Next week I'm writing on the blog about my jaunty first year of motherhood. I didn't suffer with PND but it took me a long time to settle into this new thing, like well over a year. I felt lost. A little crazy and I longed for my old work routine. Now i'm used to my new normal but I think it's important to share these realistic expressions of Motherhood so we can stop forcing 'perfection' on ourselves and feel like human beings. With that in mind I totally nodded along to this post that Ruth from Real Life Mummy write on her blog which you can read here.
I'm lonely. I haven't been on my own for nearly 4 months, but I'm homesick and I'm lonely. First time I became a mother, I knew no one where I lived, yet I was overrun with visitors, went to a variety of baby and
I'm lonely. I haven't been on my own for nearly 4 months, but I'm homesick and I'm lonely. First time I became a mother, I knew no one where I lived, yet I was overrun with visitors, went to a variety of baby and mum sessions, and made some amazing mum friends on the way. We were all going through the same thing, it was reassuring to know we weren't alone in the crazy new world of parenting.
Second baby, I still had those wonderful mum friends, and one of them even came on the second baby journey with me, and we managed to time our due dates to within a month of each other. Franks birth coincided with Ronnie starting school, so I had the novelty of the school run to throw into the mix, making new friends at the gate.
Roll on to number 3, and of our crowd, I'm the only one mad enough to take on a third child. Lives have moved on, promotions at work and so on, and life is busy busy.
The first time you have a baby, every man and his dog send you cards, pop in for a visit. Number two, I had half as many cards and visitors - which is fine, it's maybe not such a milestone moment in your life as you've already adjusted to being a parent.
Number three - because she was a girl, I had masses of cards and gifts, even a baby shower, because everyone who knows me knew I longed for a pink one to make our family complete. But the visits, they were minimal. And I'm not complaining, family and friends knew it would be a busy time and didn't want to overwhelm us, especially as her birth came a week before half term, meaning the boys and my step daughter were home. So most people stayed away, to give me space, then all of a sudden a couple of months had gone by and there I was, still having my space. Turns out I'm not too good with space, and I need company far more than I realised.
I moaned through the whole of the summer holidays that the boys were hard work, and I was looking forward to them going back to school so I could have some peace and quiet, now I'm sitting on my couch with Ivy asleep and I miss them! Fool. I don't live near my family, or my husband's, and on one hand it can be good to have some distance, but on the other, I can feel forgotten about and empty. There's no question of moving, with our family situation here the way it is, and that's fine, I knew that from the start, but it doesn't make it any easier.
Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for the quality time I can spend one on one with Ivy, but having a daughter has made me miss my own mother and sisters particularly.
What I do know, is that I'll never be happy with my lot, I'm that type of person unfortunately, always looking for the next project to keep me busy. After my first baby I set up a textiles business with a friend, after my second a cake business. I promised myself I would just enjoy being a mum this time - but I'm terrible at relaxing. I know I always feel much better if I get dressed and go somewhere, meet friends or a baby group, but getting out of that pit in the first place is the hardest part. One of my mummy friends put it well, she said, if she got dressed before she came downstairs then she was set up for the day, on a roll already. But once downstairs in her pjs, it set the tone for the day. So I'm trying it (although I failed today which is why I'm able to write, sprawled out on the couch watching mind numbing tv). Dress before going downstairs. Even just doing my hair and putting on a tiny splash of make up can help. That can be a dangerous mask to wear if things aren't ok, but if you're just finding yourself slumping and feeling sorry for yourself, then a bit of war paint can be enough to pull you up a bit.
I've long since discarded my super mum mask, and I'm not always able to laugh at the daily trademarks of being a mum to a baby. Puke on my clothes? Yeah, funny the first few times, but when you've taken the best part of an hour to feel good wearing something that covers the lumps and bumps post pregnancy, then it can be a real bitch to start all over again - which is when pjs can become so appealing!
This isn't meant to be a woe is me blog, and I am well aware of risking sounding needy (although I know I am). Just wanted to put it out there, and see if I'm alone in my thoughts, or if this is a common scenario. Hoping it's the latter, or I'm doomed! I know I'll be devastated to go back to work and I will miss being able to sit with a sleeping baby and watch lame tv, so I will be getting myself together, getting out of the house and making the most of it - if anyone would care to join me ;-)