I’ve done a few things lately that have reminded and reinforced to me the person that I am and was before baby P came along. It’s been quite liberating to go back to the me before I became a mum and remind myself that there’s more to me than just being a mum.
I’ve posted before about managing to grab a bit of me time but I think there’s more to this than just having a bit of time out once in awhile. I’ve needed to use my brain a bit more, I’ve needed to get that bit of me back. Yesterday I did a K.I.T. day (keeping in touch) and was praised and rewarded for my hard work before I went on maternity leave and not only was it nice to have my hard work recognised and appreciated but also it was a confidence boost and reminder of my other qualities besides being a mother.
Just before (quite literally days before) Baby P was born I handed the dissertation for a masters I’d been studying part time alongside my full time job. I’d actually had to defer for a year after losing my Dad two weeks before the original hand in date so it was even a bigger deal for me to finally finish it. It wasn’t much longer after P was born that I found out that I’d not only passed but with flying colours. This should’ve been a big deal but actually it was early on into motherhood and didn’t quite sink in as I was still getting to grips with keeping this little bundle alive. However, my graduation was a month or so afterwards and timed perfectly, it was so nice to celebrate something outside of motherhood and separate from little P. It was just about me and the last 12 weeks hadn’t been, the day was lovely, I was able to chat with ex-colleagues fellow students and my lecturers. I was able to show off baby P to all these people but also feel like I’d got some of my brain and intellect back. There was even talk of me doing a doctorate!
I’ve also spent sometime socialising without baby P by going away on a girls weekend for a hen do. Again this was a brilliant chance for me to let my hair down and reconnect with the non mum part of me.
Dance has always been a big feature and important part of my life and going back to dancing once a week has been tough and at first P found it hard to settle for Daddy and Granny in my absence. It was something that we all needed though and going to dance has helped me mentally, it’s given me that couple of hours escape, chance to be creative and choreograph and laugh! It’s given Daddy some important daughter time and I’ve loved returning to my little missy after missing her for a couple of hours.
What’s mattered the most about all these things has been the stimulation, I’ve been able to use my brain again and not just focus on baby talk, playtimes, nappy changes and nursery rhymes. I’ve been able to have intelligent adult conversations and feel more mentally engaged. There’s only so much peek a boo a mum can take before you start feel like you’ll only ever converse in baby-lingo!!
Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy being a mum (although I sometimes need to remind myself of that during witching hour and teething tears!) and I’m relishing having maternity leave and the time with my daughter, but it’s nice and invigorating to still keep these elements of me and my personality and keep my brain working and sense of humour going outside of play gyms, baby groups, coffee mornings and sensory rooms. It’s nice to have more in my life than just being mummy, having those things helps me be me and the mummy that I am.