The balance of being a Mother and a Separate Being.
When I became a mother coming up on 1 year ago now, I had heard many other mums say things like “no more social life, you will never pee alone again, no more sleep or lie-ins, your life will never be the same again”. As a stubbornly independent woman I always did my own thing and brushed off peoples “well intended advice”, as I would carve my own path organically anyhow.
Looking back, especially over the first few months of motherhood, I can see where “you will never pee alone again” can be very true. You can’t leave a room without your new baby having an issue with it, in fact for those first few months you lose all sense of being a separate being. You can’t shower unless they are asleep or your partner is looking after them. In fact you even hear crying while showering, feeling convinced it’s your baby when they are still sound asleep.
You put all your baby’s needs before your own. Without the support of a partner/ a parent / or a good friend this state of being can get out of control. I can see how easy it would be to pass into the next place of only being a giver for your baby and forgetting all about yourself as a separate being in the process.
I personally found this state of being most profound when I was breastfeeding. Babies feed for long periods of time, and need more feeds than formula. It is also more exclusive in that only you can feed them unless you are lucky enough that expressing works for you, and your partner can give you a break by feeding them a bottle.
I remember being in the feeding room in a shopping center, feeding my baby some milk when a lady came in, completely frazzled forcing her baby to drink when he just didn’t want to, and her boobs were so sore, she really needed him to feed. She was all teary and upset, but I didn’t dare ask her if she tried doing half formula bottles, and half breast, like I was, as she was already on the edge. I just gave her a hug instead.
In that moment I was so glad I had chosen the more manageable option of half formula, half breast, it meant my partner could feed the baby, I wasn’t getting upset about feeling like a perpetual milking cow, and felt a little more independant. After all fed is best.
Once my baby was about 4 months old I started to feel like myself again, that I was no longer just a mother but a separate entity again. I could get my haircut while my partner looked after the baby on his own. I could go off on my own shopping and remembered what it was like to have my own wardrobe again, not just a mom wardrobe.
It took me a while to relax into being ok with starting to be separate again though, as yes, mom guilt is a horrible feeling.
I started getting things to remind me to take some time for me each day when possible, from simple things like a Voya Candle, gorgeous bath foam for baths I cherished, to a magazine subscription which made me take time for me.
I think that as mothers we give so much of ourselves that we need to ensure there’s some left for us, to be a Niamh or an Aisling etc!
Here is my list of things that make me take time out for me each day:
- Mama Moments subscription box
- Voya Rose and Chamomile candle
- Irish Country Magazine Annual Subscription
- Dublin Herbalist 3 step Rejuvenation Ritual Set
- Playing my piano
Do you have things you do that help to bring you back to yourself?
We all need to take care of ourselves too 💛.