Motherhood. It is undoubtedly a different experience for every women. Although we share common challenges and learning curves, defining Motherhood is something that is very unique to each of us.
It hasn’t always been an easy ride. By 31 I thought I knew exactly who I was. I had no idea that this little person was going to completely turn my world upside down. Goodbye to schedules, goodbye to structure, goodbye to being the one in control. I had no idea what lay ahead of me.
I certainly think that Motherhood has changed me for the better. It has forced me to examine every part of my persona, I am less selfish, more considerate, more tolerant, more patient and more understanding. My already big heart grew by a phenomenal amount and stretched beyond what I thought was humanly possible.
All the cliches about not knowing love until you have children have rung true for me. I always knew that I wanted to be a Mother, I longed for it so much and reserved a piece of my heart for when I finally grew and gave birth to my babies. Yet nothing could have prepared me.
I guess I’d been naive. I thought because I was hugely Maternal and had longed for children for such a long time, that Motherhood would come naturally to me. I smugly thought I’d sail through.
I started off on a bad foot after a traumatic labour and difficult recovery. I probably suffered a form of Postnatal Depression in those early days but never would have admitted it at the time. So I struggled through, as I’d always done. I battled through health problems six months later after being diagnosed with an overactive thyroid and started a new job as a Marketing Officer for a Sight Loss Charity, when Thomas was just six months old.
I naively thought I could just slot back into my old life with a cute little addition to coo over. How wrong was I. Going back to work four days a week was so, difficult. In a sense I enjoyed adult company again; routine, hot cups of tea, using my brain for more than remembering the ‘Hello’ song at Baby Sensory. My heart was no longer in the workplace though, it was with my baby and it was so hard being away from him for four long days each week.
I go into more detail in other posts about how a huge anxiety attack finally prompted me to quit that job when Thomas was two years old, just weeks before I got married. This was the start of another journey of painful self-discovery. A journey that started over a year ago now and I finally feel like I’ve come out on the other side.
Of course, as human beings we will all be learning, growing, changing and developing our whole lives; that is the beauty of life. But I don’t remember such a significant change in such a short space of time. Those are the changes that shape you, that rock you to your very core.
I feel more vulnerable but also braver, stronger and more compassionate. I feel more sure of my place in the world, what my purpose is and of the things that I want to achieve. Motherhood has somehow unleashed a creative side to me that I buried away many years ago, when I felt that I needed to be a ‘proper adult’.
I have a lot of work ahead of me but I am excited to be experimenting again, I’m building my confidence up day by day. Motherhood; so all consuming and so utterly life-changing.