Dream v Reality
I always wanted to be a mother. I knew from a young age that I wanted to have children. When everyone else was identifying their careers, the only thing I knew for certain was that children would be a part of my future.
I assumed that because I knew I wanted to be a mother, I would also enjoy it and be good at it. My 6-year journey through motherhood has been a rollercoaster of emotions, and whilst fundamentally I am enjoying it and I do believe I am good at it, it has definitely been a rollercoaster.
I have 3 beautiful children that I love with all my heart (M – 6 years, A – 2 years, T – 4 months). They all have different personalities and need me in very different ways. The requirement to adapt so regularly to meet all their needs is mentally and physically exhausting. In the past I have allowed this to overwhelm me and I stopped taking any time for myself.
People have said to me ‘you seem to have it all together’, you’re a ‘super mum’ etc. I do not feel like this most days; however, I do have a sense of pride that it appears that way from the outside…even just once!
One benefit of lockdown for me was the gift of time. I was able to spend more time with my family and to reflect on my life, my family and my feelings. I am working to reduce things that make me feel anxious and increase things that make me feel calm and in control. I am now more aware of some of my triggers, and I am enjoying finding ways to feel less anxious.
Getting More Organised
I was pregnant with T during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and I was working full time from home. Nesting set in early for me and working from home meant there was no escape from the need to clean and sort everything in sight! I have always loved a list, and so I began making weekly lists of areas to prioritise. There is also the benefit of being able to tick things off and see clearly what I have achieved. I am continuing to do this to feel more in control of the housework etc.
I have started a fitness program via an app which means I can do classes when I am able to. There are fitness plans which has helped me to identify the right type of classes for my ability, especially postnatally.
I planned a home birth with T which unfortunately didn’t happen due to the pandemic. I read a book about hypnobirthing during pregnancy which was incredible during labour. I learnt a lot about my body and the way it reacts to different situations, as well as techniques for coping. I am continuing to use these techniques during everyday parenting situations.
‘Self-care Sunday’ is a term I have seen a lot on social media recently. I have come to realise just how important it is to have time to myself and to meet new people. I am starting to attend baby groups now lockdown is lifting and have been pushing myself out of my comfort zone to get to know other mums near me. I also had my nails done today - something I haven't done for a long long time!
I am trying to be ‘more present’ with my children. I often fall into the trap of being on my phone too much, often just scrolling through social media. I am starting to reduce this time, especially when the children are home.
This weekend we baked gingerbread men and made bowls of different colour icing to decorate them.
The plan: a fun Sunday family activity.
Reality: M picked up the food colouring by the undone lid spilling half the bottle down the kitchen cupboards and on the floor, and A fell of the chair banging her head and spilling green icing on the floor…
Supporting each other