Are you in the baby bubble?
Friday, 2 August 2019 | Mummy and Little Me
Lost in the days of motherhood.
Do you remember when you first have a baby and you live in that newborn bubble? Where time doesn’t really exist and you live in four hour blocks of feed, change, sleep? Then after the sleep deprivation has finally sent you insane, and you realize yes, that smell is you as your personal hygiene has hit new lows, you have forgotten who you are?
I remember at around the four month mark I had literally lost myself in all things baby and I no longer knew who the hell I was. Then with E I became a heart mum, and lost my identity even further with heart surgery and in a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis. I believed that these things were what defined me then. Slowly, after going back to work and getting E into nursery I got myself back. I started doing things for myself and I certainly showered a lot more. Then a couple of years I found the balance, I was happy but this then changed again when I became pregnant, got lost in the bubble again and suddenly I was plunged into post-natal depression.
Emerging a mum of two from the darkness I had never been so unsure of myself in my life. I literally had no clue who I was. I didn’t recognize myself or who I had become then slowly and surely I began to find the balance (ish). As much as a part time working mum of two children under five can find. We got a routine, it was the standard routine many parents face where you work opposite shifts, communicate via Messenger and the only time you talk to one another is the hand over where one of you comes into work, and the other one leaves. We spent our time dropping the kids’ of with the childminder, at nursery and then going to work ourselves. We spent our days off trying to cram in a weeks’ worth of chores and a family day out all whilst secretly just wanting a nap. Our weeks revolved around baby groups and swimming lessons and then suddenly I feel lost again.
Unsure of my place and where I stand, E finished nursery and is now commencing school in September. The family dynamic has shifted a lot again and it does feel as though we are certainly moving into new territory. I want to throw myself into the school life, I’ve always wanted to join the PTA and fancy becoming a patent helper but one of the reasons it is so hard for me to see E start school is I no longer know where I as a mother stand. Yes, he is still young, yes he does still need me but not so much. He is becoming so fiercely independent which of course, I am proud to see but I am also feeling a bit redundant. This is pure selfishness on my part, but I am worried he won’t need me even less once he starts school. He no longer will be at home with me the majority of the week but at school and it is going to take a lot of getting used too. For three years before H came along it was just me and E. Greg worked long hours and we built up such a close bond as it was always just us two. When H came along it did take a back seat but slowly and surely we got it back and we do sill remain very close. Going through what we have with E at such a young age it means we did become perhaps closer than most. Dropping E off for his settling in sessions and transition days has left me an emotional wreck. I feel this really is now the start of losing him, in a way. I know he is growing up, and he wont need me as much but understanding that and accepting it as a mother are two very different things. I am still planning on working part time so I can be on hand to be as involved in E’s school life as I can as well as spending one on one time with H. I will openly admit me and H aren’t as close as me and E are. We have never had the opportunity where it is just me and him so I feel this will be beneficial to our relationship too. I believe there are a lot of stages to motherhood, and a lot of times feeling a bit lost whilst you adjust to the next one. I know this will pass and I will find my feet again and juggle school life, work and a toddler whilst maintaining the relationship I have with E.
I am incredibly lucky I had an extra year at home with E being a September baby and one I know in two years when H starts school, I’ll appreciate even more as I won’t get it with him. Right now, I am trying to make the most of our first ever summer holidays together, something with E going to nursery all year round we haven’t had before. I want to spend as much time as I can with him, before I loose him Mon-Fri and have to juggle work too. It is exciting and it does remind me that we are now very much out of the baby days (I did have a cry when I found a baby pic of E in the wardrobe this morning) but going out and seeing H walk along with E and using the pram less is nice. Seeing them play together and getting a chance to enjoy a drink or do some work with them playing in the garden does feel as though we have got a grasp of things a bit more too but it is bittersweet.
I will miss wandering round town going round all the shop with E on a weekday, or randomly going to the beach on a Tuesday morning. Soon it will be very full on with school runs, club drop offs and working three jobs between us. It will be hard letting go of E again to someone who will probably see him more than me, but I hope he will know I am there, always (even if I am emotionally a wreck and crying at the school gates or in the wardrobe after finding something from those baby days!) We spend some much time wishing they grow up, move out of a phase, sleep through, walk, talk that perhaps we wish it away abut to quickly. Perhaps, we need to sit and appreciate what we truly have no matter how hard it is at the time before we are catapulted to the next stage and you begin to feel lost all over again.