I’m a new mum, actually I’m 8 weeks in to it and I have read many articles that try to help you prepare and transition in to motherhood. Some might say this is just another article, however if I can help one other new mum out there, then spending 1 hour writing this article and you spending 5 minutes reading this, it would be well worth it.
To set the scene, I battled with guilt and what felt right in society and then I realised what was important to me, to be happy.
Fast forward to the arrival of our amazing son, we arrived home, which was magical as hospital was starting to feel like mother boot camp with no oxygen, after 6 nights! I was fortunate enough to have my parents over from the UK to help me for the first few weeks which gave me reassurance, support and bonding time with my baby and family. Then there was 3 of us….
Fast forward 4 weeks on and suddenly it hit me, this is the new me, I felt I had lost my independence, my fast paced corporate career had been put on hold, my mates had put me on ice and I felt like I had no time for me or my partner. I was torn between two lives, I hated myself thinking so selfishly about my life before and on the other side, I was feeling on top of the world I had this amazing child that I have the pleasure and responsibility to love, grow and treasure. Talk about mixed emotions. I am happy learning to be a mum and the love my partner and I share has grown to a new level, we are now this amazing unit BUT something did not feel right and I did not feel myself, I was unhappy. It took me a while to realise that I was unhappy, this was backed up by some self doubt, insecurity and a few tears.
It was not until I got the all clear form my obstetrician at 7 weeks that I had it hit me, I missed my freedom; in particular exercising, the corporate world, especially challenging my brain and going out etc. Overall, I missed “me” pre baby. I felt like I had nothing to contribute at dinner parties other than baby talk and what had happened in the news, I felt like I was boring, I couldn’t drink and would watch everyone engage in conversation, have fun and be themselves. I wasn’t myself.
Yes, the light bulb moment happened. It was weird I couldn’t wait to be a mum and to leave work and then I realised I couldn’t wait to get back to work, exercise and socialise. It was a bit of a mind f@ck to be honest. I kept on thinking what is wrong with me, all I have ever wanted was to be a mum, it had taken us 3 years to conceive this amazing baby, but I needed more as a person. I was observing all these yummy mummies that wanted to be 24/7 mums, which I admired and understood. I felt trapped thinking I should also want the same.
It all then clicked in week 6, I needed to be the mum that felt right to me. It took me a while to realise it is ok to want different things. I needed stimulation from working and having time to exercise and socialise. Being happy myself, made me a better mum and wife.
We are lucky enough that we could hire a nanny, who now works 11 hours a week and my partner helps me achieve what I want to do the other times. I now work around 8 hours a week, exercise 7 hours a week and have Thursday nights as my night out without bubba. By for-filling the above, this has given me more energy to be a great mum and overall make me happier not only as a person, a wife, a friend but also a mum. My wish is that someone had told me all this earlier. ‘It is ok to do what ever feels right, there is no right or wrong on bringing up a child, just do what feels right for you or if unsure ask.’
My advice to you if you were like me and sitting in this confused bubble, decide what mum you would like to be, what makes you happy? Don’t think about what other mums do or say. Be who you want to be as overall you will be a happier and a more self-fulfilled mum. Diversity of mums is important, that is what makes the world we live in an amazing place.
Final words, I am a new mum and no expert in this field, but be happy as a mum whatever feels right for you. Talk to your partner, friend or support person to help achieve what mum you want to be. Accept what feels right for you as a mum and accept what others want to be. Also help those who were like me, in the bubble.
From a happy and now content Mum of 8 weeks