Me before ‘Mum’.

I often think back to the days before entering in to the World of Motherhood. It’s not that I want those days back because I truly do love my life now. I honestly couldn’t imagine my life any other way and when I’m not with Harry I feel like a limb has suddenly been removed from my body. I feel naked without him and everything else that comes with him. Although, don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t mind borrowing Bernard’s watch every now and again. Oh, what I’d give just to stop time and experience a small taste of freedom and peace occasionally for an hour or two, I do miss that.

I never used to see a hot bubble bath with candles and a magazine a luxury before. Those rainy Sundays spending your day with your feet up on the sofa in your pj’s with a film and a hot cup of tea, that’s what you call ‘Heaven’. Turning on Netflix, choosing a series and nearly finishing it within a day, that’s freedom…freedom, freedom, freedom! I used to struggle to survive on a night of six hours sleep before, however I now consider a block of three hours sleep a huge success (that’s on a good night). Yes, it’s hard at times but you do learn to adapt and yes, it took me a while but I got there and after a while It becomes a part of your new life.

I really didn’t think my life would change that much. I honestly thought it would be the same but with a tiny person added in to the mix. I also didn’t realise how much stuff they required, so much in fact that we decided to move house this year because we were slowly swimming in baby equipment. I have to admit it was quite a shock to the system for me, I thought I was ready but the truth is, I’m not sure anything can prepare you for a baby. I really struggled adapting, especially within the first ten weeks of Harry’s life. This was due to many factors such as feeling overwhelmed, other health problems, the recovering from pregnancy and birth, sleep deprivation, dehydration from breast feeding, hormones, anxiety etc. Once I had got over the initial shock I finally settled in to my new role and it all suddenly became natural. I was very lucky to have such a helpful, supportive husband and an amazing support group of friends and family.

I truly admire single parents and those who’s Husbands work away for long periods at a time. Also, those with twins/triplets/quadruplets and parents not just with a newborn but with other children too, you’re an inspiration and deserve a bloody medal.

Being a Mum is not glamorous nor sexy. If I’m not covered in food, dribble, snot, sick, wee or any other kinds of bodily fluid, I’m either battling a poonami or forever having my hair, ears, eyelids and any other visible excess skin pulled in every direction possible. Wearing any kind of jewellery is now out of the question, shaving my legs is a treat and breastfeeding means you spend most of the time with your boobs outside than inside your bra and items such as breast pads, lanolin cream and chocolate become your daily must haves. I hear a constant sound of the teletubbies theme tune playing over and over in my head. We sleep to the hum of a hoover on the white noise app every night and a relaxing bath time nowadays consists of luke warm water and 3 X rubber penguin bath toys (bought from Newquay zoo as a memoir for Harry’s first zoo trip).

On the other hand, I’ve developed some wonderful new superpowers. My new sense of smell is out of this World, multi-tasking has become my middle name and I’ve gained a new, protective reflex which detects any kind of danger heading towards Harry. I own eyes like a hawk, even in the back of my head and my boobs react to any baby that cries. I also constantly feel like a walking, talking yo-yo…

The yo-yo description reflects the nights of constantly getting up and down to settle Harry. It also reflects my morning today, it was a lovely, relaxing morning full of cuddles and Cbeebies. It was all going so well and so just like any other normal morning I decided to put Harry in his jumperoo to play whilst I went to empty the dishwasher and made breakfast for us both. Suddenly from the kitchen I could hear a distant grunting and straining sound which usually can only mean one thing, ‘Noooooooo’, I shouted. In the panic I dropped the box of weetabix and ran in to Harry who was stood balancing in his jumperoo smiling and looking rather happy with himself. He looked so cute at this point that I had completely forgotten as to why I had gone back in to him. As I went to kiss his forehead I suddenly got a whiff of the most horrific smell, ‘oh god’, and as I went to pick him up I noticed a lovely, brown substance covering the whole of his back. I quickly took him upstairs to the changing table and sat him down. I’m sure I spent about a minute just staring at him thinking, ‘where the blooming heck do I start’? After carefully peeling of his pj’s, I noticed it wasn’t just up his back anymore. He had poo on his toes, his foot, his thigh, his arm, it was everywhere. At this point there was more on his body than in his nappy! I started to wipe him down with a few waterwipes but it wasn’t enough, those wipes are so blooming expensive that I wasn’t prepared to waste one whole pack on just one poo episode. Any Mum would understand! So, I finally managed to get his nappy off him whilst standing him up and carried him straight to the bathroom where I showered him down. Once he was washed, dry and smelling gorgeous I put him in his little bumbo seat naked for a few moments whilst I cleaned up the aftermath. When I returned to him he had a lovely big smile on his face again, ‘oh you little cutie’ I thought’. I then went to pick him up for a cuddle and on to get him dressed for the day when I noticed he was sitting in a pool of water, ‘Ahhhhh, Nooooooooooooo!!’, and so it was straight back to the bath for another shower. See why I call myself a yo-yo?

It can be a little like ground hog day some days so it’s important to plan trips out and see friends or family to break it up. I do make an effort to shower every day and put on a little make up to help me feel more human. This is to maintain my identity as Cath and not just Mum. It’s amazing what concealer, mascara and a little bare minerals foundation can do to a face that hasn’t had a full nights sleep in 9 months! I’ve slacked a little bit on the hair front but I figured it’s wild enough as it is so, I’m not sure it can get any more crazy really.

Before Harry came along I worked at a private Hospital five days a week as a HCA. It was stressful at times but I loved the fast paced environment and I loved the people there, it became a huge part of my life.

I enjoyed hobbies such as photography, reading, writing, craft work, meals out with friends, walks, the beach and singing. I love singing but I don’t get to sing like I used to, it was my release and it made me feel good. I do of course get to sing lots of nursery rhymes and songs to Harry, though it’s not like I can release my inner Beyoncé to twinkle twinkle, is it? I obviously don’t sound like Beyoncé but I wish I did, I just love her! Ry actually surprised me once and got us tickets for my birthday to see her at the O2 arena. We managed to get really close to her, she was incredible and so I repaid the favor by taking Ry for his 27th birthday present to see One Direction on their last tour. He loves/loved them and surprisingly, it was such a fun night. It seems we are slowly building a One Direction family as we have our little Harry and our nephew/God son is called Louis, please help me!!

Ry and I used to take our annual leave time off at the same time and would often plan an adventure somewhere, usually London or another kind of city trip/holiday. One of my favourites was our trip to Rome where we commuted on the train from Rome through Tuscany to Venice. We also took the Euro star to Paris with our lovely friends for two days which was our last city trip before trying for a baby.  We’ve had some really lovely holidays together to places such as Barcelona, Lanzarote, Florida, Mallorca and Turkey.

If we weren’t at concerts or gallivanting the world, you would either find us out with friends and with family or tucked in with a takeaway, watching either live television, Netflix or playing Call of Duty together. There was endless laughing, lots of cuddling and making up stupid, silly games or going on spontaneous adventures.

He’s my best friend.

We have had a wonderful 9 years of just ‘our time’ and I feel so lucky that we can look back on such amazing memories together. We are a fantastic, strong team and appreciate each other so much. I wouldn’t change my life, I love our family and I am so thankful to you Ryan for sharing this experience with me.  The good times outweigh the bad times and Harry’s smile is enough to make you want to squeeze him with delight, he makes life worth it. He has changed me for the better, finally my anxiety doesn’t rule my life anymore. It might still be there in the background but I have a new light in my life to focus on. The smile Harry gives Daddy when he walks through the door at the end of the day is the most heart warming feeling, that’s my new feeling of ‘Heaven’. I may not have the same energy as I used to and I know things are currently very different, its hard at times  but we will get there. After all… I’m still me.
My World.

 

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