In Aug 2015, aged 40, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I went into hospital as Anita and I came out another person. When he was born, I WAS BORN. Another version of me was born, one I didn’t know and one who hadn’t lived before.
You see, I was a first time mum and besides all the physical challenges and joys of looking after a new born child, I lost myself. I lost who I was. Until recently. I then went on to have another child straight after so, in 3 years, my life has been a beautiful chaotic noise.
It’s settling down a lot now, I can feel it, literally. They are 2.5 and 3.5 years old now and though we’re into the next stages of fighting and teasing each other and I’m forever being the referee, it’s much calmer than the every two hours crack of feeding and changing and no sleeping.
As you just get on with it and you’re thrown in at the deep end, I just know I’ve lost myself in the process. Not in a negative way; just a realistic way. I’ve still laughed, cried, had fun, been out for dinner a few times and just got busy being a mum and still having my own business.
I was playing a game with the kids in the car yesterday, asking them questions in a quest to keep the youngest distracted from falling asleep, otherwise she wouldn’t sleep that night.
I asked them: “what colour hair is daddy’s? What colour is mummy’s? And nanas?” Etc etc.
“Who is your best friend Pauric? And Niamh’s? And daddy’s?”, they answered “Brian!”, which is true, I said “who’s mummy’s?” They had no answer?! It dawned on me I have no friends left!!! I do!
But that’s what it felt like. There’s no one in my life that they see except family really.
I spend all my time as a mother, housewife and singer that I’ve not created anytime for me – to go out with my friends. Enough so that my children can at least mutter another person’s name!
I was so popular before I had kids, I wide circle of friends; I was always out. But it’s changed. It does, and it has to. But we have to stay true to us, to ourselves.
Even little things like doing makeup, washing and drying your hair, applying fake tan (which really gets on my nerves), but that little bit of self care, goes a long way!
My intention to take more time on myself physically and, then, creating time for dinner with my old friends is something I’m going to make an actual plan to do and achieve.
The other thing I’m doing is making time for my mum and dad, too. I’m really close to my family and they do everything for me but it’s just chores and tasks, I’m too tired at night to do anything else.
Dad and I love watching the grand old Opry, he’s a drummer and I’m a singer, so a night in together, takeaway and a bit of country Irish music and we’re in heaven.
My mum, I’m like her, we just like a laugh, so thinking a comedy movie night and homemade food, with a beautician doing a home based pedicure to relax.
Lastly, not forgetting my lovely Man. We just love one full day and night together, quite simply in our local hotel. I go in the spa during the day – he chills on his phone. We eat together, a couple of wines, lovely dinner and go back to our room for a luxury, undisturbed night’s sleep!
Coming out of the newborn stage and now I’m making time for ME.
What do you do, for time to yourself?