I’m a year into motherhood, and I’m not afraid to admit that I’m finding it tough. When our little one arrived, I expected the first few weeks and months to be challenging, but I’d sort of hoped that I’d have it all figured out by now. Truth is, as soon as we get over one challenge, another arises, and I’ve realised that I’ll probably never have it figured out. I don’t know if any parent ever does.
The difficulty for me is the lack of ‘me’ time, or ‘us’ time for me and my partner. Yes, I know, that’s what happens when you decide to have children, but I’m not even talking about being able to spend a whole day shopping, or relaxing. I’m talking about all the little things like being able to take a bath in peace, finish a meal, or even go to the toilet!
My other main challenge is that as my partner and I both work full time, our relationship has become almost non-existent. By the time we’re home from work, have had tea and the bed and bath routine, one of us is falling asleep on the sofa. We haven’t talked properly in ages, the house is a mess, and it’s getting both of us down.
I’ve been a big contributing factor to the general feeling of fed-up-ness in our household. I’ve been back at work for 6 months now, and my job is becoming more stressful, and more demanding. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it, but find myself thinking about work even when I’m not there, and my exhaustion from broken sleep and early mornings make it hard to summon up the energy to go beyond the corner shop, or put a load of washing on. I’ve become unreasonable, my patience is at an all time low, and my mood can turn from loving mother to shouting swearing monster in a split second.
So, I’ve decided to make some positive changes:
- Putting the little one in nursery an extra day so my partner and I get 1 day off a week together. The time we’ll get together means more to me than the extra money we’ll be spending.
- I’ve joined a yoga class. Just an hour a week, at a church over the road from my house. I’ve been once, and it was worth going just for the peace, and to clear my mind for an hour.
- Getting out and about with the little one. Being stuck indoors can get me down. This week we went to a craft class together, and not only did it get me socialising with other mums, in re-ignited my love of doing something creative, and I’ll be dusting off the sewing machine.
- I am going to de-clutter. I find it impossible to keep our house tidy, simply because there is too much stuff. Over the next few months I’m going to gradually de-clutter every inch in an attempt to create a clean and relaxing space that functions properly. I’ll be doing this with the help of Marie Kondo’s ‘The life changing magic of tidying’.
- I will be blogging more regularly. Although very few people actually read the stuff I write, getting my thoughts down helps to free my mind, and, if I commit to these things in a published blog post, I might actually have a better chance of sticking to them!
Whether any of this makes a difference, or whether I even stick to any of my changes remains to be seen, but if a year of motherhood has taught me anything, it’s that remaining positive and doing just a few small things for myself makes even those days where I am taking care of a monster much more bearable.