Amongst all of the life-changing, eye-twitching, sleep-deprived years of motherhood we find wonderful fragments of revelation and insight.. we are growing and changing too. I recently had my 10 year school reunion and felt overwhelmed seeing how much people can change in a decade! It’s ridiculous to ever think that kids won’t change you.. because life in itself, with all of it’s stages and curves, will do that anyway. But as well as the obvious physical changes you may have been prepared for after growing your tribe (hello deflated boobs and tiger stripe hips)… there are a multitude of personal revelations you may have..
- You are more stubborn than you thought
I apologise (but not really) to my little brother Tom who had to endure 45 minutes of toddler tantrums, reasoning, putting back in ‘the corner’ and me calmly/seething through gritted teeth explaining to my two year old why we don’t hit our uncles in the face and that she needed to say sorry. The whole drama was exhausting, loud and I can imagine painful to watch… but my absolute stubbornness prevailed!!! Yes! Mum for the win!
- You are more vulnerable than you thought
Note to self: Never ever ever watch ‘The Impossible’ when in those early, hormonal, newborn days!!! I actually now have to be very careful and strict with myself regarding the type of tv/news/movies I watch and even the articles I read. I’m a very visual and imaginative person and really struggle with distressing stories and images, particularly if it involves children. Mother protective mode is crazy strong and I’m pretty sure I could channel Liam Neeson if necessary.
- You have very particular vices
Bring me coffee in bed… in that new mug I bought… with that particular coffee and overpriced unhomogenised milk. While I put my hair in my morning (all-day) topknot, stretch and put my game face on… an olympic athlete has nothing on a mama’s ‘let’s survive the day’ morning routine. Oh and if you give me chocolate, it had better be from the freezer and if anyone buys the wrong toilet paper there will be proper tears.
- You can never be prepared for the guilt
All you can do is try to not let it overwhelm you. Arrive at the realisation that ‘Mama Guilt’ will try trip you up no matter what you’re doing. Visually snip it out of your thoughts or violently kick it in the gonads!
- Convenience becomes a dear friend
Only homegrown, organic vegetables in my baby’s puree’d food… Oh look Coles have 4 for $6 on baby food jars… and they’re organic! Let’s pick some up for ‘emergencies’. No ones fooled, every meal time constitutes an emergency in my books!
- Everyone’s pain is their own
We’ve all got our own demons, valleys and struggles… and they are all relative and relevant. Never ever EVER disregard someone else’s ‘tough times’ because its nothing compared to what you’ve gone through. And also don’t belittle your own struggles or tell yourself to toughen up! Let’s show our kids that it IS OK to be weak and vulnerable sometimes.
- It’s best to take each stage at a time
As a (happy) mother of two little girls one of the most common remarks strangers love to make is generally along the lines of… ‘oh they’re so cute now, just wait till their teenagers!’, ‘gosh two teenage girls will be a lot to handle’… and yes! I know what teenage girls can be like (I was one, and boy was I one) but whenever I try to comprehend the hurdles that stage will bring it’s like a part of my brain just shuts down, ‘nope, I’m out!’… This mama, for my own sake, will be taking this parenting gig one baby step at a time.
- You used to be cool…
Now you love watching Small Potatoes, sing songs about brushing your teeth and get more excited about new Bonds Zippy patterns than Paris Fashion Week. Nuff said!
- You can never stay angry long
The highs and lows throughout a single day are enough to make anyone seasick. I was one step away from lying down on the floor kicking and screaming at last night’s bed time… Evie just fought me every.step.of.the.way… but when finally in bed she asked me to sing ‘the rainbow song’ (Somewhere Over the Rainbow) to help Lola fall asleep and sung every line along with me… even dramatically singing the last line ‘why oh Why caaaaan’t IIIIIIIIIIIII’… oh good lordy I was silent crying ugly fat tears. In one innocent perfect moment she wrapped me right back around her little heart!
- You’re not the only one struggling
This is certainly one point I HOPE we can all learn as mamas. While we might be experts at making our lives look good from the outside… None of us are experts at this parenting deal! ‘Constantly learning’ I think is the key phrase! One in four Australian Mums will be diagnosed with postnatal depression and/or anxiety! Let alone all the ones who don’t seek the help! Let’s all meet in the place of knowing we can all be struggling (and loving it) together!
I feel like I know a lot more about myself now than ever before… having kids helped me ‘find myself’… saved myself a trip to India on that one!
What did you learn about yourself as a mama? Were you surprised at how much you cried? Proud of how much you’re come through? Were you prepared for all the guilt? Comment below and we can see how although each journey will be different, that there’s so many things that we all go through together!!
More about Elise
“Wife to someone ridiculously handsome. Mum to sassy, hilarious little Evie and gorgeous baby Lola. Past pro events planner who you now find in my loved escape of both exploring the inspiring and FUN world of kids interiors and fashion, while writing REAL, relatable and (hopefully) humorous posts on this incredible and overwhelming parenting gig!” @_baby_bean
Elise’s Website: babybean.co