I can’t believe that it’s been 7 weeks since Ainlsie came earth-side.
I have thought a lot about how to write about the changes that having a child, our first, have had on us. I touched how it’s impacted our marriage, it’s a daily commitment (still) to be present in the blur of late night feeds, washing newborn clothes and juggling an unsettled baby during the nightly ‘witching hours’.
I haven’t written about how it’s impacted me as a woman. I’m not gonna lie, there are have been days when I’ve grieved my former life. I loved being single, I loved being married sans child, going out with girlfriends for nights out on the town, drinking cocktails, going to the stores by myself without any obligation to anything other than what Andrew may have planned.
I have desperately grieved sleep.
I really grieved and struggled to re-giggle who I am in this new (Forever) role as a mum.
There’s no build up to it. BANG! You’re a mum. A forever parent.
You’re whole entire definition of who you are is morphed instantly. I’ve found this whole process overwhelming. I am not going to lie to you and tell you that I was instantly head-over-heels in love. I loved her. I did. But I had NO idea what I was doing. I have (and still struggle) with knowing how to be the best mum I can be. I’ve had to realise that I dont get as much done (according to previous standards) as I used to. I mean, as I’m writing this I have a beautiful sleeping 7 week old sleeping on my chest…because she’s clingy and because she needs her Mama. The house isn’t spotless, the laundry sits in laundry baskets for far too long, and there’s a constant rotation of baby clothes drying on the clothes rack.
I’ve had to let go of control
I’ve had to let go of perfection
I’ve had to unwind
I’ve had to relax
It’s taken until about this past week for me to fully realise and appreciate it all. I mean, I am a Mum. A MUM! I have a huge, gigantic and beautiful responsibility to raise and nurture a child. I am also my own self, which has changed…and a wife…which as also changed. I feel like I’m getting it all…sort of.
I move forward with days at a much slower pace, because life demands it. I needent be full throttle anymore. Where I adore the kisses I can give her little head, the fact that I can carry her in the ring sling while she sleeps. I get to see myself as someone who understands her cries, who basks in the glory of the little smiles that she gives out more frequently, and trying desperately to video her little sounds that she’s beginning to make. I have become the consoler of the unsettled, the holder of the clingy and the mum I had always thought I could be…but now have confidence in myself in becoming.
No one ever talks about the process of letting go of your former self. Maybe people just expect it, and maybe I just didn’t realise it would be something that I struggled with. But I did. And I’m glad I did. I am glad that I recongised it, because it’s made these past weeks of embracing my new role so much sweeter.