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.

9 comments:

  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.

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

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  3. I think I may still be lost there!

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  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

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  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

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

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  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

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

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  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.

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