How am I feeling a year on?
So I thought I’d give you all an update of where I am and how I’m feeling right now.
I’m just over a year post baby number two. It’s not been a plain sailing year. Plus it’s been super busy.
Thankfully nothing horrific has happened but it’s been both physically and mentally tough (and I’m sure the struggles will continue for many years to come but just change to new ones!)
I have juggled an active and boisterous 3-4year old who has been pushing the boundaries daily alongside an unsettled baby who spent the first 8months of her life basically crying day and night due to tummy pains.
Little Elsie refused to accept a bottle both of expressed and formula milk for over 6months, which meant only I could nurse her and only I could actually settle her. This is something I found hard. Really hard. She would feed every hour or two, which meant I basically couldn’t ‘escape’ or leave her with anyone else.
Coupled with this unexpected mentally bumpy start I was also physically repairing my own typically sore and birth traumatised body with a diastasis to close, a weak pelvic floor to strengthen, a rather large and uncomfortable perineal tear to heal and a slight prolapse to sort.
That all took time, a lot longer in fact than I was expecting. But now I finally feel like I have returned to some sort of physical level of ‘normal’ again.
Alongside these fairly typical new mum things, in the last 12 months I’ve also done up and sold my house. I’ve launched my new online coaching business. Studied and got a further certification to add to my pre and post natal coaching qualification. My father was very poorly last summer for several months. I’ve supported my husband so he can train and compete in his kickboxing (he has had his best year to boot there!). Plus the usual running of the house (no cleaners or gardeners etc here unfortunately!) and returning to my optometry role 2 days per week when Elsie was 6months old.
How do I look a year post baby? Well, different.
I’m not as lean as previously, in fact I am nowhere near as lean as I once was. And this is OK. I’m getting stronger and faster. Plus I’m not putting my self worth in terms of a number on the scales. Sometimes, survival for me means eating chocolate, and sometimes lots of it!!!
I am totally aware that many mums feel the need to compare themselves against others. I see it with my friends and clients. Who’s lost the baby weight, who looks like they haven’t even had a baby at all. Ladies ladies ladies, this is just not necessary!
We are all on our own journeys and we all have different circumstances. If you looked like a model before and you had a straightforward birth and an easy going baby and have child care available then yes you may be rocking the hot pants within weeks or months afterwards. Great! But this isn’t the ‘norm’. Softer tummies, extra cellulite, tired skin, dark circles, these are often the norm and are perfectly acceptable and don’t make you any less of a mum, wife or woman.
I’ve just had my first night away from my two children and I think it did me some good! I found a bit of ‘Mim’ back. Not just the ‘Mum’ I’ve been for so long now.
I am very happy being a mum, don’t get me wrong. It’s hard – mentally hard, and physically tiring. But I have finally been able to get snippets of time back on my own without a clingy baby or a toddler desperate for my attention and I really feel like I’m beginning to find a bit of ‘me’ again.
Roll on the summer!