Once upon a time I thought I had my fair share of problems. Young and frivolous embracing my twenties, these problems seemed like the world to me. But right now… I wonder what agreement I signed up for. Now I wonder how I traded myself for this lost woman and these problems that seem so big and insurmountable on some days. How and when did that happen?
However, I didn’t knowingly trade my soul – and nor is it quite as dramatic as that on most days. But what I did do was become a Mum. I fulfilled my dream of having a family. I found love in my husband and these three little beings were created through that love. In the midst of all that love, creation and joy I lost touch with myself.
I didn’t know I was doing it. I probably didn’t want to be doing it. But I dedicated my world to these new little people that had so amazingly taken over mine. I can see now that little by little I lost touch with myself. All the times I was so exhausted I couldn’t do my morning walk. When I berated my post baby body and didn’t treat myself to a nice outfit. When I made excuses about going back to work, starting a new dream or a hobby all because everyone was relying on me. When I so lovingly put them all before me, not realising that for us all to be whole I had to take care of me.
Until you’ve had that moment in parenthood when you’ve lost you, it’s hard to comprehend or put into words. After all, life is magical and so blessed when we have children. But many of us have a hard time with the balance and learning to nurture the woman within. In fact I think we all do at some point in time. Be honest.
I’ve always have moments of realisation that something had to change and I needed to stop sacrificing and start taking care of me both physically, emotionally and spiritually. But then life came along, and just ever so gently nudged me back to the life of dedication and sacrifice. Giving them all and leaving me with the scraps. Although this time around something feels different, a new determination to make it stick. To find that balance. To find the place where we can all be happy most of the time. To find the medium of when I can give with all my heart and not hold any resentment alongside that.
It’s going to be a lifelong lesson. Hopefully one that is easily ingrained in my life. A lesson that with time I hope I can pass on to my kids. Because being a mum was a dream I
longed for. Holding our baby in my arms, reading their tired eyes stories at night, watching them learn to kick a soccer ball. I’m so thankful I was gifted that dream. But in order for that dream to be as amazing as I had always imagined I need to understand that sacrifice is no good for anyone. I need to embrace the idea that I can be a giving and selfless Mum without taking away what I truly and deeply need to stay whole. I know when my kids are old enough to understand they would never want me letting go of my dreams, putting myself aside in a vain attempt to be the best mother I could be.
They would want me happy. A wholehearted mum with no regrets. A mum who gave her everything but kept just enough for her to make her heart sing a sweeter tune.
It’s a promise I’m making to myself and I am going to keep it.