More than a Mum

by Gail

Mumforce

My dear children,

I love you more than you know. The day I found out I was pregnant I had already fallen in love with you, how is it possible to fall in love with someone you haven’t seen or even communicated with? I don’t know but I did when I saw the words “pregnant” appear on that magical pee stick.

I was now a mum, something I knew I had wanted to be since I was little but here’s the thing my lovely ones, I am so much more than just your mum. Before we decided to become parents, believe it or not, your dad and I were pretty fun. We ate out at least twice a week, danced the weekend away and spent a lot of time watching movies and seeing our friends. When you came along our priorities changed but we didn’t, well not much anyway. We had fallen into a little baby bubble, something all new parents do. Our minds were on you guys, keeping you feed and clean, keeping you alive and doing the best we could for you. During that time, nothing else seemed important, I didn’t even care about myself. I forgot who I was before you all came along, suddenly my weekend long partying belonged to someone else, much younger and I’m sure was having much more sleep than I was. When I did have those “me time” moments I would spend them doing something for you, like washing your poop stained onesie (why did it ALWAYS go up your back?) or shopping for your adorable little outfits (because you have ruined the rest with your pooping).

I hadn’t realised then that I could be something more than “just your mum” Being your mum has been the best and hardest time of my life, its nothing like the Instagram fantasy I had been promised. How did Gran make it look so easy? Oh wait, I remember making her cry many times and I was the “good one” so I guess its “normal” for it to be so hard. The emotional lows can be struck out with just one of your giggles though, that must be why genes make kids so cute.

 

I gave up my job when we started our family….

…it didn’t fit in and I wanted to be with you as much as I could. I enjoyed my work though, I loved who I worked with and I was always learning. Leaving was a simple and practical choice, but one that was a sacrifice. The shift in identity that every new mum faces, I no longer had work or my own breezy life made it even harsher. I wanted someone to message me, but no one did, I wanted new projects but the simple crafts we did daily, and the playgroups just didn’t cut it. I was bored, lost and longing for something else and with that came great guilt because I should be happy, I should be grateful, but I wasn’t. I was miserable. I wanted others to see I was still a person outside of motherhood.

I used to believe that motherhood would be the only thing that I needed to satisfy me, and it wasn’t until I realised I needed more (and that it was ok) to be happy that I started to move forward. I had an opportunity here, I was in a position many would love to be in and instead of embracing the time I had, I was living a groundhog existence. It was slow progress, but I headed to the doctors and they gave me some medicine to help boost my mood and give me the motivation to start this new journey of discovery. I started writing and found that not only was it like therapy, but I loved it. I started Mumforce and it grew from there, turns out there are a lot of other mothers feeling the same way. I used to blog years ago but back then it was about the latest beauty products and makeup, that was when I had a disposable income and even more time on my hands to play about. I often wonder where I would be if I had kept at it.

 

I allowed you guys to get bored

Iinstead of trying to entertain you endlessly and feel guilty when I couldn’t, I let you learn to play by yourself, or together (or fight). You didn’t need me to use your imaginations and wow, what imaginations you have! I took up bootcamp and started running again, yes, I must do this at stupid o’clock to fit around you guys, but I still get to do it. This has boosted me more than I could have ever imagined, my mood is higher than ever, and I use each run as a goal or challenge, something I didn’t have before. I love pushing myself.

Things have shifted again, I don’t only feel like my old self, but I have discovered so much more about me as I have continued. I used to be bored constantly following you around the room trying to be the perfect parent I thought I should be, but it wasn’t until I took a step back and saw the bigger image that I saw I needed to be more than just your mum to be your best mum. You guys are the best, you make me laugh and smile and I love that I’m your mum. I will always love you guys, I just didn’t realise it was OK to love myself too. I’m their mother, and so much more.

 

Gail x