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Balance of being mum and being yourself?

(19 Posts)
littleraysofsunshine Tue 03-Feb-15 21:35:12

How do you keep a balance without losing yourself, your relationship? Still feel like you other than a mummy?

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Tue 03-Feb-15 21:36:40

That's a really difficult question, and I think it depends in large part how old your child is/children are.

Suzietwo Tue 03-Feb-15 21:39:36

Be yourself with your kids?

littleraysofsunshine Tue 03-Feb-15 21:54:22

As in, finding t hard to switch mum mode off, not necessarily off but remember that you are you too.

For example: time wih your partner, friends, alone.

littleraysofsunshine Tue 03-Feb-15 21:54:45

Mine are 4,2.5, & 1.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Tue 03-Feb-15 21:57:00

I'm guessing you have a baby then?

If you have a young baby, particularly your first, I think it's quite common to feel that has consumed you in the early months. Particularly if you bf and are more physically tied to them along with everything else.

That does get easier as they are easier to leave. Then things like returning to work (if you do), finding a new rhythm to life (if you don't), finding it easier to go out in the evening, even losing baby weight and your body healing and feeling more your own helps you start to has motherhood be a part of who you are, not all of who you are, if that makes sense.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Tue 03-Feb-15 21:57:37

Ah, sorry. Cross post.

Are you a SAHM? I am at the moment

littleraysofsunshine Tue 03-Feb-15 22:06:26

I am. I work when I can but it's freelance. But 99% at home

rosiegal Tue 03-Feb-15 22:08:37

That's something I've wondered myself and ds is only 4 months. I've only got the one so hats off to you with 4 sunshine I sometimes worry that I'm being selfish by still wanting to be me, rather than just someones mum, someones partner etc but. Do you have family who are willing/able to help out? DH/DP who can take charge while you catch up with friends for a coffee or just have some alone time? I have a mix of girlfriends with/without children and we're all so busy but we've made a commitment to meet at least once a month, I really value their friendship so I think its important to put the effort in.

blueshoes Tue 03-Feb-15 22:51:35

You start to regain a sense of yourself once the youngest is 5. It gets better after that year by year. Not too long now and don't stress about whilst your dcs are still little.

littleraysofsunshine Wed 04-Feb-15 06:40:03

Not. Stressing, and I don't want to wish time away! I love having three small. I just sometimes feel like I can't remember how to be me.

littleraysofsunshine Wed 04-Feb-15 06:53:09

Sorry my phone )keypad likes to mess my words!!

PumpkinPie2013 Wed 04-Feb-15 10:35:14

I have one little boy who is 14 months now.

When I was on maternity leave, I did feel like I had lost 'me' - I seemed to be referred to everywhere (doctors, children's centre, baby group etc) as 'ds mummy ' and literally every thing I did and everywhere I went was with ds. I love him to bits but it was hard at times.

I returned to work when he was 10 months and although it can be hard to balance everything, I do feel like I got a part of me back - using my skills and having adult conversation with colleagues really helped.

We don't have much family help - maybe in an emergency but otherwise no babysitting or anything and although DH is good in a lot of ways he doesn't seem to have much inclination to take ds out for a bit at weekend so I can get something done - I usually take ds somewhere on at least one of the days and DH catches up with stuff he wants to do - I'm trying to work on changing this!!

With all this in mind work ends up being my break!

squizita Wed 04-Feb-15 13:41:30

I find enormous social pressure to be "mum" only when I'm on maternity. Both from child free friends and from just one or two friends with kids.

As if I am neglectful of dd if I have any conversation that isn't baby related but about tv or dinner or whatever. angry FFS she can't talk. She's been out of my company twice ever (with husband or grandmother) and most of the time she's on my boob.
I'm not quite weaving lentils but getting there! grin
So excuuuuuse me if while I jiggle her on my knee with nursery rhymes in the background after a 5 feed night I want to talk about books or films or (gasp shallow bitch) non nursing clothes!! grin

In all seriousness it's like an internalised sexism thing. Hormones and love make us great mothers but some people cannot even handle us having ONE SINGLE OTHER PERSONALITY TRAIT.
Like if we do we might jump up and leave the kid in Costas and join the bloody circus.

squizita Wed 04-Feb-15 13:46:58

... to add - most of my friends with kids totally understand. But one or 2 have been vocal from the start "well a minute spent on yourself is a precious memory lost" "looking back, will you remember having dyed your greying hair or a missed opportunity to play..?" and other such judgy, sanctimonious bullshit. angry Given my parenting choices (which are as I said towards the hippy side of the field).

GotToBeInItToWinIt Wed 04-Feb-15 13:58:42

I'm struggling with this at the moment. I feel like I've lost 'me'. DH works long hours and we're really really short of cash so anything I want/need has been put on a back burner. My IL's are visiting from abroad this weekend and MIL text me this morning asking it I wanted anything picking up from duty free like make up or perfume. Then she said 'actually you probably don't get much chance to wear it now do you, shall I bring something more practical like a nice apron?'!! I sobbed.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 04-Feb-15 14:04:26

I have managed it by not always putting the kids first.
Its so easy to fall into the trap of mothering all the time whether they need it or not.
I realised that dh was as important as the children, this enabled me to make time for him.
This in turn made time for me as I made the effort for me as well as dh.
I make sure I have time during the day when dd is occupied to do something for me, reading, exercising, having a bath, meeting friends, going shopping, etc.
It helps if you can get out once or twice a week to join a class or something.
Hobbies and interests are important too, something that isn't child centred.
It is difficult when they are little as you have to grab short bursts of time rather than a couple of hours, but it gets better as they get older.
Its so easy when they have left home grin

squizita Wed 04-Feb-15 14:06:06

sad Gottobe ... I love it when dh is home so I can put a bit of make up on! The fact it's not every day makes it more special! DD also finds the sight of me doing mascara face hilarious! grin

PostcardsFromAbovetheChemist Wed 04-Feb-15 14:08:50

Squizita I think I love you! flowers

OP, my DD is only very young so I am in the thick of it and not really qualified to answer, but I do think hobbies are key. Think back to when you did feel like 'you', what did you enjoy doing? Like for example I used to do lots of sketching and painting, no reason why I couldn't do that again now, say for an hour a week - I can even draw DD if she stays still long enough!

Whatever some people may say, we can have time off to do our own thing, it makes us better mothers in the long run IMHO

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