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I can't seem to let go of my pre-child past

(16 Posts)
800msprint Thu 28-Mar-19 12:38:45

It's a funny feeling. I feel almost bereft but it's been 5 years now. Surely I should be feeling normal again! I can't seem to shake off this weird feeling of nostalgia and missing my life before children.

It's not been helped by the fact that we moved from my beloved N London out into home counties just before I gave birth, then I took redundancy from my job after my second child, so I feel a world away from all that.

I look back and I loved my life, but you never see that do you? I had great friends in London too.

I now feel like everyone has moved on but me. I haven't put down roots or made close friends where I am partly because I keep wanting it all to be like how it was. How can I get a grip, start living in the here and now and enjoying this precious life?! I have two lovely children and I don't want to keep feeling like I want to go back to my old life!!

BlueSkiesLies Thu 28-Mar-19 12:41:28

What about going back to work?

Rediscover a bit of time for your self being a person in your own right not just a mum in the home counties.

Go to the gym at lunch, meet friends sometimes after work for dinner/drinks in central london, progress at work and feel a sense of self worth there.

Amongstthetallgrass Thu 28-Mar-19 12:43:21

Can’t you move back to London?

I miss my independence. Being a SAHM is not for me but child care was too expensive. I’m aiming to be in work by this summer and just take the hit sad

Do you go baby groups? I made a new set of friends through them.

However my friend is in the other side - most of us can’t do nights out and are all familied up so she struggles on that level.

Hearhere Thu 28-Mar-19 12:44:18

I'm in my fifties and I still mourn those far-off carefree days
C'est la vie

jameswong Thu 28-Mar-19 12:46:53

I recently had a son and am feeling the same thing....this post hasn't cheered me up much!

I'd suggest getting into exercise. Either the gym for all round fitness, or preferably something more like a hobby like yoga, running or swimming. It will be hard at first but you will make progress over time. As you get better at it, it will become part of your identity and give you a shared interest with others. Also, as it's healthy and wholesome, you can do it "guilt free" in terms of justifying it (in your own head) as valuable time away from the family.

whiteroseredrose Thu 28-Mar-19 12:54:05

Instead of being nostalgic for a past that no longer exists why don't you think about the good things that you have now.

Things change and you have to grow up and get used to that.

Enjoy what you have now. I'm sure that in 20 years when you're back on the hamster wheel you'll look back and be nostalgic about your DC's childhood.

No point in mourning the past. That way madness lies. Crack on and appreciate the present.

thecatsthecats Thu 28-Mar-19 13:09:42

If it helps, I'm 30, kid free, and my former life just sounds exhausting. DH and I have changed our habits pre-kids, and when we attempt to do what we used to, we found our approach a lot more pared back than it used to be. He even skipped his favourite club on his stag night.

drogon1 Thu 28-Mar-19 13:40:10

Well I'm only 5 months in and I feel like this, I just assumed I'd eventually learn to adapt in the near future. Reading this I'm not so sure!

You definitely need to start making a bit more time for yourself, even just a couple of hours a week if you can. Like other posters have suggested maybe arrange to go into London for a night and reconnect with your friends if your OH can have the kids. I'm not saying go out on the piss every weekend but definitely try and get out more. You don't need to be a martyr to motherhood and some time for you will help you be a happier mummy in the long run and appreciate what you have at home.

Also what about a part time job if you don't want to get back into full time employment? It will help you get a bit more independence back x

MarshaBradyo Thu 28-Mar-19 13:41:53

How much does leaving London factor in it? What if you moved back

Cornishmumofone Thu 28-Mar-19 14:02:47

I get what you're saying. I have a 2.5 year old and resent having her as there's nothing to look forward to in life any more. I spork 8-6 and spend every evening trying to get her to go to sleep. I have no social life and my hobbies are non existent. I desperately want to go back to doing triathlons, but it's just not possible, so I feel bitter, sad and depressed. Everyone says it will get better, but when?! I can't live like this for several more years.

Pleasehelpimfreakingout Thu 28-Mar-19 14:12:20

I get this, I really do. I have an18 month old. I always get nostalgic for the old days, I wish I could go back. If I go to a pub that we used to frequent, I'm a little bit sad because i remember a time when there were 10, 15 of us in there having an amazing night.

Someone older and wiser once says it would be a bit sad if I was still going out doing the same things in my late thirties, early forties...while everyone else had moved on. And it's true! None of my friends are now doing what they used to. I want everything to stay the same forever, but that's not going to happen, so I remind myself how lucky I am to gave got myself a ticket out of there, rather than being left behind.

If you're mourning the lazy weekends and coffee in bed... cant help you I'm afraid grin I feel I will never get over the loss of my self indulgent, slow, carefree life!

mummymeister Thu 28-Mar-19 14:20:19

well unfortunately this is what happens when you have children to a greater or lesser extent. you do give up your old life. you cant be selfish any more and you have to take on and do stuff that is a bit shit.

you made a lot of changes all at the same time. changes that you weren't obviously that committed to and felt you had to do them out of sense of duty rather than because you wanted to.

I think you have to revisit each one of the changes and work out if for example you could move back to London. but honestly even if you do move back to the same house in the same street your life wont ever go back to what it was exactly because you now have a child.

I think you should really concentrate on filling in the gaps in your life where you are. it takes time and effort but the sooner you start the sooner you can develop that social life and work life again - but it will always be different.

Cornishmum - your post made me feel really, really sad. did you not realise that having a child meant things changed?

do you have any family or friends that could look after your child whilst you do your hobby.

NoNoNoOohmaybe Thu 28-Mar-19 14:58:41

Mummymeister I'm sure you didn't mean to but you came off quite judgemental to Cornish. I'm sure she did anticipate things to change but I'm sure no one expects that at 2.5 they wouldn't get anytime to themselves.

It is hard. Mine are 3 and despite working since they were 1 and always making time to see friends etc it's only just now that I'm able to feel a bit more like me again, I wonder if some of it is the complete role change and processing that in your sense of self? Sorry that sounded wanky but I'm struggling to explain myself!

800msprint Fri 29-Mar-19 17:38:29

Thanks all. I am back at work, in a different capacity. I work at home now which is lovely but I wonder if actually I need some adult company and to be talking about things other than kids.

I love my kids of course I do but I'm not a mummy mum iyswim - I felt so out of my depth at baby groups and talking all the baby chat (though I'm sure if I hadn't been deep in pnd and tried a little harder I would have found a lot of other mums feel the same)

Yes moving back to London might help, but it might not. We may do that I guess as I just can't see myself here when kids are older. But then, son is now at school, all the hassle of moving, not sure if husband can face it.

Yes think I need to just appreciate what I have and be more in the present. I think I'll sort out a few girls nights out and maybe think about going back to work in London.

Tobebythesea Fri 29-Mar-19 18:29:02

I miss my old life too 3 years later. I also moved from N London out to the suburbs. I changed my full time Central London job to a part time local one as well. Man I miss it.

Having said that, my old life and friends as I knew it no longer exist. ALL my friends have moved out of London and started families. Just miss being care free and having fewer responsibilities...and sleep.

Ellapaella Fri 29-Mar-19 18:42:29

I have three DC, 4,8 and 16. I was only 22 when I had my first so I can't pretend I had much of a life before children because I didn't have the lazy lie ins and child free weekends and holidays that many of my friends had in their 20's.
I did miss the days of going out partying with my friends until the small hours and missed not having to have the burden of worrying about anyone or anything but myself. Having children really does fundamentally change us forever and eventually we kind of lose ourselves and the person we used to be somewhere in the midst of busy lives as parents, always putting someone else's needs first.
What I will say is it does get better. Once your children are not so little anymore you will get more independence back and start rediscovering yourself. You will have more time for yourself and you will start to find you don't always have to be doing things that revolve around the kids. You will then miss the days of them being small and look back at them with rose tinted glasses and feel sad it's past by so quickly!
I found that work was my saviour - I only work three days a week but remaining competitive at work has always helped to not lose track of who I perceive myself to be. Keeping up a good circle of female friends that you see regularly outside the family is also a good idea. Have some weekends away planned with friends if possible, I will have 3 or 4 weekends away a year. It all helps to maintain a sense of identity other than 'mother' and 'wife' (which aren't bad things obviously but there is more to all of us than that).

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