Pieces of Me

Waking Up from My Mummy Fog

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

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

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.

Waking Up from My Mummy Fog

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?

  • LydiaCLee

    Well and truly out of the fog. I actually had the reverse a little – the first six weeks you’re in a bubble of happiness (those hormones) and sleep deprived delirium and then the reality of what’s involve kicks in (and that’s like the realisation that there’s a gas leak in the trenches)…once you have more than one, it’s tempered with ‘It’s great you’re here and need all this attention but that one can talk so you’ll have to wait your turn…’

  • “Mummy Fog” – what a great term! It does feel like you’re fighting your way through it at times doesn’t it? Just wanting to get out into the clear. I came out of my mummy fog about 2 years ago when my youngest was three. Once every one could dress themselves and use their words to let me know how they were feeling things startted to get a lot clearer! Glad it’s finally happening for you too – Rach x

  • Alicia O’Brien

    Some days are foggy round here, I really love the days when the day starts off sunny and clear. Loved this post 🙂

  • I totally get this Josefa. The fog does lift. And I begin to reminisce with fond memories. All the bad stuff, the trying times, thankfully are blurred over by the more joyous, proud and happy moments.The things I thought I forgot about ‘real’ life are re-emerging and I have found ‘me’.

    Funny, my IBOT post today is in a similar and closely related topic. x

    • I think the “forgetting” is essential to this whole parenting game, we seem to be on the same wavelength lately Jodi xx

  • Sophie Allen

    I am getting there, I find I have more me time now that #3 is at Kinder 5 days a fortnight. The toddler has less tantrums, all relative to the amount of sleep he gets (well usually) and I have more time behind the camera, and in front of the editing screen.

    I am seriously impressed you breastfed until he was 3. Hats off to you, mine all stopped between 18-2 years by themselves. 🙁

    • To be very honest, we would still be breastfeeding if I didn’t make a certified effort to stop….hmmmmm, a whole other post in that isn’t there xx

  • I am here too! I am just starting to get my life back and have more freedom and time to think. I just love it! Great post!

  • Emily @ Have a laugh on me

    Yes I feel days when I am, but mainly because of my 3rd born is just 18 months and super busy, especially trying to copy his older siblings. I do try and dress up a bit more and dress in sloppy joes less for my hubby – but that is on rare good days! Emily

  • It’s an amazing feeling isn’t it?
    I’m loving being a mum now that the kids are all a bit older. They are still hard work, and perhaps harder than before, but there is so much more freedom too.

  • I remember the days of the Mummy fog well. Maybe TOO well. So that when Miss 16 tells me she can’t wait to marry and have babies, I long to tell her to WAIT, and ENJOY LIFE because if she knew what the Mummy fog was like she wouldn’t be in such a rush … but I have a feeling that even if I told her, she wouldn’t believe me …

  • Mummy Fog is a great way to describe it. Life is a little less foggy now my Bubba is a big 5. Jeans and t-shirt are my uniform of choice 🙂

  • Kathy www.yinyangmother.com

    Love the term Mummy Fog and love that you are finding balance now between Mum and You (or in that space where you can be both on your own terms and see through the fog!). I felt like the fog lifted with our daughter and then when she turned 7 we adopted our son. So it was back into the fog, a surreal kind of soupy, foggy mist since, especially when we lived in Canada for a year while our son was a baby and foggy was the weather! With our son now 3 I also feel the fog is fading into the rest of my life and there’s some clear space ahead. Cheers to some clarity.

  • I love this Josefa. It is one of my favourite posts here yet. I love the blocks, and the term Mummy Fog. My fog lasted those first few weeks…I am such an out and about mum, and probably do way too much, but it keeps me ‘awake’ and out of the fog, where I like to be. Blogging helps too – a place to organise my thoughts. xx

  • I as just thinking this morning that it has been some time since I wore my old trackies…the ones I wore when pregnant!

  • Robyn (Mrs D)

    I think on same days I am so deep in the fog I can’t see my hand in front of my face! But other days it seems to be completely gone! I guess I am still swinging like that pendulum and probably will be for some time yet! Although I completely get the aftershave thing!! I smelt it the other morning and it left me with butterflies in my tummy all day! xx

    • That aftershave thing is becoming a great way to start my morning, before I start the kid-wrangling!

  • Yellow_Dandy

    Oh I am well and truly immersed in the fog, and will be for the foreseeable future. I’m preparing for the fog to deepen as I tackle the challenge of 2 rather than 1. Oh to take time to smell the roses (or the aftershave)!! x Karen

  • Pip (@melbournelass)

    After meeting you in person I find it hard to picture you in said mummy fog but I know what you mean and you’ve described it to perfection

  • Leanne Shea Langdown

    I remember the mummy fog oh so well. I have been reflecting on it in the last week since Chelsea has just given birth.
    Funnily enough I still go in and out of fogs … it never occurred to me that I may still be experiencing mummy fog as my kids grow through their different phases …
    Or I could just have cotton wool in my head of course.
    Or it may be the champagne …
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  • bodyandfeetretreat

    I am so glad that the fog is clearing for you and that you have found such a great balance !
    Have the best day !

  • Great post Josefa. I am definitely still in the mummy fog, although it has been a little lighter since I stopped breastfeeding Punky, not that I got my body back as I was already pregnant again, but it definitely made a difference. However with PJ#2 due to make her arrival in July I know the fog is only going to get thicker and will be that way for a while. I’m just trying to remind myself as much as I can now that it will lift, so that when its so thick I can barely see anything in front me, that thought will jump in to my head without me consciously having to think about it! Kind of like mental conditioning as it were!

    • It will lift for you Kylie, but I think, just like Karen, your forecast is quite foggy ahead xx

  • shari

    Beautifully written of the very real phenomena that is the mummy fog! Somedays are great and clear … but others, I’m still fighting my way out! x

  • Grace

    Great post, Josefa. Just lately I’ve started to feel like I’m lifting myself out of the fog. but I think it’s a slow process. But I’m certainly relishing those moments when things seem clearer.

    • I think the fog is twice and thick for mummies with twins, I hope more and more clear days find you Grace xx

  • Loree

    🙂 Loved this. It’s so true that you lose track of yourself when the kids are young. I only have 1 boy, He’s 7 annd some things become a lot easier with time. But then the mouthiness starts and you’re back fighting a different sort of battle. But, at oeast, it’s not a smelly one 🙂

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