I’ll warn you now, this post may be long and it may be rambling. It’s another stream of consciousness that is pouring straight out of my head and onto the keyboard. I don’t know if I’ll edit it or even if I’ll be able to. So please bare with me.
A little while ago I wrote a post about how I didn’t really know who I was anymore. Although I had a lot of great ideas of how to shake that feeling off I never really managed to do anything about it. I also mentioned this feeling a bit in the post I wrote while I was on holiday. Finally though, I do think I’m starting to get myself together a bit. I’m starting to do things that I know are good for me. Things that are giving me a bit of me back. If that even makes any sense at all.
Becoming a mother is hard, and I don’t even just mean the growing the baby and pushing it out or even the keeping it alive work that takes up all day every day. I mean suddenly people want to use it to define you. Like you weren’t anything else before. Or at least you weren’t worthy before, or something. I don’t know. I mean, obviously, it changes you, you have someone else to put before yourself and the rely on you for everything. You can’t just up and go to any invitation thrown at you, you have to think about the small person too. I was prepared for that. I knew I had to start thinking about babysitters and doing more things apart from Tom if I ever wanted to get out but I don’t think I was prepared for how lost I’d feel.
I don’t think it was entirely becoming a mother that made me feel this way. I do think there were a few things all at work at once here but that was a major cause. Now though, I’m starting to make small steps to finding my way back to being me. I definitely don’t think I’m the same me I was pre-Cecilia. I mean, how could I be? But I’m getting closer to recognising traits in myself that I had back then. It’s certainly not an easy task though. Especially as every time I seem to start making strides in that direction, I feel a pang of guilt. Yup, the ubiquitous mum-guilt. It’s horrendous and usually completely irrational but really hard to shake sometimes. But shake it I must.
There are a handful of things that I’ve been doing that are really helping me get my head a little bit more together though and have been helping me escape the clutches of CBeebies.
First of all, Cece started nursery. Oh god, it was traumatic for all involved, to begin with, but we’re getting there now and there’s only the short protest cry as I drop her off these days. This freed up some time to be able to get on with things that I struggled to do when I was alone with her at home. You know, exciting things like the laundry. I know this sounds pathetic but I’d often get distracted when we were home together and the washing would get washed but I’d forget to put it out or put out and not brought in again. It also meant that I could crack on with some freelance content work that I had to do. Little fingers trying to hit computer keys while you’re trying to update a company’s mobile app is not the best or most professional situation to be in. It didn’t matter what she was doing herself, what I was doing always seemed to be more interesting.
Secondly, I decided to bite the bullet and join Slimming World. The way I looked in the mirror was making me miserable. It didn’t matter what I wore, I never felt nice the way I used to so I decided to do something about it. Since joining I’ve lost 16.5 lbs and am just 6lbs away from my Club 10 award. I haven’t stuck to the plan religiously as there have been celebrations and fun times in my calendar and I’ve enjoyed them without thinking about my waistline but I’ve always come back to it. I actually think I have a better relationship with food now than I have before. I often tend to lean towards a healthier choice when presented with options and I’m scoffing more fruit and veggies than I have in a long time. I’m still not 100% happy with my body yet (will I ever be?!) but I am certainly heading in the right direction.
Thirdly, I threw myself into a brand new sport. I’ve never been a sporty type, especially not the team sports type but in September I put on my big girl pants, strapped eight wheels to my feet and wobbled around a track in Tottenham. I’ve been saying I wanted to try roller derby for years but I always made an excuse when the tryouts came around. nThere was always something that I “needed” to do first whether that be learning to skate or losing weight. Both of which are bloody ridiculous. Roller derby is pretty much the only sport I know that has people of all shapes and sizes playing (and playing well) plus, they taught me to skate – from scratch. Knowing how to propel myself around on wheels was never a prerequisite! Now, not only am I enjoying myself I’m learning something new, getting some exercise, getting out of the house on my own every Sunday (at least) and I’ve met some awesome, incredible people.
Finally, I’ve just started working again and when I say just I mean as of yesterday. I know I was working from home but I mean I’ve started a new contract in an actual office so there’s real, proper, need to be somewhere at certain times, routine making its way into my life again and as much as I’d rather not have to work full-time (there’s that mum-guilt rearing its ugly head again) we can’t really afford for me not to. So needs must and routine rules supreme over us once again. As much as I hate to admit it, routine works well for me and I’ve been lax at putting one in place while I’ve been at home.So really, I just need to get into the groove of it again.
These little things probably don’t seem like much to you but they really mean the world to me. They’ve all added up to help me regain some semblance of personality outside my role as a mum. Being a mum is the best thing I’ve ever done but it’s not the only thing I’ve ever done either and sometimes it’s hard to remember that.
I’m not just Cece’s mum, I’m Laura too.