From the second you give life to your precious baby, every moment of your existence centres around those tiny hands, those delicious feet, those adorable gurgly noises (that incredible baby smell). It’s unlike anything else. It’s empowering. It’s intoxicating. It’s all-consuming. But in the constant pursuit to satisfy your precious baby’s needs, wants and feelings, it’s easy to forget about your own. What do you need (besides one uninterrupted sleep)? What do you want (besides cocktails poolside in Hawaii)? What do you feel (besides complete and utter exhaustion)?
And if you’re anything like me, it’s not long until you start to ask yourself, Why don’t I feel like Me anymore? Have I changed? Where did the old Me go? Hang on a sec, I don’t even know who ‘Me’ is? Is ‘Mummy Me’ the new Me?
Can’t be. Mummy Me doesn’t do things the way the Old Me would…
Mummy Me does anything to avoid a playdate in her once-perfect home. Mummy Me has zero patience for playing imaginary games with her toddler but performs Let It Go as Queen Elsa with gritted teeth while hoping the baby doesn’t slip from her breast. Mummy Me cooks the same basic meals for her impossibly fussy eaters in the fastest way possible while scribbling down the homework that’s due tomorrow. Mummy Me hides in the bathroom simply to catch her breath and realises that she’s talking to herself and it’s the sanest part of her day. Mummy Me gets totally overcome by it all and starts to feel hopelessly lost…
What is happening? This chick is nothing like
I am, was… I mean, thought I’d be…
Suddenly, Mummy Me finds she isn’t Queen Elsa anymore, she’s a timid, confused Snow White. She’s frightened and alone, running deeper into the Enchanted Forest. In her frenzied dash to find the solution to her identity crisis she stumbles over days-old washing and falls to the floor (where are the Seven Dwarfs when you need them?). Someone calls out her name. She looks up and sees that it’s not the Huntsman tracking her down to cut out her heart and bring it back to the evil Queen! It’s the innocent, hopeful and unwavering eyes of her kids. Staring at her.
Then something magic happens. Everything Mummy Me is searching for is staring straight back at her. In the pure little faces of her babies she sees everything she was and everything she is becoming:
A Girl. A Woman. A Mummy. A Fearless Goddamn Heroine.
Disney princesses aside, here’s to looking at you, my darling kids. Despite the toughest days, the most sleepless nights and the worst laundry piles in existence, the ME that I am right now is exactly the one I want to be. Holidays will come. I’ll eventually get some sleep (even if I’m 50). But in the meantime you will continue to teach me more about myself than I could hope to learn anywhere else. And for that I am the luckiest person ever.