Illustrations, Mummy stuff, Pregnancy

Being me and being a mum – is it asked too much?

balanceI know, I shouldn’t be saying this and rather be valuing the precious time I have left with little L as long as she is still in my tummy. And I feel awful enough about it. But I think I have had enough now.

Enough of sleepless nights, colostrum leaking breasts (don’t ask…) and water retention that give my legs the shape of Bavarian sausages. For the past nine months, everything that went past my lips has been carefully evaluated regarding its prenatal value. I forced myself to rest more and stress less. I am swallowing five different organic-vegan supplements twice a day. I even took up Yoga! Whilst little L will be considered full-term as of next Tuesday, I feel rather overripe. I want my body back. There, I said it.

After stuffing my face with M&Ms and wine gums all evening, I feel really sick. All I really wanted was a proper drink and a waistline. O.k., let’s be honest here. I want a few drinks, not just one. I want to drink from the tab of a little barrel straight from the fridge; I want to sing Turkish songs and dance with the curtain in Nina’s kitchen until the neighbours call the police. On a school night. Gosh, has this been me? Have I ever been that young and carefree?

The more I think about it, the more I get to the point that all my ‘I want my body back’ clamour is just a sign of what is going on in the back of my mind. All these question like ‘Will my baby like me? Am I going to be a good mum? How am I going to manage to still be myself, and not to loose myself in ‘just’ being a mum?’ add up in my head and keep me awake at nights. I am desperately looking for role models – mothers of grown up kids that managed to give their kids the attention they needed without forgetting to nurture their own personalities.

Being the child of an outspoken feminist and career woman, I know one extreme of the spectrum. Surely not a road I want to take. The other extreme – which for me is defined by replacing every bit that used to matter to yourself with what matters to your children and finally ends in self-abandonment and children being the only substance that describe your personality – seems not desirable to me either.

Even as a kid, I was petrified by the way some of my girlfriends spoke to their mums – with a total lack of respect and appreciation for the women that made their children the centre of their lives.

I know I am going to be dwelling on my baby and already feel rather anxious about letting anybody near her, let alone putting her in a nursery before she can speak for herself. I would not want to give her away as a baby, and I am thankful that I have the choice not to.

But where is the fine line? When is going back to work just selfish and when is it a necessity, for your own sake and for the relationship you want to have with your children?

2 Comments

  1. Tara said…
    And it is precisely that you are asking yourself all these questions MM that you will make a great mother.
    I didn’t have particularly good role models to follow and was convinced it wasn’t my role in life to become a mother.
    My poor husband just went along with every anxiety I had and all the hands in the air ‘I’m just not cut out for motherhood’.
    then in my 30s I discovered that actually, maybe I could do this and not be like all those people I didn’t want to be like.
    Then I did it and by george, it was far far better than I ever thought.
    Bloody hard work, but the sort of hard work you don’t mind rolling your sleeves up and getting stuck into!
    Sorry for rambling, but it is such an exciting time for you and I love to read that you are going through exactly what I did.
    You will find your happy place, and you will be great at it. x

    28 FEBRUARY 2009 20:19
    Metropolitan Mum said…
    @Tara: Thank you so much for your encouraging words. Good to read that I am not the only one for whom this whole thing isn’t crystal clear. Let me know how working from home is working out for you. I am particularly interested in the ‘mystical balance’ 😉
    x MM

    01 MARCH 2009 14:35
    Cat said…
    I think you’re going to be a great mother.

    Thank you for the sweet comments and thank you for the information on Wilhelm Busch.

    And regarding the painting: I actually don’t have a name for the character yet.I still have to think about it.

    P.S. I love this illustration, you really captured the situation

    02 MARCH 2009 02:10

  2. You just have to find your own way. Don’t be knocked off course by other mothers. Don’t be afraid to try something, and if it works, great, but if it doesn’t, go in another direction. It’s all a big adventure, and can be full of surprises.

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