#LuckyLinky Week 5
10th April 2017
#ABloggingGooodTime Week 44
13th April 2017

What Happened to Me?

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 You know what, I didn’t feel it coming. At all. Usually if  I am feeling a bit down or fed up I can see it coming, but I suppose this wasn’t really the normal feeling down or fed up. It was something completely different and something like I said, that was unexpected to say the least. I didn’t even know how I was feeling until out of nowhere a sentence tumbled out of my mouth at the same time a sudden tear dropped down my cheek. I was driving and my mum was sat next to me on her phone and Alyssa was in the back of the car talking away to herself. I had been quiet for a few minutes whilst my mum was texting and I had just been mindlessly thinking of nothing in particular as I drove a familiar route to somewhere I cannot even remember. We pulled up to some traffic lights and my mum put down her phone and without thinking I simply said “Mum, I feel a bit fed up!” the tear rolled down my cheek and I let out a big sigh of relief…

a closed eye with tears on a cheek

Over the past two and a half years my life has changed so dramatically it’s hard to remember how I used to be. Right up to the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was going out at the weekends, drinking, smoking, clubbing, dating with no responsibility other than to myself and of course my job (which to be hugely honest I was not really that bothered about because I had completely fallen out of love with the teaching profession.) Then, I found out I was pregnant and it was like I suddenly had a personality transplant. I no longer went out out, I barely drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t go clubbing and I don’t date. I also now have the huge responsibility of keeping another human being alive, healthy and happy.

Being a mother is, I believe, a role I was born to play and I love it so very very much. It changed my life completely and definitely for the better. I waited thirty long years to become a mother and it was entirely worth the wait. So what was the problem? Why was I sat at some traffic lights, waiting for the lights to go green, with sudden and unexpected tears rolling down my cheeks?! My mum of course was quite shocked at this sudden emotion that she had no prior warning was on it’s way and of course asked me why. When she asked, I wasn’t even sure I knew the answer but it burst from my lips like it had a life of it’s own; “…because I don’t feel like myself anymore.” For the past two and a half years, I hadn’t been Katie anymore. I had been “the pregnant girl,” “the mother,” “the blogger,” but I had not had a chance to be me.

Did I want to go back to being that partying me whose Sunday involved trying to survive a hangover before working again on Monday? Hell NO! I don’t miss going out out at all and if I am honest, what I miss is actually just the opportunity to just be a woman for 5 minutes and not just mum. In the entire time my daughter has been alive, I have only been parted from her three times, for a total number of hours that don’t even amount to a whole day. I felt horrible, sat there crying to my mother about not getting a chance to be me and kept repeating how much I loved my little girl and how I would never be without her and she told me to be quiet and to listen. For every single day of her life I had been mummy doing anything ana woman holding her head blurredd everything my little one needed and not only that being a single mum meaning that 99% of everyday responsibility was mine and that it was perfectly normal that I’d need time to myself. Time to be myself. Time to recuperate some energy. Time to be me. I had never really thought about needing “me time” before – it was generally just the luxury of an hour long hot bath that would tide me over but actually, although I don’t need a lot, a little bit more was required.

We were due to go shopping that Friday and I hadn’t done this without Alyssa, EVER! I had even done all my Christmas shopping with her which any parent will know can get stressful as bless their hearts they do get bored and I don’t blame them. My mum got on the phone and called my sister and brother-in-law who instantly agreed that they would have my bubba for the day on Friday and I could have a girly day with my mum – I was also told I was NOT allowed to buy her anything and had to buy myself some new bits which again I had not done since pre-pregnancy. She waved me off on Friday and enjoyed a day of being spoilt rotten by her aunt and uncle who’s undivided attention she had for the entire day and mywoman sat typing on a laptp mum said she had not seen me so relaxed in a long time. It was simply that I had it in my head that she was my responsibility and I didn’t want to burden or have to rely on others too much and take advantage – whereas in fact  I had not even asked let alone burdened anyone, not that they would see it as a burden at all.

This pushed me into thinking what I could do on a regular basis to make myself just have a little break once in a while. Well, I really am trying to look after myself and lose weight at the moment (I have lost 10lbs already!!) so my mum suggested taking some fitness classes at our local gym. They wouldn’t last too long, it would be something I would enjoy and I would get to meet new people. This had been another reason I hadn’t had much chance to be me over the last few years – sad to say that locally I don’t really have any friends. I shared with you all last year about the betrayal of my once best friend (Bullying and Betrayal: What the Hell Happened to Friendship) and it kind of meant I had separated myself from everyone in our old friendship circle and now my closest friend was almost an hour away with a busy life of her own – thank god for my wonderful online friends is all I can say! So I went onto the timetable for the local gym and suddenly found myself signed up to an hour long pilates class and a forty five minute step class once a week. I also signed Alyssa and I up for a new toddler group which feeds into a potential pre-school she may be attending in the future.

alyssa and I with our mouths open looking at the camera!

I thought that feeling fed-up because I didn’t feel like myself was something I shouldn’t be feeling. I felt like it made me appear ungrateful for the wonderful gift that is my amazing daughter. But to be honest – that’s bollocks! We cannot spend all day every day eating, sleeping, living, breathing being nothing but Mum or Dad because otherwise we’ll go nuts! Yes, when we become parents, our lives are completely changed in every way and will never be the same again, but it is important to maintain some aspects of ourselves too. We cannot stop being who we are but we can adapt it so that all the new parts slot in nicely with parts of the old you to create a whole new and enjoyable life. I needed to cry. I needed to admit that I had lost me… completely. I needed to be told that it was okay. I cannot tell you how much I look forward to my fitness classes – in total it it just over 2 hours to myself, doing something for myself a week but it’s enough and its good for Alyssa too. We are also adoring our new toddler group – she has the space to run and some lovely children to play with and I get new adult conversation and even managed a hot cuppa too.
It’s okay to need “you time.” It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to still be you. Take some time, it doesn’t have to be much and just have a breather from the life you love. It will leave you refreshed and ready to enjoy it even more.

29 Comments

  1. I understand how you feel, Katie. I once had one of them moments you had. Slowly I’ve been able to be ‘myself’ in little ways, such as going to language school and heading to the cafe afterwards with my school friends. It takes time. So much changes once you have a child. It’s crazy!

  2. Oh Katie, it’s ok to feel like that. TBH I don’t know what me-time is but I do have that one hour lunch break at work that is kinda me time! Before I had my baby girl my me-time was Wednesdays every week where I would do what I want to do and rest up on my day off work. Now my days off work consists of baby girl -keeping her entertained and taking her out. It’s exausting but with the trouble we went through to have her, I wouldnt have it any other way.

    Enjoy your classes, you deserve it! Xx

  3. Beta Mummy says:

    Totally get this. As you know I’m a single mum too, but the difference I get alternate weekends to myself when the boys go to their dad’s. And god I need that time! It’s so easy to let yourself feel guilty for accepting help, but I have become a lot better at it since becoming a single mum. Remember: you can’t pour from an empty cup!
    Well done for acknowledging that and for making changes accordingly x

  4. Grim says:

    Mums and dads are people too! A thing many people seem to forget including the mums and dads themselves. Its always good to try to organise something just for yourself. Have a relative babysit and just do something, or nothing. Even a cinema trip by yourself is a welcome break. Go out for a drink once in a blue moon. You dont have to get hammered to the point your nursing a hangover the next day just enough to unwind and have a little fun.

    Never feel guilty about thinking about yourself. After all if you dont look after yourself how can you look after the little person that means the world to you.

  5. I totally understand this, I think most mums will. Although I’m not a single parent, for the majority of the year my husband works on a ship thousands of miles away and it can be completely overwhelming. I love my kids more than anything but sometimes I need some space to be me. Blogging has really helped me regain a part of myself and I’ve found getting up an hour before the kids (definitely not for everyone I know) gives me time to sit and relax and have a cup of tea in peace just be me for a while before the daily demands of being a parent kick in. Sometimes I’ll read a book, but lately I tend catch up on blog commenting. Well done for signing up to the exercise classes x
    #Ablogginggoodtime

  6. Juliet Evans says:

    It’s absolutely crucial to have this time and no reflection on how you feel about your daughter.
    I adore my kids but time away from them is time for me to recharge my batteries, do some adult stuff – shopping/exercise/catching up with friends, I come back to them better for it and happier. Motherhood is tough. Lonely, isolating and boring a lot of the time if we are honest!

  7. Ellen says:

    I love this – I’ve just written a post about this because I had my first night away recently. I am so lucky to be part of a parenting ‘team’ so I do get snippets of time most days and when I need to make appointments etc it’s easy enough to do. We also have family who are happy to have our little man occasionally so we can do things together. It makes such a difference – I know exactly what you mean about just being able to be you. I find even having an hour to myself to have a bath or a walk gives me such a boost and makes me calmer and happier as a parent – which can only be good for both of us. I hope you carry on doing your classes and finding time for yourself, you absolutely deserve it! #ablogginggoodtime

  8. I love my children so much but I relish the evenings when they have gone to bed and I can read or watch tv and RELAX #ablogginggoodtime

  9. Such a beautifully written post.
    Hugely relatable too, as my lot are getting older strangely although I’ve more time to myself I’m unsure what to do with it as I feel I’ve lost myself along the way a bit.
    Enjoy your gym class!!
    #ablogginggoodtime

  10. Oh Katie, I know the feeling – it can be so easy to lose yourself in motherhood that you forget how important it is to take time for yourself. I’m lucky that my husband gets that and encourages me to go out with friends or to a gym class every once in a while so I can get a bit of ‘me’ back. It’s so great that you have started those gym classes – even an hour or two to yourself a week can make a real difference. #ablogginggoodtime

  11. Lisa says:

    Im glad you are finding you again. Us mums do neglect ourselves a lot.
    Lovely post!
    Lx
    http://www.theworkingmummy.com/2017/04/kids-growing-up.html

  12. Awww, sweets. Totally normal feeling. I get fed up beyond my wildest dreams every damn day.

  13. This reminds me of the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup”—
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com
    #ablogginggoodtime

  14. Of course you need some time for yourself! Self-care is a vital part of parenting – it’s hard work and it’s important you don’t burn out.. You might like to try my #selfcare10 or to grab a free guide to a week of self-care. Look after yourself!
    #ablogginggoodtime

  15. I have always been a fitness fanatic and whilst having my babies I’ve trained at home. I can resonate with the feelings you describe though which is why I signed back up to my old gym, it makes me feel human again for a little while! #ablogginggoodtime

  16. Helen says:

    It’s so true – taking some time to yourself is vital in my opinion. Spending some time doing what YOU want to do can help in so many areas of life and children relish from having happy people around them 🙂 #ablogginggoodtime

  17. I can totally relate. I have no idea what happened to me. I guess this is me now. Glad you are finding you.
    #ablogginggoodtime

  18. This is such an honest post and sums up how we’ve all felt at some point. Having a child changes everything and we lose ourselves, we give up everything really, especially anything to do with ourselves. It all seems selfish and unnecessary compared to looking after our children 24/7, but as you’ve discovered, it’s so important. Time for us makes us healthier, happier people which in turn makes us better mothers. I need to be reminded still now to take time for myself and my eldest is 10 now. And when I do, I just feel a little more like me again. Thank you for sharing – it’s so good to hear such honesty as this as it makes us feel we’re not alone. #ablogginggoodtime

  19. Aleena says:

    Hear hear! It took me a long time to learn this lesson, but I think it’s great that you’ve accepted the importance of me time. A lot of the time it’s easier said than done (there’s 2 of us and it’s hard!) but it’s so important to try to carve it out. I always say We are better mums when we have had time to recharge. #ablogginggoodtime

  20. Nicola says:

    You absolutely need time for yourself especially as you’re doing this on your own! OMG I actually look forward to my weekly shop some weeks as I can go out on my own and wander around Aldi at a leisurely pace! Fab that you’re going to fitness classes, they’re a great way of meeting people too. When Alyssa starts pre-school and school you’ll probably find a whole new circle of friends and you know what? They will all be feeling just like you. Well done for recognising that you needed a change 🙂 #ablogginggoodtime

  21. Rebecca says:

    Oh my goodness I am so glad you have realised that is is OK to be yourself after having children and having YOU time is so so important! That is what my blog is all about if you care to have a read sometime… I would love to help1 You deserve to be happy too Mama!! <3 #ablogginggoodtime

  22. So important to have some time for yourself and I’m so glad that you’re finally getting it. I think a lot of mums end up reaching this point before they realise how important it is – I know I did, but the difference it makes to your sanity is immense. You are a wonderful mummy to Alyssa but you need to look after yourself too and have time to be Katie again – especially as you have lovely people around you who love Alyssa and will look after her for a while to give you that space x #ablogginggoodtime

  23. Stephanie says:

    Thank goodness for grandparents! I would never get alone time without them, and even having some time to myself, it’s hard to continue to remind yourself that you are your own person and you need to nurture that too. So important to come to this realization! I hope you continue to do things for yourself! #ablogginggoodtime

  24. It’s so important to take time for out just for you. We are busy with our wonderful children that often it’s hard to think about ourselves. You do an amazing job with your little one.

  25. The Pramshed says:

    Ah Katie I read this earlier this week on the train to work and it nearly made me cry. It’s so hard when we have a child, the old life, the old you, is put into the past, forgotten about. I know that I can resonate with how you felt when I had my daughter, but I wouldn’t change my life now. I think that as time goes on that feeling on a huge life upheaval slowly fades, and life as we know it now becomes the norm, but that’s not to say that we forget about life before a child. Claire x #ablogginggoodtime

  26. Jaki says:

    Yes, yes and yes. Whilst I’m not a single Mum, the majority of looking after and bringing up Little Man is done by me. Daddy works long hours & is at the gyms most evenings once little legs is in bed so I don’t actually have much ‘off duty’ time, so to speak. Even when he’s in bed I need to be alert, so there’s never much time to completely relax. You’ve made me realise how little I do for myself. I think I need to get on to this. 😏 thank you for sharing. #ablogginggoodtime

  27. This is so relatable. If it wasn’t for my mum I don’t know what I would have done. You’ll be okay eventually. x
    #ablogginggoodtime

  28. The level of change when a little one arrives is so huge. I’ve never felt such a big shift in what I do and who I am. Also important to try and find time for yourself as well if you can. #ablogginggoodtime

  29. Crummy Mummy says:

    I have an allotment I escape to and it definitely makes me a better mum – time there is a chance to get me back to me #ablogginggoodtime

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