My Motherhood Wake Up Call - by Laura Bevan
There is an awkwardness that is attached to motherhood. An awkwardness that no other life situation will bring. A sort of limbo stage where you are nothing but everything. A bitter sweet existence that creates a tirade of happiness but sadness simultaneously.
Before my first child I vowed that I would not allow motherhood to take centre stage in my life and that I would still maintain my friendships - all of them. Yes, even those friends who liked to fly out to other countries at the drop of a hat - all of them. How I imagined doing so, to this day I still do not know. I was strong willed and determined to have it all. Nothing could have prepared me for the slap or should I say 'punch' in the face that motherhood would bring.
It began to transpire in the third week into my maternity leave. I began to see just how flawed my views were on motherhood. My thoughts on motherhood were flitting around the house, cleaning and cooking up the most fabulous 4 star (ish) meals, being dressed by 8:00am and ready to leave the house for a trip to Selfridges by 9:00am. But what I was met with was despair. Piles of dirty laundry, a cluttered house and a messy bun that took centre stage on top of my head like a perched bird for almost 6 months straight.
I mean I have never really been one to be delusional (until now I guess) but this was nothing like I had imagined and nothing like I had read. So I began to think there was something wrong with me. I was not capable. A bad mother. A terrible home maker. The worst.
In order to keep my sanity and escape from the mundanities of the daily motherhood struggle, I began to reach out to friends. Yes, the same friends that I vowed to continue my friendships with and guess what? Only a handful of them bothered to reach back.
Loneliness gripped me like I once gripped a pair of Chanel pumps that I had to have. I would go days without speaking to another adult - did I mention I am also a single mother and my immediate family lived abroad. I had brought life into the world and could not even provide a half decent life for myself I would think. I was stuck.
That was three years ago. The last three years have taught me a great deal. I began to take control of my life as opposed to letting my life control me. I began to attend single parenting groups and built a new network of friends. I learnt to control my thoughts and focus on the positive and being grateful for what I had and not what I felt I lacked. I learnt to not rely on anybody and expect nothing - (this way I never felt let down). I began focusing on my happiness and the things that brought out the best in me. I refrained from toxic relationships and sought only positive people to surround me and my child.
You see, motherhood, although initially feeling like I had been cheated by it, has taught me so much and I am so thankful for my lessons. The fear I felt and the feelings of inadequacy are now few and far between. I value so much more since becoming a mother. Don't get me wrong I do still have days when I feel that I can not make it, but ultimately I have learnt that life is on the other side of fear and when I feel low, negative or doubt myself, that's when I pick up pace and push even harder.