Motherhood… and stuff… makes me feel old

So, I have a confession to make. Except I already made it in the title of this post.

Yes, motherhood makes me feel old. I don’t know why. I have only just hit my 30s, and I’ve never regarded the 30s as old. For me, it was just another birthday.

Perhaps it’s not motherhood that makes me feel old, per se, but that I’ve had kids, and I inevitably put them first, and I’ve lost myself along the way.

I want to reconnect with the things that made me feel vibrant (and thus, young, at least at heart).

Perhaps it’s because of the restraints that children inevitably put on a lifestyle. Despite what one thinks about maintaining their lifestyle after parenthood – the reality is when you have kids, you can’t just do what you want. Like to go the toilet when you want to. So, as much as one can aim to maintain their pre-baby lifestyle, it changes.

Pre-kids, when we decided to take a trip we could do it – pack a bag and go, passport in hand. Now we have to pack days in advance to make sure we have everything the kid(s) need(s), not to mention taking carseats and strollers, and worrying about going to places with moquito-borne viruses, etc etc etc.

Then there’s the fact that I need to lose about 15 – 20 kgs. I don’t know why this would make me feel old – perhaps it just makes me feel bad about myself.

When I was at uni and in the early years of my working life, I loved to express myself through my choice of attire. I wasn’t feminine and I wasn’t fashionable per se, but I loved dressing quirkily – knee socks, monochromatic outfits, brightly dyed hair – this was all part of who I was and people knew that. I would arrive at work in some strange outfit or another, and people would smile and put my fashion down to me being me.

I used to love to wear clothes that made people look at me. Now I’m too embarrassed to wear something remotely ‘out there’ in case I look fat. I don’t want anyone to look at me.

Not to mention the lack of time to pursue things I’m actually interested in – if I can remember them at all! Actually I can – I used to love to go out for long dinners with my friends, getting philosophical over a glass bottle of wine, go for a dance in a club, go to see some bands and see where the night led me. I used to love to do research on music and buy obscure CDs. I used to love to plan my trips to the next destination that I could run amok in.Go see art house films. Etc etc etc.

Ahh… to be 19 again!

I used to sass talk anyone and everyone – I respected authority (I’m not an anarchist), but I still think that regardless of anything, we’re all just people. So perhaps I ‘recognised’ authority, but I didn’t ‘respect’ it. Which lead me to turn down an introduction to Kevin Rudd, because – as I told him – I’d just been to the loo and I hadn’t dried my hands properly. And I asked the Archbishop of Brisbane if I could be his date to a fancy event I knew he was going to. And no one ever hated me for being cheeky, but these days I care far to much about making a bad impression, or offending someone – and thus I’ve lost a big part of my sense of humour.

Moving around hasn’t helped either – in some ways, it’s made me more confident in myself and the strengths of my personality. But in other ways, it’s taken my confidence away because it’s just so tiring to have to wheel yourself out to meet new people all the time. It’s always a relief to go back to Brisbane and relax in the company of old friends – you don’t have to be on any kind of behaviour with them and the lack of pressure is immense.

So. To conclude. There isn’t a conclusion. This is a pity party, woe is me post. Fairly run of the mill for 8 weeks post partum. But I want to get rid of that feeling that I’m ‘on the shelf’  – not sure how to do that in Darwin, but I’ll find a way!

The first thing to do is to change my blog/twitter avatar to get rid of that pregnant photo. Pregnancy and the aftermath do nothing to boost one’s self esteem!

Now to actually take a decent photo of myself…

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7 thoughts on “Motherhood… and stuff… makes me feel old

  1. I kinda get where you’re coming from. My littlest one is 6 weeks on Friday, also my 25th Birthday. I’m so “Meh” about myself that I couldn’t be bothered to even try to think about having a good time.
    You should dye your hair!!!

  2. Welcome Officially to motherhood. I’ve had this EXACT same conversation with my girlfriends and my sisters. Do we ever get it back? Yes and no. I just catch glimpses on a rare occasion of who I used to be. However – a good date night with the husband sometimes helps.

  3. Well my baby (no 3) is 10 months old this week & I feel positively ancient most days. Running around after the kids means I ordinarily come last which means I look feral more days than not sadly.

  4. Oh, I wish we lived in more than just the same time zone 😦 When are you guys going to decide to say fark you to Darwin and timor and transfer back to friendly little brisbane town? Or is that just wishful thinking on my behalf? I love the knee socks and the cute hair clips and the hair twiddle and I am so up for dinners and bottles of wine. I got a real giggle when you took me back to the night with KRudd and the wet hands, lets have more of those nights. And I can help with the kgs, we have motivated each other before and we can do it again, I am not too far off 30kg now and I feel so much better. Kids really are the best thing that has ever happened in my life, but jesus christ it is lucky they make you feel all warm and fuzzy, otherwise they surely would turn me into an alcoholic or a maniac depressive or a combination of them both. From what I am told it will get better once they get a bit older and they are more independent and that is when we can have a bit more of an identity again – and I am counting down till those days!!!!

  5. All hope is not lost – you’ll find yourself again, but she won’t be the same woman as before. Having relocated and crossed the 30 mark, uh, more than a year ago, I can relate to some of your identity crisis. I’m seeing it as a fresh start to become who I want to be (not necessarily who I used to be again).

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