We all have times during motherhood where thoughts cross our minds, sometimes fleetingly and sometimes they linger about in the back for a while, that leave us feeling either ashamed for thinking such a thing and/or that familiar friend called Mummy Guilt taps us on the shoulder and gives us a smug wave!
These thoughts usually relate to things we have sacrificed to have children (sounds very archaic doesn’t it?!) and usually revolves around some form of (dare I say it?) resentment towards the pressures and demands that parenting puts upon us.
Disclaimer: I love my life. I love my children. I love my other half. I wouldn’t change anything for an instant…. apart from maybe my mum tum. Jokes.
Taboo Thought #1: I Miss Work.
This thought infuriates me when it crosses my mind. We have such a small window of time with our little ones, work can wait. But I miss the independence work brings me. The sociability (I’m a hair and makeup artist so mingle with lots of people. Well. I did) is something I really miss, especially on the days where it’s just me and the kids and no other interaction. I miss earning a wage and the feeling of achievement that comes with seeing your earnings in the bank. I miss the creativity my work brings me, the special feeling that I get from helping others feel their best. I am self employed too, so a lot of the time I panic that there will be no work to go back to and then that all spirals into a lack of self confidence and incredulous feelings as to how I will manage it all when I do go back. I have to keep this thought at bay though, and not run before walking. I recently tried to do a booking and it was just too soon. Baby George wasn’t happy to take a bottle of expressed milk, I was shattered from lack of sleep as we are still night feeding and when you have been off work for a long stretch it is really hard to hit the ground running. Hairdressing and makeup artistry are a physical job and with only being 4 months post partum, I really struggled. No running before walking, that is the key. But the fact I miss it so much is probably why I get myself in such a hurry to get back. Mental note to self: Slow the hell down woman, there’s plenty of time.
Taboo Thought #2: I Hate My Body
I know it is completely ungrateful to think this. My body has achieved amazing things and brought us two beautiful boys. But, I look in the mirror and, 9 times out of 10, I hate what I see. Wobbly bits, lumpy bits, saggy bits, stretch marks criss crossing my flesh like a road map that’s had a drink spilt over it and even my bloody feet have taken on a mind of their own! I have two shelves full of beautiful high heels that I used to totter about in regularly and now I can only just about get my big toe into them…. like some sort of ugly sister character from a Cinderella Panto. Even my hair has decided to desert me and I now have a decisively thinned out patch at the front and centre that takes some clever hairdressing trickery to disguise. The hairs that are not deserting me are turning grey and hormones are leaving me feeling like a deranged and anxious rabbit on a regular basis. I love my body for all that it has done but I hate that it shows all the effort it’s taken in the form of wear and tear. I’ve read body positive articles, I’ve watched the uplifting adverts and short videos on my news feed and I’ve admired other women for their body confidence and positivity. I want to think like that, I really do. But when your body feels alien to you and you don’t recognise the reflection in the mirror, it can be a little bit jarring. I’m not having a pity party for myself, I am just accepting how I feel and then once it is fully processed I shall begin to think pragmatically and say ‘Ok, so what are we going to do about it?’. I’ve already lost weight since having George in March and am back in my pre pregnancy jeans so am already heading in the right direction…. To the fridge…. ha! Kidding.
Taboo Thought #3: I’m so Lonely
How is it, that even though I am with two children every day, I still feel lonely?! It makes no sense on one hand, but on the other, it makes perfect sense. You can’t have a full on conversation with a 2.5 yr old and a 5 month old. At least, not a very complex one. My eldest tends to try out sentences on me such as ‘Oooo look, the SKY!’ and that then prompts me to give the response of ‘Yes, it is the sky.’ Then, upon a bit of an expectant silence descending upon the two of us, I then venture forth with a question such as ‘Do you see the cloud’ which then gets replied with eager pointing. And there you have it, the full extent of our conversation. And my youngest generally coos and gurgles and growls for the most part. Can’t really expect any different from a 5 month old can you?
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE these little snippets of interaction and am really enjoying seeing all their developments. But I can go through a whole day without having a proper adult conversation sometimes and it is all I can do to stop myself speaking to the cats! Thank goodness for phones, that’s all I can say! I may not be able to converse with people in the immediate vicinity, but there is always someone on the end of a messaging feed or Whatsapp call that can take the edge off a little. An of course our friend social media.
I never had the money to join NCT groups and I don’t actually have many Mummy friends. So going out for coffee and cake has never really happened, meeting up for picnics in the park haven’t either and when I go to soft plays or play groups, I always sit on my own and envy the mothers who are paired up chatting with a friend.
Taboo Thought #4: I’m so Bored
I lack inspiration for things to do on such a regular basis. Usually when it is pissing it down with rain and we are at the end of the month without much cash to spare. Filling every day with interesting, cheap and fuss free things to do is tough! I am pretty glad that I have had my two close together as it helps that a soft play keeps them both happy, or if we go to a park then they can both go in the swings or something. I am going to sit down and have a really good think about ideas for what to do with them in the colder months, research nearby activities online and such. Proactive attitude is key here really! I tend to sit staring into space a bit, brain dead by the Cbeebies theme tunes on a loop in the back ground and before I know it, it’s gone midday and we are still in our pyjamas. No wonder things get boring!
Taboo Thought #5: I Love you. But I don’t like you.
I love my children. They are my life. My world. But sometimes, on the days where they are both on a melt down, I’ve had to navigate our toddler through 3 tantrums before lunch and the baby is incessantly screaming, chomping on my nips and pulling my remaining hair strands out, I sit there and think ‘I don’t like you today’. I’d never say it to them. I just can’t help the thought from passing me by. The all encompassing feeling of ‘I don’t like you, you’re being horrible today and I want to cry’ is unstoppable. Some days it lasts a while and I breathe deeply and count to 10 a lot. Other days it is a fleeting flash and then I feel mean. But, it always passes. They do something adorable or I get a cuddle or a snuggle and I wonder how I could ever have a negative thought about them in the first place. And then I remind myself that I am only human.