I’ve been considering writing something like this for a while but not had the confidence to do so. You’ll know I’m pretty open, honest and put some of my rawest feelings on this blog in the past. But why is this so different? I’ve been so afraid of being judged – by you. So I am proud to say that I’m now in a place where I welcome your judgement as I am (finally) completely confident with what I’m doing and who I am: a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend, a sister, a wedding planner, gluten and dairy free, exercise addict…The lot! I am unapologetically me.
Becoming a mummy changed me and it’s taken me a while to find myself again. I think it’s taken a million little steps. Having Ziggy turned my life upside down. Being pregnant and giving birth had some trauma attached too.
I don’t think our culture prepares us well for birth or for motherhood. Birth can be absolutely terrible, mainly because we’re led to believe we can control it, make a plan. Newsflash – I don’t know 1 woman that has had the birth they planned. By the time I came to giving birth I was so out of control. I had lost any control I thought I had (but never really had) weeks, even months before thanks to my heart. This made my birth experience really enjoyable as I accepted the lack of control, I sat back and let it happen. However Ziggy came out was fine with me, as long as we were both safe and as healthy as possible. It didn’t go to any sort of plan and took lots of twists and turns but I was calm throughout. I genuinely had a very enjoyable day even though they poked long spikey things (needles and other things you won’t want to imagine) into me and cut me in half that day. I simply cannot believe some people shame others who birth in certain ways – but that’s a whole other story.
With motherhood, we’re all trying to portray that we’re coping perfectly well and it’s all a bloody dreamy time – the instagram life. That’s not real life for anyone! At times being a mum has felt absolutely incredible, I’d describe it as the best thing I’ve ever done in my whole life. But at times it’s been terribly frustrating, sometimes lonely and bloody hard. Oh and tiring. Tired tired tired always tired.
At my happiest I’ve cried; at soppy love songs that now make me think of Zigs – soz Ben, when Zigs laughs at me and we connect on an insane level, when I achieve things I didn’t think I could.
At the hardest times I’ve cried, feeling like I won’t ever go out for a run again, at the amount of work I have to do for weddings but no time to do it, when I’ve felt misunderstood by friends or when I’m just so so tired and ill and I felt I would never feel better.
I realised a few months back that I’m going through a huge phase of personal development, of growth, and this is one of the most significant points in my entire life. Obviously it already was on other levels and in other ways but until I saw this as an important stage of growth for me as a person, I just wasn’t connecting with the change I was feeling.
This is when I started treating myself better and prioritising my needs, mainly over things like a clean house, an empty dishwasher and an empty washing bin (it’s amazing how this can distract you and make you feel that it’s more important than YOU! Or that you distract yourself with to avoid tackling YOU!). I started to work through some of my feelings, really notice and acknowledge them like I would have before Ziggy.
Becoming a mother has given me
– an incredible amount of responsibility, that I really enjoy having and this responsibility has given me a heightened sense of self worth. Not arrogance or importance just worth and value, if only to Ziggy and Ben
– strength and courage, to fight harder for things I care about and stand up for myself when needed
– more interest in more things and I genuinely enjoy life even more
– empathy, not only for mothers, fathers, guardians, carers but for everyone, I hope
– time to slow down and see the real world. Little things like connecting with people in the street when Zigs smiles at them. I’m a weirdo that smiles at everyone anyway and often get nothing back, but smiley Zigs gives me an excuse to chat to people – stranger chats are really one of my favourite things. Then simply just seeing the world through his eyes is so wonderful. The first time he could see a plane in the sky – ridiculously banal but he could see that far and could see it moving and it wowed him. Wow.
– different relationships with my parents, my brothers and Ben’s family. We’re all closer and there’s even more love and affection there now
– clarity of who my friends really are through now they have been with me when I’ve been through this huge change, and how they love Ziggy
– new friends. Its been an amazing opportunity to meet new people, see new perspectives. I was adverse to this at first but I realise this was due to my fear of judgement
The thing is has taken away is time. This is even more precious to me than ever before. I see those memes like: trying to balance work, gym, seeing friends, planning a wedding blah blah. I’m like, balance all that plus a baby and many, many weddings…!
Time races and I feel it, not just because of Ziggy growing up at speed but to truly be juggling what often feels like a million things at a time. And wanting to do them all well. My time isn’t completely my own anymore. It belongs to my family and my couples. One of the hardest things has been to define and respect my work boundaries in such a time bound role in people’s lives (wedding planner) while learning how my new life even works. I think I’m there with that one, thank goodness.
Becoming a mum has been an incredible experience and I feel like I’m still on a journey of becoming a mum. The newer-mum-me is a strong, more resilient and confident woman. I am so thankful to motherhood for helping me become this woman!
If anything, I’ve learnt to be kind to yourself, let go (for goodness sake!), trust your instincts, be strong, be you (you can’t and don’t want to be anyone else) and you will be happy. Mother or not!