I don’t really like to admit this but my go to answer when invited to do things is “oh I think I’m busy, sorry”. That sounds awful I know!! I’m talking about invitations from other mothers that can range from a cuppa at their house or a baby group, to a night out. It’s not because I don’t want to go and do those things or because I don’t like the people inviting me (usually it’s the complete opposite). Genuinely I just lack the confidence; since becoming a mother I have found that my confidence has plummeted, and that’s my confidence in myself as an individual person and myself as a mother. Which sounds ridiculous when I point out that I’ve being doing this ‘mother’ thing for almost 10 years; you’d think I would have found my stride but no!
Before I had children I knew exactly who I was, what I liked and what I stood for. Admittedly I did become a mummy at quite a young age so maybe it was the beautiful, brazen ignorance of youth but I certainly wasn’t worried about what anybody thought of me! Then along came my amazing Fin, who transformed my life in the best way; and along with all the love, all the possibility came a shit load of doubt. I had been given something so unbelievably precious, most of all to me and the responsibility to nurture this little life and introduce him to our world rested on my shoulders. What if I got it wrong? Combine that with the fact motherhood changes so much about you, in so many different ways that you can feel like you have completely lost all sense of ‘yourself’. What makes you, you? So many of my values, beliefs and opinions changed with motherhood and because it’s such a journey I have found the change a continual thing.
Motherhood tears you down physically and emotionally; the emotional and physical toll on the mother is huge. I found myself feeling totally lost and struggling, feeling as if I wanted to hide away from the rest of the world; much more so after my 3rd baby then I had with the previous 2. Yet ironically it’s at this time that we need the support of others, especially other mothers. Because they get it. We have all been there; when we feel incredibly low and totally inadequate, like we are getting it all wrong and constantly doubting ourselves. When you are trapped in your own little bubble filled with self-doubt it is all too easy to perceive other mums as doing a much better job than you and having it all under control. That’s definitely not the case!!
It is INCREDIBLE the difference a cuppa and a chat can make when you’re feeling over-whelmed, tired or lonely. And that’s been the thing I’ve found hardest since having baby no3 is that I get lonely, despite knowing a lot of other mums. So I have made myself get out of the house much more recently; for both my own and Archer’s sake I’ve said “yes” to invites from other mums. I still get nervous about taking Archer out, I worry that something will go wrong or a situation will arise and I won’t deal with it properly. This could be anything from him having a meltdown or hurting another child or even just a nappy explosion that I’m not prepared for. I’m scared I’m going to look like an incompetent mum and that other mothers will judge me or my child. But the truth is its ok for things to go wrong, the baby/toddler years are bloody hard work!! So we will encounter meltdowns, tantrums, nappy explosions we’re not prepared for! We will lose our tempers, our minds, our keys!! But hopefully we will all have another mum who completely understands to make us a cuppa, lend us a nappy and laugh/cry at it all alongside us.