Welcome to the 6th edition of the #Beingamother project. I’m very excited that this issue sees one of my favourite bloggers to tell this motherhood thing like it is – Sarah of the The Unmumsy Mum – stepping up to the plate with her thoughts on what motherhood means to her. So sit back, relax and get ready for a dose of laugh out loud realism…
A couple of weeks after Boy One was born, a friend asked me “So do you feel, you know, different now you’re a mum?”
“No,” I said. “Not really”.
I mean I felt differently physically. My boobs were like boulders and half a stone of human had just emerged from my vagina. I’d had finer hours.
But emotionally, mentally, in my head….no, I felt very much the same. I looked in the mirror and saw a fatter and more tired version of myself but it was the Same Old Me. Holding a baby.
Sure being a parent had kick-started a massive wave of changes to my life and body but it wouldn’t change my personality. Amongst the nappies and the muslins and the breast pads I was just the same. I wouldn’t let the Old Me be swamped by the Mum Me. Motherhood certainly wouldn’t define me…
Well, three years (and another baby) later and I have wavered on this.
I had a bit of a moment in the car recently. I was alone, on my way to the childminder’s, and I had dared to put a CD on. A compilation. A MIX TAPE. Clearly I was kidding myself that I still went out drinking and dancing and thinking I was cool because Jay Z’s ‘Niggas in Paris’ featured on this CD. I know. And at the exact same time I turned up “ball so hard muhfuckas wanna fine me” I caught sight of myself in the rear-view mirror. I glanced the Maxi-Cosi car seat and cat shaped sun shade. I spied the slightly crinkly corner of my eye and the shit job I had done at concealing my under-eye bags. And I suddenly felt like a twat for singing about muhfuckas.
I felt like a mum.
The sun shade and the car seat and the fact I would imminently be swapping Jay Z for the Disney CD proved my life is not the same.
Having children has changed it beyond words. I no longer feel care-free.
I feel an enormous responsibility not to fuck it all up, to make sure I keep them safe and happy.
I feel anxious that I am not good enough. That they deserve better because sometimes I don’t cope all that well. I don’t love every second. I shout. I swear. I cry. Sometimes I long for the life when I listened to mix tapes and had nights out and didn’t have under-eye bags.
I look at my boys and can’t quite believe they are mine. I can’t quite believe I made actual proper small human beings. They are my masterpieces and I will never have anything more important to my name.
My boys have changed me.
I am not the same. I am no longer resisting the change.