Has Motherhood Changed Me?
A couple of weeks ago I met up with a good friend of mine for the day. This particular friend is a friend I met just after University, in my carefree days where I worked full time in a bar, went out most evenings and didn't have a worry in the world. She was one of the friends who always told me that I obviously secretly wanted to be with Mr E, in the days when I used to constantly deny that I had any feelings for him other than friendship.
We spent many days shopping and spending all our money on clothes, staying up all night and drinking, and having the best time. In recent years we have gone off on different paths, I have moved away from Leeds to London, got engaged then married to the man I told her I didn't have feelings for, and moved to Cambridgeshire and had Mads. She on the other hand has only recently just moved to London and until recently has been single after a long term relationship ended.
Due to different reasons, mainly the fact that I often catch a bite to eat with her when I have been in London for work, she still hadn't met Mads until quite recently and she was so excited to spend the day with her. We had a lovely day, but one thing that she did say that I have been thinking about quite a lot recently was 'Being a Mummy hasn't changed you in the slightest- you are still exactly the same.'
She meant this as a compliment but her words have stayed with me, and have really made me think. Have I changed since becoming a Mummy?
On the surface I guess I haven't.
I still wear the same clothes, I still like buying nice things although I can't afford too as much as I used too.
I still have the same hair style, long, although I had a moment of madness and cut it short when I was eight months pregnant. I have been growing it ever since.
I still am the same size, well I am when I am in my clothes, underneath my tummy wobbles when I walk and I have my c-section scar- my visual reminder of the day my daughter came into the world.
I am still silly, I don't take myself too seriously and I have a sarcastic sense of humour. My laugh still sounds a little bit like a horse and I show my gums too much when I giggle.
I still love to get dressed up, go out for a few glasses of wine or some cocktails, although nowadays staying out till midnight seems late, gone are the days that I rolled into bed at 4am.
I still do stupid things when I have had a drink and I still find my husband the funniest man alive.
I am not one of these people that needs to talk 'baby' non-stop, although with my NCT friends inevitably the conversation turns to little people.
I still am obsessed with diet coke and chocolate buttons, and I still would eat crisps for breakfast if I could. And ice cream.
I guess then on the surface, it is true, I am still exactly the same. If you didn't know me then you wouldn't necessarily know that I was a Mum, and for that reason maybe I haven't changed.
But I am a Mummy and in the past 17 months things have changed dramatically.
Not just the obvious things but my innermost feelings and thoughts.
I think about my little girl constantly. She is the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I go to sleep. I think about what she has done that day, I think about her little smile and I think about all the plans we have for the future. I think about a million times a day how lucky I am. Sometimes I just stare at her and get tears in my eyes.
I worry about her constantly. I worry about how we are going to bring her up and discipline her. I worry about her growing up in a sometimes horrible world. I worry about her when she is with me and I worry about her when she is not.
I sit at work and my heart sometimes aches to see her, I enjoy the time to myself and I wouldn't change it, but I will get a text with a photo of her having fun and I just smile because she is so incredible. If I am having a bad day, I will look at the photo of her on my desk and get excited because I know I am coming home to her later. Her little face lights up when she sees me come through the door and it gives me butterflies in my tummy.
I see more bad in the world. Every car that passes by a little too fast or that gets too close to us on the motorway is a potential hazard, I always cross the road to avoid the drunk person talking to himself. I look at the news and worry about how I am going to explain such things to her.
Yet at the same time the world has never been so beautiful. Seeing the world through her eyes, watching her experience the magic in the most simple things- splashing her Daddy in the bath, trying to run away from us in the park, hearing her little voice say 'Wow' when she sees a dog. Mads is helping me live my life in the best way possible and helping us make memories from the little things.
Sometimes my heart aches a little bit with love. It sounds strange- how can you love someone too much? But I do. Sometimes the love that I feel for my little girl actually can hurt a little. It is a strange emotion- like pride, fear, worry, amazement and joy all rolled into one. Sometimes the love I have threatens to bubble over, and it does occasionally, many a time I have burst into tears just because of how much I love her and how incredible I think she is.
So yes, I guess on the surface, I am still the same girl I always was. But on the inside, my heart has changed forever.
It has been given up to an incredible little person- that person who made me a Mum.