Monday, April 16


Part of the shock from having a new baby is that suddenly you go from being well, you, to 'Mum'. No one can remember your name except from the bills company and unless you are attached to your new bundle, people seem to seldom recognise and acknowledge you. Of course, part of this is lovely. There is a certain inner glow that comes everytime someone says "So-and-so's mummy" and you think, yes! Me! I am so-and-so's mummy! After all it is such an important job, why wouldn't you want to tell the world? But somewhere along the line, there are days when it grates on you. Days when you think that it would be nice if just once someone at least pretended they knew your name once. And then comes the guilt. Why would you want to do or be anything that is not 100% mummy?

Personally I think this guilt is nothing more than a reaction. Wanting something for yourself does not mean you are neglecting your child, as long as you are not dropping their care. Wanting to reclaim some of your personality or maybe even a hobby (there is more to life than folding tiny socks...? Really?) or a social life does not mean you are trying to shake off being a parent. I think a good parent is one who has a healthy sense of self; if you heap everything onto your child that is suddenly a lot of expectations for that child and at worst, a chance resentment might build up. of course we all have periods where this comes and goes, circumstances, mood and even mental health fluctuate. We cannot be perfect, or striving to be sort-of-perfect all the time.

For myself, having gone through difficult periods of neonatal and a sick child, I am beginning to feel this even more keenly. I don't want these times and grief to describe me or settle my identity. As a single parent, I want to be a strong person and a good mum. I want this blip in coping I am having to be nothing more than a blip. In these times, Wriggles become like a benevolent force or shield, saving me from seeking deeper. She is the reason that when I feel bleak that I do not feel like contemplating removing myself forcibly from the equation. She is like a rock in a turbulent sea to cling onto. I feel naked without her, like I am exposed and that there is nothing to look back to. She is undoubtedly the most important thing, but I want to be able to claw myself back without relying on her alone. I will always do it for her, but I need to have a stronger sense of self again. I know it is in there, just hiding. A bit lost. I am primarily Wriggles' Mama but I am also a young woman who has a range of interests, passions and dislikes. I don't believe that finding other things equates to losing some of her care or giving up some love, more that it stretches things to include more. Yes, I am changed since our experiences but this is time to stop just dwelling and start doing. I owe it to my daughter and I owe it to myself. I want to stop saying the right things and start doing the right things. Whatever they are...


1 comment:

  1. I think it's both interesting and very odd that I can have times of craving, needing to have time away from Adam and his loving and lovely (and often noisy!) demands. Yet the moment I leave the house without him, I feel lost as though I've left an arm or a leg behind. This parental identity transformation is a very odd thing indeed.