I’ll be honest, this has taken a while. And I am still not quite there!
This picture was taken on our honeymoon in Hawaii and I, unbelievably, felt uncomfortable here as I was just over a stone heavier than when I met Stefan (I hadn’t really lost much weight specifically for our wedding, just toned up a lot so I had still felt amazing on the big day). Looking at this picture now, I can’t believe I felt fat – I look at this girl with envy as I currently still have a minimum of a stone to go before I get anywhere near that weight, plus her hair is freshly coloured and she looks relaxed and happy!
When you fall pregnant for the first time, you cannot imagine what it’s really like to be a mum. Obviously, everyone has an image in their head but, for me at least, the idea was that I would still be me, just with a little person to look after. Don’t get me wrong, I never thought it would be quite that easy. I knew it would be hard work; tiring; emotionally draining and a round the clock job, but with plenty of highs thrown into the mix.
I definitely didn’t think about how it would change me as a person.
Having a child literally does change every aspect of your life. And I thought I knew that before. I mean, everyone told me how there would be no more nights out for a while, no more romantic trips away or lying in until whenever we pleased on a weekend. And I thought I was listening to them. Well, I did listen to them. I just never processed what that all really meant!
Because me and Stefan are both foodies, both love to go out, both love relaxing and enjoying a good coffee and there are so many places both of us still want to visit across the world that we haven’t had the chance to tick off.
Which means that our relationship has had to evolve and adapt to this new lifestyle that neither of us are accustomed to. Weekends now involve early starts, swimming classes, keeping Bernie entertained and getting things done around the house. All revolving around Bernie’s mealtimes and naptimes. It would be so easy to lose our own identities amongst it all!
So what has that all meant for me as a Mum? Well, I inevitably put weight on during pregnancy and so fitting in exercise, like I used to, has been a struggle. And still very much is! I am now at that point where I have managed to find a way of fitting it in and prepping healthy meals to get me back on track. But it all depends on Bernie being happy and well. Because if we have had a horrendous night with teething or he has picked up yet another bug at nursery then all my plans go out the window.
And that has had a dramatic effect on me as I am still trying to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. In fact, I’m not quite sure I ever will fit into some of them again. It isn’t always a case of simply losing the baby weight; personally I know my hips are wider than they were – pregnancy can change your whole body permanently and I am only just starting to accept that…and accept that some things might not ever go back to the way they were.
And I’ll be honest, I haven’t had my hair cut and coloured for about 9 months now (I know!). And up until recently it didn’t even really bother me. But it’s the little things like getting my hair done regularly, having time to do my nails or being able to spend time doing my make up that make me feel a bit more like me. It’s all superficial stuff, I know, but these things make me happy and give me a confidence boost so it’s all about making the time to do these things
Having time to myself is another one. Sometimes just a nice relaxing bath and a good book is all I need to feel like an actual person again, and not just Mummy.
Having gone back to work has made a massive impact too. I am out of our little Mummy and Baby bubble and feel like I have something else to concentrate on, other than being Mummy (even though I miss the little man like crazy when I am away from him!).
I guess the reason I started writing this post was to acknowledge that being a mum is hard work and completely life-changing (ultimately for the better I might add!) and it is so easy to lose yourself amidst the chaos, nappies and ticking off the milestones. But it is so important to hold on to YOU. Whatever that means to you, whether it’s wearing a nice outfit, making an effort with your make up, hitting the gym, taking time for yourself or simply sitting down to enjoy a quiet cup of tea from start to finish!
Embrace being a Mum, because it is definitely all worth it, but remember that you are your own identity and that person deserves some time and attention too!