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After having children, a lot of women feel like they lose themselves a bit. I certainly have. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I feel ready now to start getting some ‘me’ back after having children.
New Year’s Resolutions
I’ve never been particularly hot on New Years Resolutions. Mainly because I find that the more set on achieving something I am, the more likely I am to rebel against myself so that I don’t achieve it. Queen of self-sabotage, me 🙈
For example, I’m not the type of person who can really go ‘cold turkey ‘ with things – it just doesn’t generally work for me. So cutting things out completely will just make me really desperately want those things. And I won’t be able to stick to it. It’s usually much better for me to make more gradual changes.
So I don’t really tend to make New Year’s Resolutions as such. Sometimes I don’t particularly do anything differently at all. Sometimes I think of one or two little changes I’d like to try to make. But I don’t put too much pressure on myself as I’ll be less likely to do them that way. (I’m aware that doesn’t really make much sense – I think I may be a little strange!
I need to start getting some ‘me’ back
But anyway, for me, I feel it’s time for me to start getting some more of me back now.
As I haven’t yet returned to work since having the twiglets, I often feel like I’m in an extended version of the maternity leave bubble. It all feels quite temporary if that makes sense?
Extended maternity leave
When you’re properly on your official maternity leave, you sort of put things off a bit don’t you? Well I know I did anyway.
Like housework for example. When I was in that year of ‘official’ leave, it didn’t really bother me if the house was a bit of a sh*t-tip. Or if I had lots of life admin-type crap that I needed to sort out…
It felt like I was just in a temporary state of disorder and disorganisation. And once I regained some normality by returning to work, I would get back on top of things a bit better. (Whether that would actually have been the case or not who knows!)
But anyway we soon realised that with double childcare to fork out for and me on a teaching salary, it wasn’t actually going to be financially viable for me to return to work for a while anyway.
So we’ve basically continued on in that ‘bubble’ which almost doesn’t really feel like real life to me because I know it won’t last that much longer. That’s not meant to sound negative by the way. I have loved being at home with my twiglets (despite the amount I whinge about how bloody difficult it can be!) And I’m so grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to spend so much time with them, witness all their milestones and have lots of adventures with them.
This year will be different…
But this year it all changes.
The plan has always been for me to return to work when the twiglets turn 3 and get their funded nursery hours. That happens this September 🙊 (They turn 3 in July.)
Why return to work?
The fact is, they already attend nursery two days a week anyway, but this is only possible because my mum pays for it for us. We’re really starting to feel the pinch (to say the least) of living on one salary. So that’s the main reason I need to go back to work.
Another reason is that I don’t want to be out of the teaching profession for too long. It’s been three years and already I feel so far removed from the world of education. I don’t want to make it harder for myself to get a job by leaving it too long.
Doing something for myself
Also, while I’ve been a stay-at-home mummy, pretty much everything has been about the twiglets. That’s been absolutely fine so far and how I’ve wanted it to be – they’ve been my full-time job 😁 My priorities completely changed when I had them. Their needs come above all else and they always will. I guess that’s how it should be!
But I think at some point you have to start doing some things for yourself too. I could totally imagine myself overly worrying about the twigs and overthinking things if I had too much time on my hands. I know all mums worry like mad anyway. But that’s why I think it’s good to have other things in your life to focus your attention on. Not necessarily work – it could be hobbies or travelling or anything really.
I want to ensure that I’m not just living for my children, but for myself as well, especially once they’re at nursery more and then school. Hopefully that doesn’t sound selfish? I need to feel stimulated and challenged in doing things I enjoy.
What are my other aims for the year?
Resume my hobbies
For this reason, I also want to try to pick some of my hobbies back up. I belong to a local Ladies’ Choir and pre-twiglets I used to attend weekly rehearsals and take part in concerts.
Since they were born, I’ve tried three times to get back into going regularly and each time managed a few weeks before life took over or I couldn’t be bothered or lost motivation. I really enjoy singing. Not that I’m any good, but it makes me happy. So this year I’m going to make a concerted effort to get back into it properly.
Look after myself physically
I would also like to work on my appearance a little. Again, I’m not going to be going on any crazy strict diets or exercise regimes or anything, as I absolutely wouldn’t stick to them.
But, I’ve noticed that since having babies, my wardrobe has become more and more plain and dull. I loooove bright colours and bold prints and I think I’ve lost the confidence to wear them a bit. So I’d really like to try to get that back.
I’ve also put on a fair amount of weight since having the twiglets and I can’t really continue to use the excuse of ‘I had twins.’ For one thing, they’re 2½ now. And for another, a lot of the weight has gone on after they were born. Looking back on photos, it’s clear I was much slimmer straight after having them than I am now!
Extended maternity leave, prolonged sleep deprivation and copious amounts of cake are probably to blame 🙈 For the record, I don’t regret any of the cake 😂 I also don’t think I’m horrendously overweight or anything – just a bit bigger than I’m really comfortable with.
The main thing really is just that I’d like to be a little healthier and look after myself better.
Do more efficient meal planning
One of my main aims is to get more organised in terms of meal planning and doing a proper weekly food shop.
At the moment we sometimes do a ‘big shop’ but then end up buying bits and bobs here and there. This is uneconomical and also leads to us wasting food. I’m hoping by organising in advance what we’re going to eat for the week we can save money and also eat more healthily.
In terms of the twiglets, we do cook for them a lot and hubby in particular does at the weekends. But I’ve still definitely been using microwave toddler meals like Little Dish, which are fab by the way, more than I would really like. I had always intended to cook them fresh food as much as possible, but I find it so hard to keep up with!
I’m hoping with a bit of extra organisation, doing more batch cooking and using my new slow cooker, I’ll be able to ensure all of us eat more fresh home-cooked food.
Cut down on drink
The last thing in terms of being a bit healthier is to cut down on alcohol. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I love a good vino 🙈 Toddlers are stressful and I find a glass or two of wine takes the edge off the a**ehole behaviour and helps me unwind in the evening.
Recently however, it’s been nearly every evening and even I know that’s probably a bit too much. So we’re going to try to only drink at the weekends. Again, not going to ban myself completely as I know I’ll only want it all the more!
Look after my mental health
Lastly, as well as looking after myself a bit better physically, I think I also need to focus on my mental well-being more.
It’s not very often that I take time for myself. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about this and I wholeheartedly agree that self-care shouldn’t just be a luxury, but a necessity.
I know for me, just something as simple as having a bath or taking ten minutes to read a book and drink a hot cup of coffee, can make all the difference to my mental state. I feel like I’m on less of a short fuse and have more patience with the twiglets. Basically, a better mummy to them.
So I’m going to really try to go out with friends a bit more in the evenings, have more date nights with Twiglet Daddy and do a few more little things for myself. And the most important part, I will try my hardest not to feel guilty for it and remember that in the long run, it’s actually better for all of us 😊
Blog more often
I would also like to try to blog more regularly while I can. As I think from September, if I manage to find a job, it will be even harder to fit in!
So there you go, those are the ways I’m hoping to start getting a bit of ‘me’ back after having had children.
Writing it all down, it sounds like a lot but hopefully it’s achievable. And if not, oh well 😁 The main thing is to be grateful for my gorgeous twiglets, my amazing husband and our friends and family 😊 I don’t think I’ll ever feel like completely like the pre-motherhood me, but then I don’t think I’d actually want to?
Do you feel like yourself again after having babies?
Thanks for reading! Til next time,