When you spend every living minute of the day with a child, it’s really hard to remember how to be ‘you’. I think since becoming a mum I really have abandoned any sense of individuality I had. I either don’t have the time, get major ‘mum guilt’ or it just doesn’t feel like me anymore. I guess I’m writing this in the hope that someone tells me I’m not alone in how I feel.
Thinking back to pre-baby me, it’s like a whole life I don’t remember. I look at pictures of me in dresses I could only dream of pulling off now, wearing my beloved plum lipstick which I have tried to wear multiple times since but it just doesn’t feel right or going braless (or ‘yee-ha no bra’ as we called it) which let’s be honest, post breastfeeding sagginess would just never allow now..
When I see mums say ‘they don’t remember life before’ I just think HOW?! Because I remember it all too well, and although at the time my life felt like nothing particularly special looking back I love pre-baby me. I was so confident, I had a social life, I had a great job, in some ways she is a role model to myself now and had so many qualities about her I wish I could take back.
I loved myself, not in the vain looking in every mirror I pass kind of way, but in a way that I was content with my life and I was happy.
Now I am in no way saying I regret motherhood, or my life before was better because that is 100% NOT how I feel, it’s more that my pre-baby life ended without warning. One day (to my knowledge) I wasn’t pregnant and the next I was. That was very hard to accept. It was just like a switch, every aspect of my life changed that day. I wasn’t ready for this but I was going to prove myself wrong and I feel like I have.
I am now almost 7 months postpartum. Throughout my pregnancy I struggled to accept the bump and dealt with very bad anxiety. I always told myself once the bump was gone I could wear what I liked and the anxiety would be gone but even jeans I would have worn before don’t feel like me anymore. I have no style anymore, nothing that is ‘me’ and I struggle with this.
Anytime not spent with Nora, I don’t know how to be anymore. I feel socially awkward, I avoid a lot of situations as I feel stiff. I feel like I don’t know how to stand, how to carry a handbag, what to talk about. I’ve forgotten how to be Lucy. When I’m with my friends, and this is no fault of theirs as I love them all dearly and they are the most amazing bunch of girls I have ever known, O just don’t know how to be anymore and I am truly sorry to them all that I can’t be the same person they all met years ago. My mind is just constant Nora Nora Nora, but I love that.
Life now is all about motherhood, family life, raising our special little girl. Although I loved my life pre Nora, I would never go back. I don’t want to. I feel like I have been constantly trying to recreate who I was and only recently have I thought well why would I want to? It’s so ‘been there done that’. She is at an age where I can comfortably leave her & go on a night out but I don’t want to. My life is so past all that. I would rather be up to my ears in shitty nappies than have time to myself. I loved me before, but I love me even more now. Although I still struggle and beat myself up about multiple things, I am kind, I am loving and I am a mum to a beautiful little girl. I have given up so much to be where I am but I regret nothing.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I need to learn a few lessons from my former self and that I think it’s okay to think about how your life was before you became a mum, dad, whatever.. It’s okay some days to question why you ever done this, what your life would be like now if you hadn’t because parenthood is tough, some days you crack, some days it’s a miracle you made it to bedtime, but when days like this come to an end and everything is quiet and calm, that’s when you realise how lucky you really are.
Thank you, pre-baby Lucy, for being so spontaneous and not taking any shit.