When you become a mum, a baby haze envelopes you; ninety percent out of sheer and utter love for your newborn and ten percent out of complete exhaustion. It’s a wonderfully emotional and tiring time.
When the haze starts to dissipate and the real world beckons once more, it can leave you questioning your identity. One day you were you, and the next, a mum. And while your new role is one to embrace, it’s important not to lose your sense of self. Not to lose sight of the qualities that existed before that made you in to the wonderful mum that you are now.
Take me. Not only am I the mother of two ridiculously gorgeous boys, I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin and a friend. I have my own family but I am part of a much bigger one.
And while I’ve learnt new skills since becoming a mum (like being able to rock a baby, read to a toddler and find my husband’s lost cufflinks – all at the same time), I’m still the person I was before. I’m still: HAPPY, nostalgic, homesick, silly, bossy, kind, BRAVE, brutally honest, organised, frustrated, fuelled by temper, sad, FUNNY, a control freak, lonely, a terrible cook,cheeky, CHARMING. Being a mum hasn’t changed that.
And things that I used to love doing – watching Wimbledon with a glass of champagne, lazy lunches in my favourite Thai restaurant, spa weekends with my friends, watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy in one sitting – I can still do them, just not as often and maybe with a toddler and baby sat on my lap as well.
But now I have new things that I love to do as well – soaking up a supply of never ending smiles and cuddles, kicking leaves on early morning walks, having a tiny hand hold mine when we watch films together, seeing someone delight in things that had become normal and mundane to me, watching on in awe as the toddler gently strokes the baby’s cheek – the list is endless.
There’s room for all these things in my life. Room for them all in me. I’m all the qualities that I was before and many, many new ones too.
There is no mum vs. me. There’s just me. And it’s a person that I’m really happy to be.