Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Now and then.

Six months ago I thought I'd never feel happy. Six months ago I didn't want to get out of bed to face another day of failing my children. We had just moved from a three bed house to a two bed flat at a time when we really needed more space, not less. My c-section stitches were healed but I was still sore. My hips were constantly painful after a pregnancy with horrific SPD. We still weren't getting much sleep with a tiny baby and the toddler had started waking a lot at night with the confusion of everything that was going on.

This blog was just a baby too - I'd started it to fill my family in on what we were doing and to use as a space to empty my head every day, ramble on about things I cared about, show off my babies and to reach out to people to tell them how I felt. Some days that was bouncing with joy, some days it was exhausted, some days it was utterly, utterly blue. 

Six months ago I was trying to work out how to turn my blogging, writing and guest blogging into a career. I was trying to work out how to find a way to get a job, not immediately but at some point, that would pay enough to make it worthwhile after childcare costs for two children under fifteen-free-hours-a-week age. I was convinced that I would never be anything other than a full time Mummy, that I would never matter to anyone, that I would just be a piece of lumpy, shapeless furniture for the rest of my life.

As a teenager I never looked ahead and saw myself with children. I looked ahead and saw myself in sharp suits, high heels, red lipstick and razor sharp hairdos. I saw myself as a professional of some type - a business woman. My own Mum and her Mum before her had set me an example I hoped not only to live up to, but to top; I wanted them to be as proud of me as I was them.

But six months ago...I was nothing. 

I know being a Mum and a wife is magical and that some people dream of that; I know I seemed, seem, ungrateful for that gift - but I also know I was letting my children, and myself, down by not being the best version of me that I could be, and by not being happy. Whatever you do in life you have to be enjoying it - or there's no point. To be a good Mummy it doesn't matter whether you're full time at home, work part time, work full time, study - none of that is what makes you good; being happy with your situation is what makes you a good Mummy. 

I love my boys more than I have words for - but six months ago I wasn't happy with my situation. Not because I don't love them enough - though I worry that's what they might think, or what other people might think. 

Now? Now I am so happy with my situation - and now I can give my boys the life I dreamed of for them.

Now I have a job - it's probably more hours away from the house than I planned - I miss my boys - but I think, for now, that's a good thing. I needed to miss my boys, I needed to want to rush home to them, to burst in and sit right on the floor and wrap my arms around them and just hold them. I needed to want to read them stories, not be bored of it. I needed to want to get out of bed and sit and play and get them dressed and fed, and not just think it was a chore. I needed to look forward to the weekend, to being home for two full days with my husband and my boys and two FULL DAYS to do whatever we liked it - because we just have two days, we make the most of them. We go out, we make a THING of them. We rarely did that before because I didn't make enough effort.

Some Mums are amazing at being full time Mums. Some Mums keep every day magical, special, busy and full of activities and groups and excitement. Some Mums are superhuman.

I'm not. I got to a point, a few months after Midget Gem was born, where I didn't even feel human. 

Then I told someone I felt that way.

Then I blogged that I felt that way.

Then I got some help. Then I felt a little better. Then I wanted to feel better still. I wanted to feel great. 

Wanting to feel great meant I worked harder at building what I'd done on a small scale into a significant thing - and that meant I was more than 'just Mummy' and I felt better.

That meant I got a job. That means I can support my family. That means I can clear my debts and remove the suffocating weight of financial strain. That means I can buy my children and family and friends Christmas presents, like a real human being. That means I can start to put money aside for special things like holidays and saving-like-a-grown-up. It means that I am using the degree I thought I'd never use. It means that for the first time since I was pregnant with Jellybean my husband isn't solely responsible for supporting us. It means that the pressure is off him to provide everything, and the guilt is off me for being a parasite. 

It means that I can teach my boys that in order to get anything you want you have to work for it and earn it - and that I can teach them the value of what we have.

It means I can buy new shoes.

It means that I miss them, I miss them so, so much - but I come home feeling good about myself and desperately wanting to make the most of the time between arriving home and tucking them into bed, to make the most of the TWO FULL DAYS that finish each week in one another's company. 

I know what works for me doesn't work for everyone - but it really works for me. 

Six months ago I was drowning. Now I'm walking on air. 

Britmums are running the 'nablopomo' - national blog posting month - and since I always fail to complete Nanowrimo I thought I'd give this a shot instead. I'm much more likely to post a blog than write a novel, after all. If you want to join in follow the badge and get posting. 


  1. What a great post and a generous way to start by letting us in on the story so far. I sat up til midnight last night debating so many of these thorny issues with a great mate who was sinking under all the mum pressure. The only way is the way that makes you happy, because happy mum = happy kids. Like you the last six months has made a huge difference to me too. Look forward to more posts.

  2. Love your blog, I think we are quite similar in a lot of ways. I think you are doing a great job and I really look up to you and Alex as parents. Be proud of yourself :)

  3. Thank you both; it's good to look back sometimes and see how different things can feel in such a short space of time.

  4. You fully deserve all the great things that have happened to you! x

  5. Beth @plasticrosaries2 November 2011 at 17:10

    I love this blog post and everything about your blog.
    You know this anyway but I'm so glad you're about and I've had the chance to get to know you a bit over the last few months and am so happy things have turned out so awesomely for you!
    Beth ;)

  6. You are both revoltingly lovely - thank you <3

  7. wowza.. I LOVE this post!! Its so similar to the one I wrote this week about 'what i want to be when I grow up!' I hope in 6 months time I too feel like I'm no longer drowning :) So happy I found your awesome blog. mwah xx

  8. I am proud of you! Just thought I'd tell you for once :-x

  9. Thank you Kerry - I saw your post just after I posted this one; is it a chip shop, is it a chicken shop - who even knows?! Good luck with whatever you begin next - I hope you hit the jackpot!

    Poppa, thank you <3 I love you heaps and heaps

  10. I loved reading this, what a great post. You need to be very proud of yourself for recognizing what you needed to be happy and achieving it, and your family will be proud of you too.


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