When you’re pregnant you spend your time imagining what things will be like as a new mum. You spend your days reading through the growth of your developing baby. Making decisions on the birth, feeding, the nursery, names. It’s all very exciting. You prepare and you get ready for your life to change.
We had everything ready.
The nursery was done, names were chosen, birth plan completed. We was ready! Except I really wasn’t and I found out very quickly.
I hadn’t thought about how I would feel. How I would change, how everything would change.
I knew it would change but I didn’t think about how!
The hardest thing for me as a new mum was that I no longer felt like me.
No longer Jo, the career minded independent women, I was only seen as Reuben’s Mummy.
Or that’s how it felt anyway.
I was on maternity leave, but everyone else was at work so there was no coffee meet ups.
The baby groups always felt ‘clicky’ and I just didn’t feel comfortable when I did go there. I felt lonely.
Exclusively breastfeeding and not being comfortable doing it in public meant I tried to avoid going out near feed times, difficult when you’re feeding on demand so I didn’t go out too often other than to family houses.
When we were asked to go out with friends we couldn’t go as no one but me could feed Reuben. Soon the invites slowed down, almost stopped, or they felt like they did anyway. I would pretend it didn’t bother me but it did.
When we had friends over, they would talk about work and what they had been up to. They would ask what I had been doing but I would keep it brief. After all they didn’t want to know about the nappy changes and sleepless nights again. I felt I had lost the ability to hold a conversation that didn’t revolve around poo. At times I was jealous of their freedom.
I felt that I had lost me.
Who was I now?
As time went on, things got easier. I settled into my routine.
Instead of remembering how things used to be I looked at the now.
I felt more comfortable going out and breastfeeding and I started to really enjoy being a new mum.
Being Mummy was more than OK, it was great.
I realised I was still me. Still Jo but I was also a Mummy.
A different Jo than I was used to but I was more than OK with that.