I have been using my kids as a crutch. If I was asked to stay away for the night. I more often than not didn't want to leave them so wouldn't go. If I had to for work I didn't want to share rooms with friends as I know I wouldn't sleep properly without my family around me. I thought my laying awake would bother people. I ducked out of nights out preferring the comfort of my couch. When meeting girlfriends for drinks I would feel worried I had nothing to offer to conversations so would often sit quietly counting down the minutes until I could leave.
Photo Credit: Beth Duder
Which may surprise you as if you met me in the street you would say I am a bit gobby. I have no shame in putting myself on the internet looking like a tramp in a dressing gown. I can sit on a stage chatting about all sorts and have been known to break into song in city centres at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon. But since becoming a Mum I definitely lost tiny bits of myself here and there. Retreating into my shell in social situations. Not quite sure what to wear. And not very sure of what to say. I could chew your ear off about nits and school places but struggled when delving deeper into more of 'me'.
Basically I'm Beyoncé
I knew I had to go on this weekend away. I love my friend and didn't want to disappoint her. But I wasn't really sure what I could offer to the proceedings. But you know what? I loved every minute. I left my beautiful babies for two nights and facetimed them to see that they were indeed fine with their Dad. I shared rooms, I drank cocktails, I chatted, I laughed and I danced on stage to B*Witched like a f*cking popstar (the last bit is slightly debatable). Every time a little feeling rose up to say "but you're just a boring Mum" I quashed it with a Bellini and a chat about Love Island.
I do have a lot to offer. We do have a lot to offer. Being a Mum doesn't mean that we aren't still women. Aren't still humans who are more than just procreators. Before I had children I had a career, wanted to travel. Loved spending time with my friends and felt that I had something to offer. For the past six years that feeling was squashed. Tightly contained by the love for two small people. But slowly little by little it's coming back. It's going to take time. It's going to take baby steps...and maybe a little bit of a B*Witched Irish jig here and there #fightlikemda