Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Getting lost in motherhood

Who is this woman?

On more than one occasion I have gotten myself completely and hopelessly lost. A wrong turn here, a dead end there. I have a poor sense of direction and appalling map reading skills. Sometimes I drive for hours, often going around in circles, passing familiar landmarks again and again. But while I am frequently late, flustered and at times, panic stricken – I always find my way eventually.

For someone so used to getting lost, it took me a really long time to realise that I had lost myself in motherhood.

These are some of the things that happened:

I stopped being informed about the world. Partly because of the unbearable emotions that came with reading the news, do you feel it more when you become a mother? Every natural disaster, every war – I wept for those children and held my own baby closer. Then one day I switched off the radio. Tortured no more. Ignorance was bliss.

I didn’t recognise myself in the mirror. I gained a significant amount of weight during my pregnancy. I ballooned to the largest I’ve ever been; I had no chance of getting back in my clothes. My new wardrobe consisted of plain, functional clothing and I didn’t care. In fact I didn’t care what I looked like at all.

I was incapable of talking about anything outside the topics of birth, breastfeeding, development milestones or babies in general. I knew it was boring, but I didn’t care, I was simply not interested in anything else.

People started calling me ‘Mummy’. My baby girl, the only person who should have been saying it couldn’t talk, and yet everywhere I went people called me ‘Mummy’; The nurse at the early childhood centre, the playgroup staff, G’s swimming teacher. I didn’t even notice.

Motherhood is life changing, awe-inspiring roller coaster. It is all consuming. The mixture of overwhelming love and overwhelming responsibility is intoxicating. It was like a heavy fog, blocking out everything that came before.

All of this is normal. Eventually the haze clears and the path becomes visible again. Familiar shapes come into focus; the rest of the world is still there, beckoning…

I lost myself in motherhood, but that’s ok. For me, getting lost was just part of my journey. It wasn’t bad, or wrong, it was just another phase along the road.


  1. You're inside my head. This was me. And I've been trying to feel bad about it, but I love how you've ended this. 'Getting lost was just part of my journey.' Perfect.

  2. i love this! this is just so true! x

  3. I think I may still be lost there!

  4. I can totally relate to this Catherine. The first 8 months of Punky's life were exactly that, a fog! I haven't felt it so much second time around, I don't know if it's that I had a bit more of an idea if what I was doing, but it's totally different. And on the one hand, I miss that Punky fog I had, because I didn't have to worry about anything else in the world besides me and her (and sometimes Dave! Lol!) but other times in glad I haven't felt as disconnected for an extended period

  5. This was me....for years.
    There is so much we are not told or aware of before we become parents.
    I wish I had all these wonderful blogs,like yours,back then.A place to share and learn from experiences and help each other.
    I love how you say it was part of your journey and don't carry it as a heavy load.
    Your open honest words here will help others.
    Big hugs beautiful mama.xx

  6. I believe there are many of us that will relate to this post. Very well put.

  7. Yes...this post is very easy to relate to..but these days I find myself more lost in Facebook! I definitely stopped listening to the news for the same reasons. Also, lack of time. X

  8. Sometimes I miss being lost in motherhood...

  9. Completely agree. I guess it happens at some stage to all of us but I'm going to make a conscience effort to use my friend's names from now on.