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Motherhood really changes you.

by Caz on January 28, 2013 · 16 comments

Now this is probably not news to any of you who have a few little people tagging along wherever you go.  But just to clarify for those of you who don’t –  it really does.   Given the choice I wouldn’t change a thing about my beautiful trio of pinks but some days,  if I’m totally honest, my body looks and feels like it’s run non-stop  up Mt Everest every day for the past eight years.  (No, that’s probably not the right analogy,  if I’d done that I’d be super fit and fine – as well as tired beyond measure.)

Motherhood is exhausting and self-deprecating work that takes every inch of energy you have – and then just a little bit more.  After a few years all of your good intentions and motivation get sucked up and you’re left in  a raw uncharted place that you have to navigate without the benefit of sleep, patience or that elusive energy.    Being there changes you.   You become  more resourceful and wiser but you also feel  your patience slowly drain away as the tiredness burrows into your soul.

But on the positive side how amazing is it being a mum?  I cannot imagine any other thing in the world giving me the joy or heart exploding love that motherhood has.   It’s a happy drug beyond measure and I couldn’t give up – ever.   Not even for a return to my pre-baby body and all the energy in the world.  Talk about a paradox!   My heart thrills in being a mum even though my mind and body struggle to deal with the constant onslaught it brings.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this crazy paradox today because I’m about to be faced with the breath-taking experience of fifteen hours a week of time to myself.  My little is off to four-year-old kindergarten in a few days and for the first time in eight and a half years I’ll be able to depend on regular alone time.  As a self-confessed introvert, who gets her energy from being alone, this is powerful and heady stuff.  This worn down woman, who feels and looks very like the Valveteen Rabbit, is being handed an enormous gift and frankly its making me feel a bit nervous. (Happy, but nervous.)

From reading this you may already have picked up that my natural inclination maybe a little on the side of the Queen on the Martyrs.   (I struggle with that side of my personality - but it’s there and I have to embrace it.)  Over the years I’ve probably drawn far too much from  this  when it comes to parenting.  I’ve lived  outside of the realm of respecting my own needs and expected far to much of myself.   And the kids, being kids, have lapped up every little bit I’ve offered and still come bounding back to ask for more.   It never fails to amaze me how clearly I can see this now that my years of being a stay-at-home-mum with my littles underfoot is drawing to a close!

I regret nothing of my time at home with my kids, I know they’ve had a great start to life,  but if I had to re-live it I’d learn to look after myself better.   It’s just the wise thing to do.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carly Wilson February 2, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Well said!

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2 Caz February 3, 2013 at 6:04 am

Thanks Carly :)
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3 Tina Gray February 1, 2013 at 9:40 am

Great post, Caz. And I hear you. I should have taken better care of myself back then too. Loving Shayne’s suggestions up there ^^ :)
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4 Caz February 3, 2013 at 6:03 am

Have decided to make Shaynes list my term on Bucket List Tina :)
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5 Shayne D February 1, 2013 at 7:12 am

Here Caz, let me help you get started with your free time “To Do” list…..

1. Read – all those books you haven’t had time for in the past 8 years
2. Afternoon Naps – bliss
3. Coffee with friends
4. Movies with friends
5. Scrapbooking (or whatever hobby takes your fancy)
6. Pedicure (even if it’s only once a year it really makes you feel fabulous)
7. Enjoy the serenity!

P.S. It’s the 3rd day back at school for my two and I am already up to Number 4 on my list!

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6 Caz February 3, 2013 at 6:03 am

Hahahaha – you are too funny Shayne! But seriously they seem like some good quality suggestions. I’ve never had a pedi – but would so love to :) Might steal your list and make it my term one bucket list.
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7 Sonia Life Love Hiccups January 31, 2013 at 8:31 am

Caz I hope this time gives you the opportunity to do some amazing things for yourself. You deserve it hun. You have nutured those gorgeous kids to a point that they are now testing their wings. Enjoy yourself lovely xx

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8 Caz January 31, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Thanks Sonia :) Hope so too!!
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9 Kate January 30, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Caz I hear you – I am in exactly the same spot myself… my youngest is starting 4 year old on Monday and I will have 24 hours a week while he is a kinder… I wish I could stay home and motivate myself through my ridiculously long list of projects and jobs – but I think I will be venturing back into the work force… which is almost as terrifying as having 24 hours alone at home!! I am sure once it’s begun I will enjoy the new rhythm – but also part of me is mourning the end of this amazing (mind numbing and exhausting too) phase of my life. (FYI last year he had 12 hours a week of kinder and I really didn’t achieve very much – managed to fit in a few things for me, trips to supermarket, chores and then it was pick up time.. don’t be surprised if your child free time flashes by!)
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10 Caz January 31, 2013 at 6:01 am

Hmmm – I bet you are right on the flashes of time. I know the school days go fast. I had 2.5 hours a week last year – and that was just about time to do the weekly shopping. Good luck with your return to work. I’ll have to think about that one too next year. Hey, just visted your blog. My littlest used to say ‘meetoo’ all the time!!!
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11 Dorothy January 30, 2013 at 7:59 pm

I was forced to learn ways of looking after myself quite early in my motherhood journey when I was diagnosed with PND. As life unfolded since then, I’ve been forced to learn this again and again, often after quite traumatic experiences. Even though I wouldn’t wish those experiences on anyone, I think this has made me a better, more balanced parent than I otherwise would have been. I now look after my needs first, because I have no other option, there is no fall back position, if I fall down, there is no-one else.

I look forward to getting to know the “new” Caz :-)
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12 Caz January 30, 2013 at 8:07 pm

So true :) As I was writing this I was thinking about what the air host/tesses say. Put on your own gas mask first because you can’t help your child if you can’t help yourself. See you for coffee tomorrow.
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13 Alison January 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Great post :-) xo

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14 Caz January 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Thanks Alison :)
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15 mumabulous January 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm

I hope you get the opportunity to have a bit of a break and enjoy yourself. Recharge the batteries before you throw yourself into the next project.
Wishing you all the best of luck with this new phase in your family life.
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16 Caz January 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Hey Mumabulous. Sounds like you know me too well already. I have to keep talking myself out of getting busy straight away and making sure I just spend some time winding down :)
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