast and Beeb I still had a sense of my identity, I still had time to connect with who I am and nurture my interests.
Now I have 2 very young kids [3y & 15 months] and I just feel like Somebody's Mum 98% of the time and the 2% left over I'm trying to sleep [ha, thanks sleep regressions...] or wash my hair...
[Why did I decide to start a blog now I have less time than ever?!]
My last post was too long ago because I simply do not have the time or energy to sit down and write. It's crushing that I don't even have the time to nurture my own interests or one specific thing that is just mine for me.
It's been so apparent now I'm actively trying to make time for my blog - my self and my well-being are way down on my list of priorities right now.
I keep up a good façade I think; I keep my hair dyed and I consistently wear t-shirts that shout out my non-mum interests [I own so many Star Wars shirts - see I'm still cool!]
I'm starting to paint again - pictures for the boys' rooms...
The things I really love for myself now longer fit into my life:
hours playing Skyrim
staying up past 9:30pm...
I know it'll change and I'll get more time for me as the boys grow - a lot of my parent friends who have older children do indeed go out and be adult humans on occasion. I can't wait but how am I going to connect to the non-mum version of me when she's been gone so long? [3 years doesn't feel that long but EVERYTHING has changed]
Something that always bothered me is how the time when the baby naps is my own and a freedom - but is it?
It's not the same as the baby-free time you have when they're in the care of somebody else; when they nap you're still "on-call", you're still needed at any second and you're definitely still in "mum mode" as you constantly have your ears searching for noises of a stirring baby and any task you start has to be able to stop as soon as they wake.
Even now I'm sat downstairs at 9pm, low-alcohol cider in hand and my ears trained for the boys upstairs as I know for a fact that Toothless will be waking in the next hour or so. I even feel guilty for sitting here typing doing my own thing for a change instead of loading up the dishwasher or putting the washing away...
This time isn't mine though is it? It's theirs.
And it just feeds into the fact that I am no longer my own.
My body, my time and my mind belong to my family and their needs.
And while I adore this; I love being theirs. Their wife, their mother I miss me. I miss me for myself.
It's recently got worse as Toothless has decided that sleep is for the weak and wakes frequently at night. Resulting in most of my free time being exhausted or napping. This is leaving me with little to no energy for self-care, checking in with friends and family and anything else that makes me feel human.
I'm pretty terrified at who I'll be once I get my time back. How much work am I going to have to spend getting to know myself again? Will I like me?
You never expect to have an identity crisis when you start a family. You think you'll ease into this role of the saintly happy, got-her-shit-together mother/parent and you'll wear this new identity as snugly and comfortably as the You you were before.
Or that you'll stay you and baby will just fit in around whoever you are.
But you can't wear both. Its gets hot and itchy and stressful.
My Me Coat has probably been eaten by moths now. Never to be worn again.
Now obviously, this was my choice; I chose to be a mother and I'm fortunate enough and privileged enough to able to
But it doesn't mean I can't mourn the me I shrugged off and it doesn't mean I can't sometimes be resentful or exasperated at this new me I wear now.
Becoming a parent has turned me into the best version of myself I have ever been. I love it.
But I'm nearly 3 and half years in and I'm figuring all this out. I'll probably never be done.
I think the most important thing to remember is that even though I am someone's mother, that's not all I am. I was a human before, I'm still a human and I will be when I find myself again. Incorporating this huge part of my identity is hard right now as being a caregiver is most of who I am; even my own needs are second priority after two smaller humans.
One fantastic group of people I know have nailed keeping their coolness while raising future badasses. Seriously, if you're a parent (in all its incarnations) then check them out, I wouldn't be half the person I am today without these beautiful, powerful, inspiring and loving feminist punks lifting me up.
Things are going to be okay. I recently had a job interview and I booked in an induction session at the local climbing wall. Finally getting to nurture myself and my interests. Not just be Mama. But be me. Rianna.