Society’s view of women and their role as mothers is a swinging pendulum. A woman doesn’t seem to have it “all” until she has children. Then the minute she does, she falls into the disgrace of having “nothing left.”
I must admit, in the first few years of motherhood I was a walking mess and certainly did feel like I had “nothing left.” Sleep deprivation played a hard game with my mind. My confidence was shot with every decision I had to make about my boys. On most days it seemed that my body had packed its bags and gone on a holiday – without me.
Talking to one of my friends, back in the day of wrestling a toddler while bouncing a newborn on my hip, we both seemed to agree that somehow the “mummy fog” lifts six weeks after having a baby. That by then, life settles into routine and you start to feel like yourself again.
I have been at the six week mark twice and am now at the six year mark. Life started to settle and I started to feel like myself again only after my boys slept through the night and I reclaimed my boobs. That happened at the six year mark. Only now do my boys sleep through the night. And it was only a year ago, that I stopped breastfeeding my three year old son.
Waking up from my mummy fog, the first thing to catch my attention in the morning is no longer the size four pyjama pants thrown across the floor, suggesting there is a size four bare bum running around the house. Instead, I breathe in the smell of my husband’s aftershave, lingering in the air. The sweet perfume fills my senses. My mind slides into the aroma and I cannot wait until he comes home that night.
Did he not wear aftershave for six years? Of course he did. I am quite sure that I was the one to buy it for him come Father’s Day. Yet, the smell of vomit, dried breast milk and smelly nappies overrides most things, especially in the morning.
Waking up from my mummy fog, I find that the tracksuits I have lived in for the past six years are gathering a great deal more dust. Not that my life demands high fashion. Yet, a pair of jeans and a top is a far cry from the grey tracksuit pants and navy sweater I wore religiously for the past six years. Now I have the time to get dressed a little slower and I can take the risk of wearing something nicer, knowing it won’t be ruined by mushy weet-bix or vomit on my shoulder.
I am not claiming that the fog has cleared completely! There are still mornings when dishevelled is the best I can be. That leaving the house without a bra is not the worst part of my morning.
But the new awakening has been pleasantly surprising. Dare I admit, even exhilarating. Waking up from my mummy fog is proving an incredible place to be. My life is a far cry from “all” or “nothing”. My life is the balance between the best of both worlds: being mummy and being me. Holding onto that pendulum and following the gathering momentum.
Are you still in the fog?