Thursday, 5 May 2011

In which the secrets of Motherhood are revealed - Part 4: Loss

Judgement - check
Confidence - check
Darkness - check


(more personal today - hence more I - less you)

One of the many aspects of Motherhood that only really hit home AFTER baby arrives is the sense of loss.

It sounds terribly selfish, I know. But you do lose a lot and many mothers only focus on the gains, leaving mothers who are feeling the loss - feeling guilty.

The first loss you will encounter is the loss of your physical privacy - from the first ultrasound, through the delivery (have I ever told you the story of the orderly coming to ask me if I wanted dinner as they were shoving the forceps up there to drag Monkey into this world?) through to breast feeding in public, to toddlers poking your tummy or yelling that your bum is big in the middle of the mall.

By the time Monkey was about 6 weeks old I had such sympathy for dairy cows... I was touched out. I assume bottle feeding mums feel the same way - the constant sticky baby hands everywhere, carrying them etc. But you take that loss and realise how much you are gaining and how much baby is gaining from the physical touching.

The next loss is sleep. I don't need to say any more. Even the mums with the BEST sleepers in world, lose sleep. I don't have a good sleeper and I would give my left arm for a decent weekend of sleep - just 48 hours and I will be 100% more me.

The loss of spontaneity - no more "just going for a walk/coffee/catch up" There is always that other helpless person to consider. Bags need to be packed. Supplies gathered. Plans of action devised. Our first walk to the park 15 metres from our house took 57 minutes to arrange. We were out for 10 minutes!!

It's getting better now, but there is still that lack of taking a weekend in the country B'n'B. Or popping out for a meal - babysitters need some notice and 5* restaurants don't really cater for 3 year olds who only want noo-noos (noodles) and chickpea curry!

The loss of time - No matter how well you plan your day, you will not get everything done. I can remember the days when I thought I was a superhero for getting a shower, washing my hair and making dinner in the 9 hours I was home alone with Monkey.

Time for yourself, time for your partner and your friends and family.

The time to read more than the readers digest version of news and articles, time to blog in more detail (this blog post has taken three days to write), time to see movies before they are on DVD....

The loss of "insert own name here": This is the hardest one. I am still me but part of me is missing. I assume all mothers feel like this. I love who I am now but I pine for that little something that made me more ME... (soundtrack here)

I admit I miss swearing - I am proud of my potty mouth. I didn't overuse the words but now I hardly use the words.  Case in  point - burnt my finger badly on the stove and yelled "holy heck that hurt!" The old me would have yelled "Shitting shit-baskets!" I am pretty sure my finger hurt more because of my namby pamby expression of pain!

I miss being the person who could go out at night with friends without having to work around a toddlers schedule, Stud1's work schedule and babysitters...

I miss having interesting things to say at dinner parties. I worked with Special Needs kids and my gosh they are funny and the anecdotes I had were awesome! Now I am that woman who only talks about kids or kid related stuff. I miss having an opinion on things. Having time to form an opinion. 

Having a career.

Having spare cash.

Having an independent income.

All this said and done, I can take these losses. I can live with them. I just need to know I am not the only one feeling them. I need to know that life is not always a bed of roses. Do you feel this way too? Or am I just selfish, self-absorbed or missing the point?

I promise that tomorrow's post on Motherhood will be upbeat. I have one joyous secret of Motherhood to share that trumps the last four!


  1. This is brilliant! All this weeks posts are!

    The first year of motherhood I felt extremely resentful. It took me a year to come full circle and fully embrace motherhood.

    As time has gone by I've found it so much easier to surrender to parenthood fully, focus more on the up sides and let the resentments go, knowing, eventually I'll have time for 5 star restaurants & all that jazz - and I'll be looking back at these tender years, forgetting the exhaustion and all encompassing demands on my time, through wistful, rose-tinted glasses.

    Blogging is my sanity saver and I can't wait to meet you in person soon!

  2. You are definitely not alone in these feelings my dear! I (and most of the others mums I know have/do feel this way). The biggest one that stood out for me where not being able to just go and do stuff. As Neo got older it obviously got easier! I had forgotten about it..untill Little reminded me!. I think I have come full circle now (like Sarah). Of course I could still do with more sleep. But admittedly...I was like that PRE children anyway...(used to sleep minimum 12 hours). So I have surrended to the fact that they will be keeping me awake at night for the rest of my life..if not because they had "snot mummy" or need a feed...but because they have had to much to drink and can't get home and need a ride. These years flutter by so quickly, I have decided to try and embrace even the less than desirable bits and take then as they are. A part of being a mum. And being a Mum rocks.


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