So, Hazel is officially nine months old. I know right?! I’m finding it so hard to believe that in just 12 weeks time we will be celebrating her first birthday! So crazy. I would be lying if I said she has made a massive change to our family. I mean, yes, she’s made a great change, as in we love having three children and we love that she’s here with us now, but in the way of craziness, chaos, “oh em gee why are you having a third!”, well, none of that has really eventuated. Ok, so yes, we do have crazy moments, but for the most part, she’s slotted straight in, she sleeps well, she is content, she’s happy… it feels like she’s always been here. Nine months in, and now nine months out. What does that mean for me? Well, for the first time (in nine months!) I finally feel like the “new mum” haze is lifting, I’m discovering me again which is exciting and yet, if I’m totally honest, frustrating all at the same time.
Health wise I feel great, things seem to be falling into place, I’m slowly getting back into shape without trying too hard (and I say that knowing it sounds totally wankerish) but the female body really is such an amazing thing. The same happened with my other two children around the nine month mark. I just start looking like my old self again, it’s like my body remembers what I felt/looked like before I got pregnant and (thankfully!) it wants to naturally go back there. I also have the desire to reach for healthier choices when I visit the fridge/pantry… (wow, I really do sound like a total wanker now! But it’s true!). After having Hazel I would snack on crap! Convenience food that was nourishing my soul but not my body! “Oh, I’m breast feeding… I can have the extra calories”. And look, I’m actually all for eating what ever you bloody well want when you’ve just had a baby but things have flipped now and I’m wanting to make better choices again (says she who has just finished a piece of chocolate cake left over from the neighbours birthday dinner last night… #balance).
I have more energy. Ok, let’s not go crazy, I’m not jogging or gyming or anything like that (because well… #netflix) but I am finding my mojo again. Pre Hazel I could whip around the house, multi tasking this and that, vacuuming while dusting, while wiping the kitchen sink down, while getting the toddler dressed while making dinner… Ok, totally exaggerating but you know what I mean! I was a ninja warrior, always one step ahead of myself… scheming my next move in the jungle of washing, cooking, cleaning. Over the past nine months though, meh… not so much… I would complete one load of washing and need to sit down for a cuppa and a chocolate biccy! But crazy “I can do it” lady is back! Boy have I missed her…
I have clarity and motivation. I’m getting through my backlog of emails again without shutting the computer off half way through because I feel overwhelmed. I’m remembering appointments, checking my calendar each morning and we are finally getting better at leaving the house and arriving to things on time (still working on this.. only just getting better, we haven’t nailed it yet!) but I love feeling like the old me, powering through tasks, ticking off my to do list. I feel like the women I once was, the working mama, the working women.
On the flip side though… all of these feelings of the old me, remembering what life was like before I had tiny humans in my care 24/7, has left me feeling really frustrated… trapped even. It’s like these two conflicting worlds of wanting to embrace the old me who wants to do everything, be everywhere, help with this and work on that… but I also have to be the new me who is responsible for our home life… the daily grind… the school run, the cleaning, the cooking, the taxi driving from soccer to dancing to swimming, the doctors appointments, the dentist visits, the maternal health checks, day care, no day care, washing, laundry sorting…. the list goes on and on and on… and that’s when the feelings of frustration start to enter my mind and I feel her slip away again… the old me… back to the bottom of the list… my dreams, my aspirations, my career… are they gone?
You see, I find it a really, really hard balance, as a mother, to be able to find the time to do things for myself both personally and career wise when I have tiny humans, a husband and a house that need me just as much. Appointments have to be made after hours (if where you want to go does after hours!), babies have to be taken with you to the hairdressers and the osteo and to meetings… and, as the primary carer… it’s hard, even with a supportive husband who encourages me to “get out the house!” and do things for myself, to actually find the time to actually do it! How on earth do women chase down their dream career with three children grasping at their ankles? (and hats off to those that do!).
Will this half and half phase last? No. I know it will pass. I know that soon, like literally before I can blink, the kids will be grown up. I’ll have three at school and I’ll be rocking in the corner crying, missing the maternal health checks and complaining to my husband that “I don’t want to go to work today!”.
So, should I just take this part of my life and embrace it with arms open wide? Hmmm… well, can I do both? Because I love being a wife and a mum and I love looking after everyone (house included!) but it’s not totally selfish to embrace the old me too is it? To start planning and scheming my next move in my world of dreams and aspirations? Yes, I’m a mama, but I’m also me. A smart, driven women ready to take on the world (albeit nappy bag in tow!). I have a resume waiting to be updated, I have ideas I want to put into action, I have a big heart and an open mind that I want to use for the greater good. So I guess what I’m saying is, watch this space… (no pressure or anything!) but I want to say these things out loud so that I can be kept accountable, so that I continue to move forward (through the mountains of washing, dirty nappies and ABC kids…).
Because I’m ready (I think) because I can do both (boy am I going to need coffee) because I love my family (more than anything) because this is one mama (that is and always will be) more than a mama.