Coffee date 1pm, its now 12:35pm and there I am, staring blankly into a bundle of scattered mess thrown across my bedroom floor, what the heck will I wear! Now I know I’m not the only girl who does meltdown mode 5 minutes before leaving the house. I get it, it’s what us girls do, however it was new to me and with life being anything less than one hundred miles per hour I didn’t have the time nor the energy to have meltdowns. I was already late!
There was a time where I loved all things fashion. This top with those jeans and if that didn’t work well of course I had five other prized tops awaiting my approval. It was hassle free. I knew what I liked and more importantly I knew what worked for me. In those days getting dressed was fun, I doted on Parisian style Pinterest boards. I had my own style, more classic than trend setter and I was confident, quietly confident wearing it. I invested time into the things I enjoyed, running, reading, fashion.
So what happened to her? I suppose I became a Mummy, which of course is my greatest achievement in life however Motherhood is a selfless life. My little guy is the centre of my universe, his happiness comes before anything. Overnight all of lives priorities changed and just like that I suppose I changed.
Change can be difficult especially teamed with perception, the unwanted perception of what life as a new mum should look like. The wonder of what we look like in the eyes of others, others being strangers of course. Oh and being categorised, that got me too… new mum, first time mum! When does the “new” drop off? Does that mean second time round, when I fall into another category the expectations differ, the perception is even greater?
Truth be told my attempt at the messy mum bun hasn’t improved. I have the most awful regrowth framing my pale tired face and don’t get me started on those dark circles under my eyes. My last attempt at shopping for a winter coat resulted in new kitchen tiles, because even the utility room needs dressed more than I do. And yes I fitted into my skinny jeans weeks after giving birth but did I wear them confidently, absolutely not, that took a lot longer than a few weeks.
There I was caught up worrying about the identity I had lost to appreciate the Mother I had become. That on its own wasn’t me. So I began to be a little kinder to myself. With all that love I carry around daily, surely I could give some to myself. I found the following shifted my energy to a nicer place.
Yoga, if you’ve never tried it, give it ago. I’m in no way a yogi guru however I do find even a 10 minute practice will shift your energy instantly. I love yoga in the morning and when I’m short on time, which is always, I practise breathing. A few minutes of less thinking and more feeling sets me up for the day. Don’t be fooled, there is no mood lighting, tranquil sounds and super trendy yoga pants. I often practice in my scruffs whilst Alfie throws building blocks at my head.
Add yourself to your to do list. Life is busy but take five minutes for you. I found I would freak out at the thought of treating myself. Oh the guilt if I took time out for a shower on my own. What have I done to deserve a treat! I no longer fuss over fresh nails or shopping sprees, these days a treat to me is finding half an hour to do something I love, not something I have to do. This morning I decided the washing can remain in the machine for half an hour whist I listened to, wait for it, hits from the 80’s and danced around the living room, because why not.
Take care of yourself. Oh how I sound like my Mother but it is so very true. I was forced to stop breastfeeding Alfie at around 5 months due to exhaustion. It was always going to be a tough decision to stop but a decision I would have made in my own time. I was physically exhausted, I couldn’t do it anymore, the decision was no longer mine to have. If only I had listened to my Mum. If only I had listened to my body. You’ve heard it before, you cannot pour from an empty glass. You have to nourish to flourish.
Surround yourself with the right people. No comparing, no competing. People you admire. People that are good for your soul. Your time is precious so invest it in those that are good for you.
And of course my moto in life, wake up with a grateful heart everyday. A quick reminder of everything you have to be grateful for works wonders.
I’m still working on my confidence but for reasons more fulfilling than seeking perceptions approval. I’ve come to remind myself that my energy introduces me when I walk into a room, not my appearance. The beauty in my world comes from the thoughts that fill my day and my love for my little one, being a mother on its own is the most beautiful possession in life. If a smile is the prettiest thing you can wear, a Mother’s smile, with a full heart and a happy baby, well that’s just beautiful.