Being a Mummy (or Daddy) is hard! I love my little man but f**k me there are days I just want to rock in a corner and cry…during some of the early days I actually have!
When I found out I was pregnant I was ecstatic (and freaked out). I built up an amazing picture of what Motherhood would be. I imagined heartfelt cuddles on the sofa, fun family days out and arts and crafts at the kitchen table.
What I got was a baby who cried uncontrollably for weeks due to allergies, a baby who didn’t sleep and was irritable (and so was Mummy), a baby who I would cry alongside because I felt I was doing something wrong.
I was constantly tired. I tend to be a crier anyway…sad adverts, sad movies, soppy romances. However for those first few months I cried at everything and anything simply out of being so drained.
Once allergies got sorted and we got into some sort of sleep pattern the fog did start to lift. Not entirely and I do wonder whether I suffered PND. It was mentioned by the health visitor at J’s 9 month review as she was concerned by some of my emotional responses. She said she would call me in a week to discuss how things were going…J is now 2 and a bit and I’m still waiting for the call.
I decided to research different ways to help myself emotionally/mentally. I went back to more skin to skin, massages and having time before bedtime to just lay together on my bed and listen to lullabies together. All with the intention of strengthening the bond and enjoying time together.
I also started to go back out with friends without J. I would take longer baths whenever hubby was off night shifts and I began to eat better to try and lift the tiredness.
I think these are what helped me. I started to feel like I was Mummy but also me. By a year J and I were in a good routine and he finally started to sleep through the night. It was miraculous. I still have difficult days where I get wound up easily, fall asleep with my glasses on and want to find the corner to cry in. But these are manageable and less frequent.
My evenings were my own again (perks of hubby on nights…although he is now a day worker again). I watched what I wanted, ate treats, had lovely bubbly baths and went to sleep early to catch on the year of barely any sleep. Life felt good and the fog had started to lift.
J was 2 in December. I now go out every couple of months for a meal and wine with friends, I go for take-aways round my friends, I go to the cinema with my Mum. I think it’s important to have your own time, to just be you. To speak to adults, to laugh and rant. This time I am usually crying out of sheer laughter.
I have recently had a Pamper Party at my house. Hubby was upstairs with a movie and the monitor. I was officially off duty and downstairs with my girly friends and family, with a bottle (or 2) of wine and our Tropic host.
We had a night of trying products. This ranged from trying the handcare products (the salt scrub felt amazing) to bathing our feet in wonderful foot products (I ordered the ‘stone’ as it worked wonders on my dry, crappy feet). We had face masks and tried so many different creams and ointments. I smelt like I had walked through a forest of fruit!
I have previously brought the ‘skin saviour’ to use on J’s eczema. Sadly it didn’t work on the sorest parts as they needed steroid creams but it did help his dry patches and helped heal his cuts from over scratching faster than they usually heal. Apparently you can use on scars too so I’m going to start on my stretch marks, haha.
We giggled at our wrinkles and the need for ‘anti sagging’ masks (that’s not what they are really called, but it’s our name for it). We made constant jokes about the fact you could theoretically eat the products and whether to dip out crisps into the face masks (we didn’t!).
The party started at 7.30 and my last guests didn’t leave to 11pm! It was fun and great to have a bit of a pamper. The best bit is that it is FREE and the party planner brings everything you need. I even made commission/discount so got money off my order for being ‘hostess’.
For the first time in a long time I felt ‘properly’ clean (no snot, no allergy formula smell, no left over make up) and my skin felt so soft that I kept stroking my own face.
I am happy.
I am happy mother.
I am a happy mother and a happy me.
I laid in bed after the party, feeling relaxed, stomach tense from so much laughing (can I count that as tummy training?) and looking forward to a fun, family day the next morning. This is how Motherhood was meant to be for me. It was only possible through letting myself have time off, and time for ME.
After all, we are allowed to clock off from ‘Mummy Hours’…we deserve it 😘
How do you like to spend ‘me time’?Do you struggle to switch off? I’d love to hear your views.
If you are finding Motherhood/parenthood a struggle and would like to talk to someone more please contact your health visitor, GP, local children’s centre or anyone that you comfortable talking too.