Monday, 2 July 2012

Guest Post: Wearer of Many Hats

This is the 1st of the July Guest Posts on my Blog and is written by the fabulous Mushypea at Mushypea, Sprout et al.  I loved reading this and even though I am not a stay at home mum, I can truly empathise with a great deal of what is said.  A true mommy juggler!

A Bit About the Author
I am Mushypea of Mushypea, Sprout et al.  I am Mummy to our nine month old son, Munch, and fiancee to Sprout.  I have been a full time stay at home mum for nine months now and found it to be a roller coaster of a ride.  This is my very first guest post so I hope you enjoy reading it.  Thank you.

Wearer of Many Hats:  A Guest Post

Rewind two years and life was very different. It was made up of going to work and enjoying my free time either with friends or my future husband to be, Sprout. The hours were long but I loved my job, it challenged me daily and my brain ran like a well oiled machine.  I could be myself; a fiancee; a daughter; a sister; and a friend.
Fast forward to the present day and the changes have been dramatic. I am Mummy to our nine month old little boy and a stay at home mum.  My life is unrecognisable. I not only don the hats that I had previously but have gained new ones; a Mummy; and chief homemaker.

I had this vision that once our baby arrived I would be free to do some 'me' things whilst he napped - I was going to make a play blanket and all manner of other crafts. If I tell you that the material and assorted gubbins still sits in the exact same position on the table as it did ten months ago, that gives an indication of how naive I was being. I admit I was not prepared for all the changes that took place when our son was born.
No schedule existed, routine a distant memory and the sleep deprivation at the start made me cry more often than I like to remember. The early months were tough. There was on demand breastfeeding, the broken sleep night after night, the sheer energy needed during the day to be sole carer to this most precious bundle of joy and the steep learning curve that you climb at the start of parenthood. Being Mummy was hard and the opportunity to be anything else was rare.
Is it wrong to say that I missed my life of old where I thrived on having routine and order? I mourned for the old me and at the same time started to feel that I was losing myself. Having a baby was what we had wanted but I didn't expect to lose a bit of me in the process. There was this feeling that I was becoming invisible and treading water to make it through each day. People stopped asking about and talking to me and it became about Munch instead. People weren't seeing me to see me, but to see Munch; I was merely his chaperone. I mattered little and was no longer important it seemed.  My Mummy role came first and my life was no longer about me.

The homemaker hat was second in pecking order. I took Munch to the supermarket; on numerous occasions I could happily have left with nothing but we persevered.  The first time I attempted to go shopping to pick up a present for a friend was a disaster.  I ended up in the middle of a department store with tears streaming down my face because Munch was in no mood to sit happily in his buggy whilst I quickly chose something. I left with nothing and vowed I would never repeat the exercise. Of course, on the back of all this came the feelings of guilt, failure and questioning.  Was I Mummy material at all?

The fiancee role vanished in those early days. We were both exhausted. Add the loss of regular adult contact on top and I was lonely. Previously, I had spent most of my waking hours in adult company and I felt the rug had been pulled from under me.  I missed the interaction, the laughter and all manner of things. I shed tears for those too.

The first three months went by in a blur whilst I tried to find my feet. We attended Mummy and baby sessions where I was relieved to find I was not a failure or useless or alone in how I felt. We both got something from those sessions and I would leave them in a happier and stronger state of mind. I took charge and made myself a timetable so I could see my daily goals and planned activities . It gave me the structure I needed and made me feel more secure in a strange way.

I found our groove at around three months. Munch and I knew each other better and I was more able to respond to his needs.  I had accepted the homemaker responsibilities and no longer kidded myself that it was going to miraculously vanish or get done. My need for routine was less - I slotted tasks in amongst nap times and activities with relative ease. My body had gotten used to its new sleep patterns so I was more able to function during the day although I still do have the occasional siesta in the afternoon.

We had a sleep routine which we stuck to and one day it clicked. It enabled Sprout and me to have some time together. Funny how you can miss being and spending time with someone even though you live together isn't it? That first hour we had for ourselves was heavenly.
My social life vanished into the ether.  Me has only made an appearance when I went on my work's Christmas do. I have a meal planned for next month and to say I am looking forward to it would be an understatement. There will be much talk about my son I am sure,  but to have the opportunity to hold a conversation about other things will be a treat.

I love this family of ours with everything that I am. I can happily wear my many hats and can still have a smile on my face for the most part.  It has taken time to get here but I have made it.  I return to work next month and another hat will be added. There will be adjustments aplenty but I am sure we will work it out.

1 comment:

  1. I love the honesty of your account of the changes motherhood brought on for you. I think you'd like Naomi Stadlen's book What Mothers Do Especially When It Looks Like Nothing. Xx


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