Before I had Joseph I knew I would change, but I didn’t quite grasp just how I would lose my identity and gain a new, unfamiliar one. It’s been a struggle adjusting to being this new person, and to be honest a lot of the time I feel a bit detached from things, like I’m on autopilot. That could be down to how I feel about the birth, but could just be down to being a new mum.
Looking back at the above picture, I can’t believe I used to think I was fat. I remember on the lead up to our wedding being disappointed in myself that I couldn’t lose more weight. I used to dress to hide my ‘belly’, which is hilarious now, being that I still look pregnant 5 months after giving birth. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that I was most definitely not fat and to make the most of nice clothes and bikinis, as now the thought of a bikini horrifies me.
On the subject of clothes, I’ve never enjoyed clothes shopping that much anyway, but now I just hate it! Partly due to having to shop for clothes that won’t make me look like a burst sausage, partly due to me being 1-2 sizes bigger than I normally am, and partly because I can’t switch off and enjoy it.
I used to be so organised and had lists for everything, but now I’m a mum I’m forever chasing my tail and I never get round to stuff, and I’m always forgetting to text people back (please don’t be offended). I also forget what I’ve to do each day unless I’ve written it down. I have one list now on the wall, which is supposed to motivate me, but I still don’t get round to stuff. Why is this? Baby brain?
On the rare occasion I get to have some time to myself I don’t know what to do. I remember the first time I went out without Joseph, he was about 3 weeks old. I went round the shops, feeling like I was in someone else’s body, then sat in a coffee shop feeling tearful. I was looking at the other people walking around and it felt surreal to have just been through this massive thing and then suddenly back in the ‘real world’. I had taken my book with the idea of switching off, but I didn’t even read it, I just sat looking at pictures of Joseph and came home after being out for about 40 minutes.
Even at home when Joseph goes down for a nap, once I’ve done my ‘mummy chores’ I sometimes have no idea what to do, like I’ve forgotten how to spend my free time. I’m getting better at this, but it’s still a struggle.
Becoming a mother is so hard, and these changes are something I never anticipated. It can be hard to adjust when you feel like you’ve been to hell and back to bring your baby into the world, and then you are left an emotional wreck who doesn’t look anything like the woman you were before. Yes it is worth it to have your beautiful baby in your arms. And yes, I know how lucky I am. But that doesn’t change how I feel about this ‘new me’. Recently I have been starting to feel little parts of the old me coming back, which is a welcome feeling, but I have to accept that good and bad, nothing will ever be the same again.