It’s a New Year and a time to set goals for the year (or resolutions if that’s your thing). I actually did this back in November. I was feeling exhausted and stuck, feeling like there was no me left, I was just mummy lost in a world of mummy things. Go here, do this, wash this never ending washing basket of clothes. No time to paint my nails, no time to have a hot cup of tea. Two kids are hard work, but I think it’s the threenager who got to me most, and possibly breastfeeding doesn’t help. Half the time I was feeling like I didn’t have time to wash my hair never mind dye it and, gosh, definitely no time to go to the hair dresser and have someone else do it. Hubby would of course have been happy to look after Toddler H while I did this, but we seemed to have things on at weekends, or things we wanted to do as a family – swimming or family walks. Yes enjoyable things, but nothing just for me. I felt pulled in all directions but in reality it was my mindset “I am mummy, I must be mummy all the time” I also felt that as I’m a stay at home mummy it’s not fair to ask hubby to do things as he’s been at work, being stressed and meeting deadlines, his own problems. We also have a list as long as his arm of house decorating and diy things to do.
It all came to a head in November before swimming when Toddler H sat flicking her milk soaked cereal across the room. Why? Because I wanted to” she answered. Then as we left, Baby B did the hugest poonami, up to her neck, down her legs. I cried. I cried and cried. When asked what’s wrong I said “everything”. It had been mounting. I was picked up by a swimming friend, and knew things had to change, I wasn’t happy I had to find me time and not be so consumed by everything else, everything mummy.
Becoming me again
A couple of nights later a few mummy’s from H’s swimming class arranged a night out and I was thrilled, we went, we ate and chatted and it was amazing. I should add these mummy’s are amazing friends who have been there for nearly three years since our little ones started swimming at 3 months old. It was one of these ladies who picked me up and told me to just cry. Cry and get it out, the best advice there is.
This had also been my first night out on my own since B was born, 6 months and the first time I’d left her for any real amount of time – 1 hour in August was the only other time. The first time I hadn’t done bedtime. To be honest it was a lot longer than 6 months since I’d been out, it might have been a year, so yes it was needed.
I immediately said to my other friends lets arrange something and we did. A couple of weeks later we went out for dinner. It was amazing. I actually drove my friend home just to drive on my own, listen to the radio and sing along. I think I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve driven on my own in the last year, and to be fair it’s not much higher if I include the last three.
I needed to feel like me. I definitely didn’t feel like there was any me left, and I certainly wasn’t #rockingmummylife. I felt I couldn’t keep up with everything and as Toddler H had started a couple of hours of playschool I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of things had dropped and I felt like I hadn’t managed to keep up. After lots of bad days, tantrums from H, poonamis every day, baby grows constantly being stain-removed or binned because I just couldn’t be bothered, I felt everything was wrong, much worse than it actually was. Mums everywhere have these realisations and it’s just at what point you realise. I knew I’d been building to this unsure if I was coping or just surviving, I don’t like sitting crying or considering not going out and so it didn’t take long for me to make changes.
Most of all I didn’t feel like there was any me left. I do blogging for me, but I don’t feel like me. I painted my nails to go on that swimming night out and afterwards I realised I felt happy just seeing my painted nails, a reminder I had a minute to paint them and they looked pretty. I realised I needed to make more ‘me’ effort. (there’s a bit more about what happened on the day I cried in the caption to this photo…)
Hubby had been talking of doing a 10k and I’d been thinking I’d like to run, but I can’t: I don’t have time, I can’t leave the girls, I can’t run with the girls. But then I realised I CAN. I can put them in the Out n About and do it. I have to, I started trying to run just before falling pregnant with H. Being able to do it would get me back.
The next thing I realised was that hubby and I had been in a blur, a blur of family and being four. Amazing, but we need to be us too. I love my blog but it does take up time and my time in the evenings. I also knew hubby and I needed to get that balance right. We often sit with our laptops watching TV, me blogging, him doing his projects.
It sounds like I was out all the time last year, until that swimming dinner out I hadn’t. In early December hubby and I had dinner out, just us, while my parents babysat. It was amazing, we felt like us again and that was the catalyst we needed to realise the blur we’d been in. If we run together that will be us time too. Goals for us. We’re also hopeful for a night away soon, just us. I just have to be brave. The girls will be ok… In reality, it’s my parents who might not!
I know New Year is always about having a big throw out and getting organised. But it felt even more necessary, I hate being cluttered. I like things to have a place. Lots of things don’t have a place in our house and it’s been two years since we moved. We’ve been in a muddle ever since. I see it day in, day out but no time to sort it. I love being organised and we need to sort it out ASAP. We managed a lot towards the end of the year, and hubby sorted and decorated Baby B’s room. We still have quite a bit to do, so, as H is now in playschool two days a week, that’s top of my agenda. Ikea and Argos here I come!
We’ve also set about redoing our cloakroom as it was so un-us. I can’t wait for it to be finished. Decorating and sorting has made a huge difference this last couple of weeks… and our to do list seems to expand every day as we realise what sort of kitchen we’d like, which flooring to change next… This feels exciting and something hubby and I thrive on. Yes the list goes on, but after a huge throw out we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We, ok I, see the finished product in my head. I can’t wait to share the cloakroom with you and also Baby B’s room once I’ve finished with the finishing touches.
We’ve also got a plan to update Toddler H’s bedroom which we decorated for her when she was just turned one, now she’s three she has her own likes and dislikes so it seems right to update it. It will be a mishmash of her favourite themes but she’ll love it!
So onwards for 2018, I see more me time and feeling like me. More home posts on Instagram, and adding plants and niknaks to make our house our home. Things I look at and smile. Not just surrounded by plastic kids toys and clutter.
Me-wise, I’d love to develop my photography, it’s something I really loved before Toddler H was born. I’ve just ordered some lenses for my phone which I hope to have fun using and experimenting with. And, well, the couch to 5k is a whole new challenge. I feel invigorated to get me back, and us back, and feel I’m #rockingmummylife.
I know I’m not the only mummy who wants to find themselves again, lots of us have these blips, so, if you have any tips please do share in the comments or on social
To keep me going I’m starting a guest series: 5 ways to be me after becoming a mummy – my post will be live tomorrow. Email me if you want to take part – just a simple list of 5 things with a few words if you wish.