The Mum I Am V’s the Mum I Thought I’d Be
The Mum I Am V’s the Mum I Thought I’d Be
From the moment I cuddled my Tiny Tears dolly in her pram, to the endless games of mums and dads at school, I feel like I’ve always been broody. So, when it took me longer than expected to become pregnant, there was a lot of time to build up the image of the kind of mum I thought I’d be.
Two children down and eight years in, being a mum is a world away from the image I projected.
Do you ever struggle with a gap between the mum you imagined V’s the reality?
Well here’s my top illusions and how I’m making peace with them…
1. I Won’t Care About Routines
Driving home from our NCT class, we talked about the type of parents we thought we’d be. Relaxed, easy-going and definitely not hung up on routines.
Well, that didn’t happen! For me, there was no easy flow with a new-born. Just the feeling of being dumped in a shit storm, without a clue what I was doing!
I found the early days hard and confusing but what I’ve learned as times gone on, is routine really helps. We certainly still have off the cuff days, go places on a whim, but so often, at some point wherever we are, our familiar routine is my anchor to calm the chaos. We don’t always follow them, but our home life thrives on structure. School routine tick lists to snack time rules! It’s a world away from what I thought we’d be, but it works for us.
2. Just Call Me Fun Mum
This one I was sure of! I’ve always loved getting creative, baking, crafting and visiting new places, but, I can be my own worst enemy getting despondent when it doesn’t turn out exactly how I imagine.
Take crafts – Of course, it’s the spending time together that counts, but I admit, I also care what it looks like in the end. I’m not expecting masterpiece’s, but it’s difficult not to feel frustrated after 20 minutes set up and then all their interested in is painting their own hands!
I have a bank of memories of my parents when I was little. Cooking and baking with my mum, or my dad spending hours playing with us in the sea and beach never seeming to get bored. Maybe that’s the important thing.
They will just remember playing with the playdoh I made or that I did stand in the garden goal and let them shoot penalties at me, not that I moaned when the playdoh went everywhere or how quickly I said I was cold and went inside.
It’s still a work in progress, but I’m working on taking off the pressure, that every moment needs to be perfect.
A hangry moment or a day out not going as planned doesn’t mean the day is ruined, Like I tell my little girl, we need to listen to Elsa sometimes and just let it go!
3. Messy Hair Don’t Care!
Well, actually I do! I can’t deny I am totally shallow when it comes to appearance. I love clothes and fashion and I’ve always been someone who is over rather than underdressed. Where it went wrong for me, was trying to be someone else when I had babies. I’ve never dressed casually, yet I bought jeans and trainers, I guess trying to be what I thought a mum should be on mat leave. But all it served to do was make me feel more like an imposter and another part of myself lost. These days, I without guilt always make time to get ready. Yes, I’m probably overdressed for the school run, but outfit on, and face made up, I feel like me and ready to face the world.
Pre-kids, I used to hate it when people said you can’t understand the change that happens when you become a mum. (When all I yearned for was a baby in my arms, it just served as another reminder I was excluded from the mum club.)
But, when I look back though, it’s right. I feel you can’t understand this world until you’ve stood in it. Yet what I didn’t hear pre-kids, was how although you may change, ultimately you are still the same person. There’s no personality transplant turning us all into Stepford mums. So, it’s only now as my children get older, I’m making peace with the fact that being a mother is only part of who I am and we all do it differently.
It might not be how I imagined it, but wow isn’t Motherhood amazing. When I stop overthinking and take in where I am and what I have, I can’t believe how lucky I am.
Being a mum doesn’t need to wholly define me, yet as cliched as it sounds, as much as I talk about the adjustment and hard work, I also could never have anticipated the all-encompassing love and joy being a mum brings.
So here’s to enjoying it!