Let me introduce my post-baby self to you all and of course the reason I am a Mama - my son Beauden also known as Beau, Bobo, B or (cringe) Beaudie. I became a parent on the 10th December 2015. I was originally pregnant with twins but miscarried one very early on. I had a beautiful labour, short and sweet. I breastfed until he was one when he decided he was done. I practice my version of attachment parenting; I still co-sleep with my toddler, I respond to him, I listen to my motherly instincts and follow his lead (most of the time). He is a boy. He is wild. He is determined. He is interesting. He knows how to destroy a tidy room in 0.03 seconds. He has the most amazing laugh. He is amazing full stop.
I love being a Mother but oh my God it's tough. It's the hardest job I've ever had to do. Before I had my own child, I was one of those annoying childless people who gave Mothers unsolicited advice on how they should parent. "Sleep when they sleep" and "Let them cry it out" were two of my favourites. If I meet one of those people now I would tell them to shut the fuck up or death stare them into silence.
I frequently mourn my pre-baby self, allowing myself to daydream about all of the things I once took for granted; travelling often and well, drinking cocktails whenever I wanted with little concern for the hangover that would follow, not feeling guilty when I used my phone, reading for hours with blind focus, being spontaneous and free of the planning involved when you take a toddler out of the house.
My days now are often Groundhog Day. Cook, clean, rinse, repeat.
Every. Single. Damn. Day.
I thought of an Instagram video a friend I used to work with posted of herself scuba diving naked in this beautiful blue ocean in Honduras, I imagined that she didn't have a care in the world. I thought 'that could be me' - scuba diving naked in Honduras without a care in the world. But instead I was on my hands and knees under the dinner table picking up tiny pieces of rice off the ground that Beauden threw around during lunch; sinking deeper into my lower level vibration, dragging my feet around the house and feeding off my own frustration. My tolerance for my baby lessening with each bang of his toy and whine that came from his mouth.
So while my baby sleeps, instead of feeling sorry for myself because my life has changed from what it was I took some time to give thanks to my Son and how he has changed my life.
Thank you for teaching me how to say "No", without it I would be saying yes to things that I don't want to do and that take me away from more important things like spending time with you.
Thank you for teaching me patience, I do not have to hurry everything.
Thank you for teaching me to let go of my pride and say "I don't know".
Thank you for showing me what it means to live by example. Because of you I want to be an example of how to live life to its fullest.
Thank you for teaching me that anger is OK, that I am human, that anger is not shameful.
Thank you for showing me that I am not defined by the roles I play in life.
Thank you for showing me my intuition, it has allowed me to let go of my ego.
Thank you for showing me that unconditional love exists and I am worthy of it.
I can stay stuck in emotional childhood by feeling sorry for myself or I can do something about it by observing how life has changed (for better and worse) and acknowledging what the alternative is. I can stay daydreaming about my pre-baby life or have gratitude, love and appreciation for my "new" life and realise that even if I had a choice to go back I would never take it.
My life right now is perfect and exactly as it was meant to be. Groundhog Day and all.
Once you've had a chance to read, I'd love to know:
What do you miss the most about your pre-baby life? What has being a parent taught you about life or yourself?
Leave a comment below and let me know. Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. I want to create a space where people can come here each week for insight and inspiration, and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.
If you have friends, family or colleagues who feel like motherhood is TIRING share this post. The world needs more happy, engaged and passionate peeps!
This piece was written by Moni Barry and can be found on her blog here.