So many of you know me as workingbreastfeedingmumof5, for those that don’t know my name is Kate and I am 30. I have dedicated my entire adult life to my children and work. I have five wonderful (most of the time) small people. They’re 9,6,5,4&2, four girls and a boy. Today my youngest girl started school, no I didn’t cry, she’s a handful at times, they all can be but her a lot more so, so it was a mix of sadness she was going to school and joy that someone else could have her glasses thrown at them for once. In all seriousness I think school will be great for her.
Don’t get me wrong I had those typical mum emotions about my baby girl growing up and how I will miss her, nearly tears as me and the big bald fella left her she started crying and did the typical throw my shoe at the person trying to calm me down trick. We went into reception to sign some forms and we were closely followed by the teacher who said she had calmed down quickly and we left. As well as the typical emotions I was so happy and excited to have a morning to myself (the other girls are already at school and the boy child at nursery). The thought of not having to tell her off every two seconds was amazing, being able to sit and relax and do things for me also amazing. Leaving the school gates muttering “good fucking luck to them” under my breath, talking to Chris and a friend of mine about how they’re gunna have their hands full and placing bets on how quickly she will get suspended (I’m not even joking here). I mean she can be the most amazing little girl that says the sweetest things, has the biggest heart and gives amazing cuddles, but more so she’s the one causing trouble, punching her sisters, throwing things, breaking things and flooding the bathroom, then doing the floor drop and launching anything nearby at you (normally her glasses, shoes and then anything from paper to chairs) the moment she gets caught.
I had a little victory dance when I got home, as I sat on the sofa and then made myself poached eggs on toast. As I was eating I sat figuring out what I will do with the rest of my exciting free time. The conclusion, clean, bath and maybe nap. By 11.30am I had done everything, disinfected my bedroom, the kitchen, lounge, hallway and bathroom, cleaned all the floors on my hands and knees, done three loads of washin, cleaned the slow cooker and been to the shop for a slush puppy, omg they’re amazing especially without a small person drinking most of it and dropping their disgusting backwashed child slobber in it!
So now I’m sat here writing this and taking shitty filtered snap chats, wondering what to do with the next three hours.
It seems I’ve been so consumed in being a parent and working that I have lost myself and forgotten what it’s like to do things for myself. I will tell you now this is not a good feeling. I have no hobbies, I have a few friends, but they’re all working or busy with their small people, I have no hobbies and don’t even know what I like anymore. I am frustrated because I am bored, but have no idea what I want or would like to do. Is this what parenting should be about? No! Just because you’re a parent does not mean you should neglect yourself, yes you should put your children first, but where does the line appear?
Being a parent shouldn’t make you any less of yourself surely!?
Should you find yourself sat doing nothing and wondering how the hell you have lost yourself while moulding your offspring? (or in my case at least trying to). We are all winging this parenting lark no books tell you to remember you’re a person too.
People loose interest in you when you turn down events, trips out or lunch because you have small people depending on you and you need to put them first. You lose friends, lose hobbies and eventually lose yourself, so it seems in my case at least.
So what are we to do? I have come to the conclusion that being a parent doesn’t mean you can’t be selfish sometimes, you need to think about yourself too. As I sit here writing this I realise how many times I have gone without food until dinner time, skipped a bath, exhausted myself at one point, to the point of being hospitalised, because I’m so consumed in daily chores, playing with the small people and making sure they’re fed, watered, happy and loved. Where does that leave me? My body and mind Is being neglected by the person that is supposed to love it the most! I sit here and realise I have been accidentally neglecting myself from the moment I had my first child, I no longer take a huge amount of care about my appearance, I can go some days without brushing my hair let alone washing it, I force myself to by new clothes but only if they’re extremely necessary (I still wear a pair of jeans I got when I was 15 for fuck sake) and when I do buy myself something I am engolfed in guilt because I could of bought the kids something. I no longer make time for me to be me, to the point I have no idea who the fuck me is anymore! Since when did being a parent mean that self neglect was mandatory?
People keep telling me to rest, relax and enjoy a day off, but how is that possible when I have no idea how to even do that! The only thing I really know about myself is my sarcasm and sense of humour is pretty awesome, can’t really be sarcastic and tell myself shit jokes though can I? I’ll be bloody sectioned.
So I have to start a journey to find myself and how the hell do I even do that? I need to pull time out of my arse to try new things until I find one I like and can commit to. Where do I even start with that shit? Do I call up places and be like “hey, I’m kate. I’m in the middle of some sort of midlife crisis and am trying to find myself again can I come to your class?”
I am studying and that’s what my “free” time is spent doing, obviously apart from now, where I have bugger all else to do apart from moan in a blog (while still not productively finding myself again). In two years the boy child starts school and what the hell will I do then? Like what the hell do people actually do when they are off or don’t work, and the kids are at school? I’m at the point where I don’t even know where I am going with this to be honest. I do however think it’s important I share my experience and help some other parents remember they’re people too, yes you’re children are important, but so are you! Don’t lose yourself while raising someone else.
STOP, take a minute and think about you. Get someone to watch the kids for an hour so you can go to that gym class, running, dancing, crochet class, cooking class or even just for a walk to reflect on you, your life and who you are, what you like and enjoy doing! That shits important, because how the hell can you raise children to be themselves if you can’t even be yourself. We mould our children by example and if they see mummy and daddy sometimes putting themselves first, rewarding themselves and looking after themselves, they will grow to do the same and surely that’s what we want for our children. They mirror behaviours extremely well and that’s the majority of their learning. Life with children is fun, but life when they’re grown should be too and how will it be if you forget yourself?
This doesn’t mean your children should be second to yourself in anyway shape or form. I’m just saying sometimes you need to put your needs first and you can do that without deteimenting their physical or mental well being if you just allow yourself to.
A very wise person once said to me there is only one me, no one else in this world is like me and I am precious , I am special and I matter and she was right.
So go on, this week find something for you and enjoy it even if it’s just for half hour. Lock the door when you have a bath so you’re undisturbed, don’t share your dinner with a little person that has exactly the same, go for a walk, run, or anything you used to enjoy before you had children.
That’s what I intend to do, because how can my children be themselves, if I am unable to even find myself let alone be myself. I am a parent yes, I am an employee yes, but most of all I am Kate. I am a strong, empowered, friendly and independent women that needs to start putting herself first occasionally.
And here’s another shitty snap chat filtered selfie before I go.