Parenting isn’t easy, we all know that. Why isn’t there a manual to show us what to do? But, we are all in the same boat, which is comforting in a weird way. I don’t know about you but I have found that being a parent can take you on a completely unexpected journey self-discovery.
This is the story of my voyage into the unknown and the unavoidable process of rebooting mummy…
Job: Full time mummy…
Being a mummy was always a dream of mine. I had some infertility problems and didn’t think I would ever have the opportunity to be a mum, as I spoke about in my very first blog post. The only option for me when my daughter, Molly, was born, was to leave my job as a tutor to be a stay at home mum. I didn’t want to miss a thing because this would most probably be my only chance of experiencing motherhood. I was worried about the implications of leaving behind a career I loved and had worked hard for, but the benefits outweighed these. As a SAHM I would get to spend every day with my daughter and have more time together as a family.
I jumped right in to my new SAHM status. Molly was my whole world and we would get to spend every day together. I would see her first everything! As we were together every day we could have messy play and arts and crafts days, baking days, and we could have days out whenever we wanted. The possibilities were endless. Being a full time mummy was going to be the best job in the world.
I loved my new lifestyle from the off and was completely enveloped by it. Occassionally I thought about my old job and lifestyle and about what I was missing out on. The main things I missed were the social parts of working, the adult conversation and the office banter. I missed my old life but I was so much happier, even if the days were long and tiring!
After a few months of being a SAHM I realised that somewhere along the way I had lost myself. Motherhood had consumed me. As it should I suppose. I couldn’t help but wonder where Sam had gone.
Who is this Sam we speak of? I had become completely invisible to myself. Baby brain seemed to have taken up permanent residence and I even struggled with basic things like filling in forms and holding any sort of intelligent conversation. My memory was shocking and I couldn’t tell you what was going on in the world. I could, however, tell you the Cbeebies schedule and I excelled at anything to do with ‘Something Special’ and ‘In the Night Garden’…
Don’t get me wrong, I was, and still am, truly grateful for every second I spend with Molly. I know I am blessed but I started to miss my old life. I was well and truly stuck in a rut. Being a mummy was my main role but outside of that I felt like I didn’t have an identity. I had to do something, and I had to do it fast.
No looking back
As I thought about ways to get my old life back it dawned on me. I didn’t miss my old life at all. How could I when my new life was so much better than it was before? Sure, before Molly was born I might have been able to go out whenever I wanted without having to plan weeks in advance. My clothes might have always been clean and free from someone else’s sick/food. I might have been able to go on holiday whenever I wanted. My hair and make-up might have actually been done properly and I might have been able to get a full night’s sleep. Every night!
But how was that better than my new life? It wasn’t. Being a mummy was so much better. All the little things I got to experience made it worthwhile. Seeing my daughter’s first steps and hearing her first words; watching her grow from a baby to a little girl; the way she gives massive cuddles and demands a kiss afterwards
I realised that some parts of me were different or missing but that I had gained other parts. Better parts. I was voyaging in a completely new direction. I knew it was going to be hard, but I needed to balance being a mummy and being Sam for the benefit of me, my OH and Molly.
So here I am. September is a huge month for new starts as students up and down the country know, but this September is going to be huge for me too. With the start of the new school year comes the start of a new version of me. I am a mother and that will always be my main priority, but I have the opportunity to improve and better myself for the sake of my family. Rebooting mummy is the only option.
The journey of self-discovery is beginning. I have started a blog, signed up for a part time course, and I have even joined the gym. I may have lost part of myself somewhere along the way but a different me is emerging and I am completely on board with that.
All the stressing I did for nothing, thinking that I had lost myself but I hadn’t; I just needed to be rebooted. So hi, I am Sam, and I am currently going through a rebooting mummy process… And you know what, the possibilities are endless and that is the best feeling in the world.