At story of mum this month, the subject is remembering your identity. Other than being a Mum, what or rather who, are you? As being a parent is such a consuming task, with every decision being made around someone else, it is hard to remember who we actually are.
I was asked what I like to do in my spare time the other day. Firstly, I thought "Ha, spare time?! If only!" Then I thought about it more seriously. What do I like to do? If I had a whole day to myself, what would I spend it doing? The answer? I have absolutely no idea.
I am so entrenched in my daily trundle, that it takes an enormous effort to think outside the rut. It's hardly likely to happen anyway so why waste time thinking about it when I could be deliberating on what to have for tea....
My life before kids was taken up with horses. Every waking moment was spent with them, reading about them or watching them on tv. I knew roughly what every day would involve and bounced out of bed with excitement each morning. I LOVED it, every second of it.
Then my first little man came along and turned my world upside down. During his first few years I gradually said goodbye to my previous horse addicted lifestyle and concentrated on him. Why? If you have ever had an all immersing passion you will know how hard it is to only do it part time. It made me feel frustrated and a little resentful of his father. I couldn't be a good Mum thinking that way so I sold my beautiful dream horse and didn't look back.
I now have 3 gorgeous boys, whom I love very much. Between them they have taught me about unconditional love, patience beyond possibility, how long my tether is, that I have the strength to keep going in impossible circumstances and a fierce need to protect them from all that may harm them in this world. I have also learnt how to give them the space they need to grow and find themselves. For all these things, I will be forever grateful to them.
In becoming a Mum, I have gradually lost my identity. The title of this post stumped me for quite a while. The first word that sprang to mind was Mess. I didn't want to put that but it's all I can think of as that's how I feel at the moment.
I was running an Equestrian Center at a 5 Star Country House Hotel when I was 22. Now I can't run a family breakfast table without a huge fallout. I forget what I'm saying halfway through a sentence. My house is a constant tip. I am permanently shattered. I have been in the depths of depression. I have only a couple of friends I can turn to. I don't remember what I used to do for fun as I don't get time anymore. I am drafting this on my phone with one son hanging on my trouser leg, restraining one about to dive headfirst off the chair, while the other is busy being cool texting and watching Cbeebies!?
My life has become a single handed juggle of necessities. Where am I? In the thick of it making sure they are all where they need to be, at the time they have to be there, with all the things they need with them.
My next journey is one of discovery that I'm very excited about. I am off to find ME!
Not the old me though, I think she has long gone. The new me isn't going to worry so much about what other people think. She will keep a little time back for herself each day and fill those minutes with things that make her happy, rather than everyone else.
The new me is going to try all the things she said she would do but hasn't got round to yet. She is going to look after herself better so (ironically) she can be the happy, fun Mum she wants to be.
The new me has plans, lots of 'em, so watch this space!
This month we’re sharing self-portraits that complete the sentence “I’m a Mum and a…” What’s the first word that comes into your head? Write it on a piece of paper and take a photo of you holding it up. You can see what other mums have told us about their identities and share your photo here.
For more posts on motherhood and identity, try