Tuesday, 7 February 2017

I DON'T FEEL LIKE ME

When I was pregnant with Freya, people made a conscious effort to remind me that although being a mother is a wonderful thing, I shouldn't let it take over and I shouldn't forget who I am/was before I became a parent. At the time I just brushed comments like that off without even really listening to them. All I'd ever wanted was to be a mum and I could think of nothing better than putting my all into it and letting it completely take over who I am. And for a while I did just that. Being Freya's mum 100% consumed me, and I ruddy loved it. Every second of my day was spent with her and every second I was only ever away from her if she was asleep in her own room. And I almost feel embarrassed to admit that I was very overprotective of her. I still am to some degree. I just know that no one can do as good of a job at looking after my own baby girl than myself and her daddy. I know there is no one else she would prefer to be with and I know she's a definite home bird at heart, so why would I dump her with other people while I went out gallivanting? 

Now that's honestly how I used to feel and think. I just didn't understand why or how mother's could want to be away from their babies. Awful, isn't it? I don't think it helped that when Freya was barely a month old, her dad was admitted into hospital and I had no choice but to leave her with family members so I could visit him as babies weren't allowed on the ward for risk of infection. I found that really tough. I wasn't ready for it, and I think that made me turn all Mama Bear and want to have my cub with me at all times. But it wasn't, and still isn't, sustainable. 

I'm getting better, I think. I am starting to leave her with people we trust more often, but I do I still struggle with the idea of people doing things differently to the way Freya and I already do them when I leave her with someone. What if she can't settle because someone isn't doing the right thing? Or what if she gets herself all worked up and upset because someone doesn't understand what she's trying to convey? I can't bear the thought of her being inconsolable yet knowing I could make it better for her if I was there with her. We've actually started teaching her and ourselves some Makaton signs due to my panic over this, and we've also relayed some of the basics to our family members so that they definitely understand what she is asking for and when. 

I know some of you will be asking yourselves why I'm putting myself through the anxiety of leaving her with other people if I'm not ready or don't want to, and that's just the thing. I do want to. So, so much, because I feel a bit like I've lost myself. I've let being Freya's mum take over my life for a bit too long and now I don't really know who Grace is anymore. I can rattle off a list of Freya's favourite foods or TV programmes, and I could tell you her various clothes sizes in at least 20 different shops but could I tell you something I enjoy doing in my spare time? No. Could I tell you the last time I spent an hour just playing with makeup like I used to love doing or the last time I actually treated myself to something more than one of those creamy coolers from Costa? No, I couldn't.

 If I'm really honest, I can't identify with Grace anymore. I don't feel like that's me. I'm just Freya's mum now. And I don't want to feel like this. I'm still a young, 20 year old woman with so much life to live. And don't get me wrong, of course I want to do all those exciting things that life has to offer with my daughter. She is the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me and I wouldn't change her for the world. But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I could spend a whole day on my own. And I know I'd probably just waste all day on the sofa watching Grey's Anatomy (why has it taken so long for me to discover this programme by the way??) but at least I'd be doing something for me. And not hoping that Daddy will make it home in time for the next shitty nappy so I can get a turn off. Am I a bad mum for admitting I feel like this? I hope not. I'd hate to do wrong by my baby girl.

Thanks for reading,

Grace x