Recently, I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten a bit carried away with fashion and review posts and have neglected the personal side of my blog. I tend to get the most connections with people when I post about things that I’ve been feeling or experiencing so I want to start sharing (or over sharing as some might say) again.
This is a post I had been trying to write for a while but hadn’t found the right words to fully explain what I was trying to say. It’s all about how i’ve become a type of mum I never thought I would be.
Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I tend to be a little bit of an over-worrier when it comes to…well anything really. It’s always been a part of my personality, and as far back as I can remember I’ve always over worried about what people think of me, and about bad things happening. I would often have really vivid dreams when I was younger about horrible things happening to my family or to me and would wake up absolutely terrified for days. I remember going through the ‘scared of people dying’ phase but it seemed to last longer than anyone else’s.
My ‘over worrying’, for lack of a more eloquent description, personality is something I discovered, through quite a bit of therapy when I was at university, contributed to developing a rather intense eating disorder through my teenage years and early twenties. It’s hard to describe but I’ve always wanted to be the absolute best version of myself and am terrified of failing. I don’t like the word perfectionist, but I can’t seem to let things go or give up on things until I’ve done my utmost to be ‘perfect’.
So when I first, after over a year of trying, found out I was going to become a mama I was determined to do everything right. All throughout the pregnancy I was obsessed with being the ‘model pregnant woman’. So eating all the right things, exercising, researching absolutely everything I could about how I could make sure this little baby would be perfect, making list after list of things to buy, do and look onto before baby got here. I never stopped obsessing on how I had to be the ‘perfect mum’.
Oddly though, when Little I was born, something changed. I don’t know if it was the initial shock of her being born with a large cystic hygroma that we knew nothing about or whether having a baby just changed my outlook on life, but I stopped over worrying. Sure the first 2-4 weeks were a haze of ‘oh my god am I doing this right?’, ‘I can’t do this’ and the likes but once we got to about 12 weeks I noticed a change in myself I wasn’t expecting.
I don’t obsess over illnesses, I don’t worry about things in the future such as schooling (until they get closer anyway), I don’t compare her to her friends development wise, I don’t get worried about leaving her with family, friends or babysitters, I gave up on the whole no chocolate etc thing pretty early on, I didn’t get overly emotional about going back to work and having her at nursery full time, I don’t follow her around like a protective hawk at soft play…the list goes on and on. I think she’s made me realise life is too short and it’s better to appreciate the beauty in the here and now than worry about what could happen or go wrong.
My own mum once said that even she’s shocked at how relaxed a parent I am, compared to what she expected, so that has to say something! I genuinely thought I’d be the parent who was at the doctor every week with their baby or was pressed up against the window at nursery trying to see if she’s ok, but I’m not. And that’s ok. We’re all different and there’s no right or wrong way to parent. All that matters is your own child’s happiness. I love the fact that my friends and I are all completely different parents. It would be pretty boring chat if we weren’t!
My ‘perfectionist’ tendencies do however seem to pop out again when it comes to things like birthday parties and what she eats at the weekend. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully give up that part of my personality. But hey, I’m a much more relaxed, and honestly believe better, parent for chilling out a little.
Let’s see what I’m like with baby number two huh…