In a recent post I talked about the reasons I think motherhood has made me a better person. Or why I love being a mum.
I’d like to think that I’m pretty much the same person I used to be before children came along, but I do know that parenthood changed me.
I changed mainly for the better, but there is, of course, a flip side to that coin. Becoming a mum is not always a bed of roses.
1. I am way too emotional.
I cry at everything. It’s really rather embarrassing because I used to be such a tough nut.
I was all ‘for goodness sake, why do mums weep when their children go to school? It’s not like they’re handing them over to bad people or anything’.
I even cried at the end of The Little Mermaid and had to pretend there was something vitally urgent going on in the kitchen so I could leave the living room and not let my little girl see I was turning into a blubbering mess because Ariel’s dad was letting her go to marry the man she loved.
I can no longer read details about child abuse in the press or on TV. If I hear a snipped, I have to put my fingers in my ears and ‘la la la la’.
I am not joking.
2. I neglect myself
My children have the coolest wardrobes by a long long mile.
I do not.
Sure I go out shopping with every intention of buying myself something fashionable, colourful, new. But I end up with a pair of boots for my daughter that she doesn’t need and a selection of tops for my son.
I convince myself that I need to put my children first, and there is plenty of time for me.
But that is just an excuse, I think. It’s easier to concentrate on them, much tougher to look inwardly at myself and have to deal with my appearance, my inner health, my peace of mind.
I look at photos of myself just before having children and I hardly recognise myself.
3. I put the children first before anything and everything else
This is my biggest fault.
I adore my children. I waited until my 30s to have them and becoming a mum, when I didn’t think I had it in me, was like a lightbulb moment.
And now, my life pretty much revolves around them. I feel the need to do my utmost to give them the upbringing they deserve.
Does this get in the way of time with my husband? Yes it does. Does this get in the way of spending time away from them? Yes it does.
I’m not so bad now they are older. But still, I have forged a path where they come before everything and everyone and I don’t think that’s particularly healthy.Would I change any of this? Yes, I think in an ideal world I probably would.
I took on the challenge of raising two children with open arms. I will do anything to make sure they have a safe, happy home and are given all the support they want or need as they grow up.
Becoming a mother transformed me. Children have a way of doing that; of making you feel like the first person to have a child ever; of making you feel like they are the centre of your universe; making you feel that heart wrenching tug of love when they smile or hug you or call your name.
But does this mean I can’t spend a Saturday afternoon in Zara buying myself a new outfit, or in a salon being pampered?
No, of course it doesn’t.
Does it mean hubby and I can’t be a ‘couple’ again and spend time without the children hanging off our legs?
No. And this is something I need to work on.