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Parents: Getting Back to Our Old Selves… NO!

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 Here we are once again – the weeks are whizzing by aren’t they? Soon we’ll be in full blown summer and need to get our welly boots out (love the English weather, don’t you?) Alyssa is back to being completely healthy finally and we have a lot of exciting things coming up. I love it when the weather begins to change as I feel I can do so much more…

 So whether you are a new parent or an old hand at this malarkey you may have noticed something different… or you may have friends who have noticed and commented on something being different. That something I am talking about is YOU!

I had someone pop round the other day, who I don’t see regularly but see every now and again and we used to work together. She was talking about going out, drinking, clubbing, having a laugh and I said to her “God, I couldn’t imagine doing that now!” It got me looking back at how I used to be and comparing the person I am now to the person I was pre-baby and the differences were huge and quite surprising!!

When I was younger – God that makes me sound so old! Let me rephrase that… When I was late teens, early twenties and especially at Uni I went out most if not every weekend and sometimes twice, drinking, dancing and having a great time. As my twenties crept past, I didn’t go out every weekend but still liked to party… right up to the weekend I found out I was pregnant in fact – it was Christmas party season and luckily I found out I was pregnant just before the major drinking and partying season began.

My evenings have changed dramatically – they now revolve around doing the many voices of Alyssa’s bath time friends, snuggles and trying to convince her to go to bed early enough to allow me some time to indulge in a hot chocolate and some blogging whilst chatting to my lovely online friends – wow I’m a ROCKSTAR!

However, do you know what? I actually don’t mind! Granted, at some point it will be nice to pop out one evening to the cinema or to a nice bar for A GLASS OF WINE but that’s it. I have no dreams and aspirations to rejoin the clubbing world and to be honest I am not sure my feet could last that long in heels anymore! So, what’s the point of me wittering on like this to you about how my life has changed? Well, since becoming pregnant and sporadically since the birth of my daughter, I have had a few people (90% of them do not have children) asking me “When are you going to get back to your old self?” or “Do you miss being yourself?” or “Don’t worry, you’ll get back to your old self eventually!” Umm, I’m sorry but when exactly did I say that I didn’t like this new, slightly different version of me? Also, did I ever say that I miss that manically crazy at times life I led? No, I didn’t!

Yes, from some peoples point of view I have given up an awful lot, but have they actually stopped and taken the time to see how much I have gained? Don’t get me wrong, there are times (most of these when I am so exhausted I need matchsticks to keep my eyes open) when I think “God, I’d love to go and smoke an entire packet of cigarettes, get absolutely hammered and pass out – or even just sleep for an entire night uninterrupted!” However, all it takes is one look into the big blue eyes of my baby girl to realise that I am exactly where I want to be. So why do people feel the need to make those comments? Why do they think that it is reassuring to tell us that at  some point we will regain our previous lives?

I don’t have the answer, but I do have a theory… and that is that they miss us. We have changed but that doesn’t mean that they have. Maybe we, as parents, have not had the time or made the effort to ensure that they are included as much in our new lifestyle and this isn’t because we don’t care, it’s because we have been all consumed by our tiny little monsters. However, it’s not all on us – maybe they did the friend thing of turning up to coo at and hold the new baby and then disappeared on us until they got broody enough to want to come and have another cuddle OR maybe they just aren’t sure how to be around us now things have changed!

Whatever the reason, whether there is one or not, it’s time we put a stop to all of this and helped both sides to  understand what happens on the other side.

So, first of all to the parents (new or old) this is what I have to say: Yes it can be annoying, irritating and also hurtful when friends say about “getting back to normal” or asking you when you are going “to break free and join them for a night out!”  However, this is not said out of malice or to intentionally hurt you but from many other much more worthy emotions such as a longing for the friendship that was and missing it. Sometimes, there is also probably a small minor amount of jealousy that from outside appearances it looks like you have everything you wanted and are entering Stepford Land. Be patient with them because in all likelihood it is a big change for them too – though granted they are probably still getting a full nights sleep – unlike you!

Now to all the Friends out there I say this: Please, think about what you are saying to us – our lives have changed and we appreciate that it affects you too but we are feeling quite vulnerable right now and don’t need to feel bad about what is in fact a wonderful change in our lives. However, I also need to let you know that if you think we have forgotten you – we haven’t! Day turns into night so quickly and before we know it another week has flown past surrounded by milk, nappies and washing. Please, if you could just do us a favour? Pick up the phone and call or text us… invite yourself round for coffee and bring cake and DO NOT expect the house to be tidy. Don’t change yourselves but allow our friendship to grow and change into something else – something deeper and better than doing shots together off of a bar on a Saturday night (though they were good times!) You are still our friends and we haven’t forgotten that – it’s just our little bubba doesn’t know that yet!

So, to all the parents – don’t worry if you are not the same as you were before. If you want to be that again, a time will come when you will be able to and if you don’t want that then enjoy being the new you like I am – the people who come with you are the ones that are meant to be with you. This may result in some losses and yes that will be sad, but you may also find that this involves making and gaining new friends you would have never expected – get out there with your bubba and see!

To all the friends – for those of you that come along for the ride… thank you so much for being so understanding. For those of you that continue to use the phrase “Don’t worry you will get back to your old self” I have but one response… NO, I DON’T WANT TO!

That’s all from Alyssa and I for another week. Don’t forget to head over to The Baby & Toddler show and see what amazing exhibitors you can expect to appear this year!

Any exhibitors attending  The Baby & Toddler Show this year who would like their products featured in a weekly blog post, pop me an email to admin@mummyinatutu.co.uk

Anyone looking for tickets for this years Baby & Toddler show head over to the website here for all the details

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