I remember sitting in our flat feeling super lonely and detached from reality, thinking to myself, what the hell have we done? Why did we believe that having a baby was such a good idea?
I really missed my old life. Big Time. There were days where I wished I could turn back time and didn't have the baby (it sounds horrible, but that's how I felt at the time!) Before having J, we had a great life as a couple. We travelled a lot, and we had an amazing social life. We were going out pretty much every other weekend. We loved hosting dinner parties at our place. We had the freedom to do whatever we wanted. We had literally zero worries. I gave birth during the longest heatwave in years, so all I could see was our friends enjoying the hot summer while I was stuck at home on my own.
My husband went back to work after two weeks of paternity leave, so I was the primary caregiver for the first 18 months. I found some aspects of motherhood incredibly dull and mind-numbing. I felt trapped by the feeding schedule and nap routines. I honestly hated the playgroups, as I found them boring and I never really got on with any mums (with one exception!), and I always felt so out of place.
I felt guilty, like I was the worst mother in the world, that I didn't deserve to have this baby. I understood that so many people struggle to get pregnant or suffer from a miscarriage and here I was moaning about my life. But you see, I wasn't complaining. I just struggled with the transition from what I knew and loved to what was so different and alien.
I admit motherhood took me by surprise, even though I knew it would be complicated. People tell you all the cliches about how you should enjoy your freedom now before the baby comes. I remember nodding away, thinking to myself, 'yeah, yeah...how hard can it be?!' But bloody hell, the change to our lifestyle hit me in the face hard, and I seriously didn't expect that.
I was trying to hold on to whatever resembled my old life. And by this, I put an incredible amount of pressure on myself. I still wanted to go shopping, cook dinner, and eat exactly like we always used to. I kept our place clean and tidy making sure there was as little trace of a baby as possible. I never allowed myself to have morning lie-ins with my baby because I wanted to get up and be ready for the day at 8 o'clock, just as I always have done. Looking back at that period of my life now, I'm just shaking my head, thinking it was all insane.
It's ok to miss your old life. The carefree life where you don't have to worry about much. Having a baby will shake up your life as you know it, and sometimes it might take longer to get used to the new routines and embrace the new lifestyle.
I don't miss my old life now. We found our rhythm as a family, and we all understand our needs. I get the time alone to do what I love, so I can be fully present and work on our relationship when I spend time with my son. It's also so important to keep my mental health intact. Getting to where we are now was hard work. We've made a few mistakes along the way, but we managed to sort it out, and now we love our family life.
With so much love,