After what felt like a century of being pregnant, waddling around like a constipated hippo, my bundle of joy arrived! As happy as I was to have my gorgeous little son and my own little family I couldn’t help but feel like the old me had been lost along the way. I was suddenly this person, a mum, a partner, someone who is depended on and needed. The days can seem endless with a new born, you feel lost and bewildered. In one moment you are elated and in the next breath you are tearful uncertain of what you are doing. I didn’t really know who or what I was.
I mourned my old self for a while. The me that lived for 25 years before becoming pregnant. The me who was the life and soul of the party, the spontaneous me, the wild me, the me that had no cares, fears or doubts. I lived hard and always followed my heart, sometimes further than I should have.
After a while I felt silly. Reality dawned on me. Why had I wasted so much time pining for my old life? When I look at it on paper it was frankly quite shit. Yes I did some amazing things and saw some incredible places and yes I had no cares or worries (mainly because I was being selfish). But I had no one to really share it with. I had friends and family at home but I had no soul mate, no life partner. I guess I felt like I wasn’t needed or particularly wanted. I went through some awful break ups that sent me spiralling out of control. I thought I was carefree and spontaneous when in fact I was just hurt and alone doing stupid things to fill a void I never realised was there.
I learned to move on. Like I was saying goodbye to an ex that I had grown apart from. I sometimes thought about the old me but she became distant, just a memory.
You spend a lot of time alone as a new mother. You have so much time to think. I was met with myself. I had to face any feelings I had suppressed over the years. Without knowing it I was counselling myself. I was healing myself, working through all the stuff and the junk I had pent up inside. I was moving on with my life and finally realising that I deserve to be happy! I was learning to be me again, not the old me though, just me. I was finding myself and enjoying things I had taken for granted for so long! I always thought that I would ‘find myself’ on my travels, discover the real me in some exotic country at a Buddhist retreat or some shit. I was wrong. So wrong! The real me surfaced when I was faced with one of life’s biggest, hardest and most rewarding challenges. Motherhood.
So here I am now. Me. The real me. Stripped back. The fire reignited in my belly. A thirst for life. I have all that I need and all that I never knew I wanted. I have the love of an amazing man and a beautiful son. The kind of love that heals all and never ends.
When people say ‘You’ve changed’ or tell me ‘You used to be fun’ I will mentally be giving them the biggest middle finger. They don’t know the inner battles I have fought throughout my life obviously weren’t lucky enough to have ever met the real me. Because the real me now is 100 times more caring, thoughtful, loving and accepting than any of the old version of myself.
I am here and I am staying.