Sometimes, when you’re a mum, you can feel as though you’re losing who you are. I used to be fairly care free, impulsive and selfish. Those words seem dirty now. I’d be ashamed to describe myself in that way. Does that mean I’m not who I was or am I still those things with the addition ‘guilty’?
Most days I truly believe that I was born to be a mum. It has made me feel as though I have a purpose and the love is as much terrifying as it is exhilarating. But is being a mum what defines me now? Is this who I am? Hi, I’m Charlotte and I’m a mum.
Often I struggle with grief. I kinda grieve the Charlotte I used to be, the girl who was always game for a laugh, spending money, staying out late and drinking six days a week. Grieving the life I had only makes me feel terrible though, I should be basking in the joy that is motherhood; be bare foot in the kitchen making jam. But I can’t. Fuck that. I can’t be that mum.
My twin daughters (the beans) are wonderful. They were born at 26 weeks and have had to overcome a lot more shit than a lot of us adults ever have. They truly are an inspiration, full of sass and giggles. Such their mother’s daughters. But I’m exhausted. Being mum, wife, daughter, friend, sister, employee, house keeper…and so much more. I just wanna be Charlotte. Not for a day, or two days, but for a long time. How awful is that? That I feel as though I need to escape my life to be who I actually am?
The beans are almost two now and it’s been an eye opening two years. Man alive, it’s been eye opening. Who knew it was gonna be so eye opening?!? The love I have for them, I can’t put it in to words, it’s transformed me.
*climbs on to soap box* I’ve become a feminist. I want them to grow up in a world where they’re equal (if not superior), I see danger everywhere, there is a threat in every corner and I want to protect them from all of that harm. Speaking of protecting them, I now confidently feel as though I could commit GBH, if anyone ever hurt them. Truly, I’d rip them a fucking new one. Literally. These feelings are so intense, so consuming. My most passionate feeling before the beans was when I woke up with the horn on a Saturday morning.
I used to be in control, you know? I knew where I was and where I was going. I knew what mattered, it was me. Of course my husband, friends and family mattered too, but mostly it was just me. Now I have no control. Case in point – the cold weather is coming in and I can’t stop it, the beans are so vulnerable to the cold. Their little lungs can’t cope. The boiler has broken and my gas fire. The house is fucking freezing. I’m worrying about money because of expensive boilers and gas fires and, of course, the fact that I’ll have to take unpaid leave to look after them whilst they’re in hospital when they inevitably get poorly from the lack of warmth.
The gym, I can’t believe I’m gonna say this, I miss it. It was time to myself. I literally can’t go for a shit at the moment without someone wanting something from me: “What shall I give the beans for a snack?” I mean seriously?? Give them a fucking bread stick and let me take a shit in peace!
I miss worrying about having to wear the same outfit to two weddings and spending too much on dirty kebabs at the end of a night out. I want to worry about those things, it’s easier and there is less pressure. I felt less guilt.
Should I feel like everything falls on my shoulders? I guess I always have, it’s just that before I used to feel like those things were when we should next go for dinner or if the sheets needed changing. Now it’s real stuff, you know? Life changing stuff. Healthy eating, clean living, no swearing being a role model, supplying food and warmth, providing a safe home, protecting them from all harm and evilness in the world. It’s exhausting and I know it’s never ending.
The husband, as wonderful as he is, seems so blissfully happy and that annoys me. He is a tad older so maybe he just feels happy with who he is? Prick. Maybe fatherhood doesn’t change a man like motherhood changes a woman? I hate to think that though, he loves them as much as me, they’re part of him too. Why isn’t he consumed with guilt, worry and confusion? Is it just me?
Do I like being this version of me? The person who isn’t in control but responsible for everything? The person who is nervous and guilty all the time. The person who counts down until the beans bedtime and then misses them like fucking crazy once they’re asleep. The person who’s heart explodes at the sound of a giggle or a ‘mamma’. The person who misses her children when they’re not with her? The person who can feel pure happiness in the pit of her stomach when those four little hands wrap around her body for a cuddle at bedtime. Being the only person in the world that can provide the necessary comfort after a bad dream or poorly tummy. The person who misses loud sex after a night out down the pub in a nice outfit. The person who still wants loud sex after a night out but also wants to eat Mexican food on the floor in her PJs with her husband on the sofa behind her. I don’t know. That person sounds pretty fucked up…. but totally fucking awesome.
Man, motherhood is the best.