I always looked forward to growing up, all the while believing that I was older than my years and knew everything there was to know about everything. I turn 25 soon and I’m married, I have a beautiful baby, I live in a beautiful home, I have good friends and I eat good food.
Why is it that I feel I still need more?
Since Aidan came into our lives I’ve never been more driven. A part of SATC2 rang clear as a bell to me. Miranda and Charlotte are talking about motherhood and Miranda says something along the lines of “I love being a mother but it’s not enough“. It’s the only piece in the whole movie I connected with and then instantly felt guilty because of it. I’ve continued to feel guilty ever since. I recently saw Shrek Forever After and it was a similar theme throughout… being a parent changes your life. I thought that after I had my little family I would be a blissed out Mumma who would be happy to stay at home and for the most part I am. It’s not that I want to be away from Aidan, not one little bit… it’s just I’m starting to feel a little brain dead. This is what almost every day has become…
I wake up to Aidan stroking my hair or patting my arm. We smile at each other, I give him a kiss and a little tickle then I put him on the potty. I put on a new nappy and change him into his clothes. He reads books and plays with his toys whilst I get dressed. I put him in his high chair and he reads a book and talks to me whilst I make his Weetbix. I sometimes make myself toast. I feed Aidan and once he’s done I clean him up and plonk him on the floor to play. He wanders off while I clean the dishes, put the nappies in the wash and get the bottles ready for the day. I pack some snacks in the nappy bag, put my joggers on, pick up the baby then I’m out the door.
We always get to the gym 10 minutes late. I put Aidan in his stroller and take him into creche. I feel like an elephant in a room full of tiny little people. I get my drink bottle, phone and towel then take Aidan out of the stroller, give him a kiss and wave goodbye… he’s already on the other side of the room exploring. I tell the girls he has a water bottle and a vegemite rice cake in his bag and the emergency dummy is in the side pocket. I feel guilty but I know he’s happy. I say “hi” to Monica my gym buddy who is already on the treadmill running like GI Jane. When I’m on the treadmill I look more like Kath Day power walking. After 20-30 minutes on the treadmill (which is when Mon and I catch up) I go 10 on the bike, 5 on the cross trainer and 5 on the rower, some days I mix it up and do weights instead. Afterward we fill out our training cards and go and pick the kids up.
Once home I put the bottle in the warmer and take Aidan to the potty. I change his nappy, turn his rainforrest CD on, give him his Hylands teething tablets and then his bottle. I rock him for a little while and once his done a burp he goes in his cot. While he sleeps I have a shower, put the nappies on thier final cycle and check my email and facebook. He usually naps for 2 hours. Then I hang out the washing and put another load on of clothes if I need to. I grab something to eat. Aidan wakes up. I take him to the potty and change his nappy. I put him in his high chair, give him some water and he has lunch, usually yogurt, grated cheese, half a sandwich and a small piece of fruit (mandarin, apple, rock melon, strawberry). I usually sit at the table with him and eat or I’ll sit and read a magazine or work on articles and posts.
So it’s usually about 2 and Aidan is rested, has a full tummy and is in the mood to play. If I have to hang out the washing I take him with me and put him in his swing. He watches and laughs at Toby & Charlie and I turn the radio on. Then we go and check the mail box and wave to the elderly neighbour. Then we go inside and Aidan picks a book for me to read to him. Afterwards I leave him to play on his own and he goes off exploring. I usually pick things up around the house and write emails, all the while playing peekaboo, making sure he doesn’t get into too much mischief. This is usually the best time to go out on errands and we might go for a walk or drive to the shops.
Before I know it it’s 4pm and it’s time for Aidan’s bottle and nap. I take him to the potty, change his nappy, put on his CD, give him his tablets and then the bottle, burp him and put him in his cot. This is when I read blogs but if I’m really pooped I’ll have a nap. Aidan only sleeps for 30 minutes so sometimes a quick kip in the afternoon saves me from pulling my hair out at night. When he wakes up I put him on the potty again and then straight into the bath. Most days Steve’s home in time and he gives him a bath and puts him in his PJs. It’s so nice to hear them laughing in there together. I usually take the time out to continue whatever I was doing online and start dinner.
Aidan’s out of the bath, dressed and wanting his dinner. He usually has a meat and vegetable dish that I make up. Every 2 weeks I cook a big meal and keep portions in the freezer. This week it’s roasted chicken and sweet potato which I then stripped and broke down into a stew with spinach, leek, celery, corn, peas and a little garlic. He loves it. If he’s still hungry he has a fruit jelly. Steve usually feeds him so I finish our dinner up. While we’re eating Aidan plays on the floor and has more adventure time. We might watch a little TV or just play with Aidan with the radio on, talking about our days. At 8pm we put Aidan’s bottle in the warmer and Steve changes his nappy whilst I get his bed ready. I then sit in my rocking chair and give him his bottle and cuddle him just a little longer than I really should. It’s my favourite feed, sitting in the dark, listening to soft music, rocking my baby.
Some days it takes longer for him to go to sleep than others but there are more good days than bad. I tiptoe out of his room and slump on the couch or if Steve’s asleep I’ll go on the computer. This is when I get the majority of my work done. This is when I get my real “me” time. This is when I make plans for my business, when I do research, when I blog, when I edit photos, when I draw, when I talk to my friends and when I write. I have no domestic duties and it’s just about me. A time when I can focus on my goals, on my dreams and work on my skills. Sometimes I’ll get to bed by midnight, most nights I don’t. I’ve had to pack who I used to be 24/7 into a small 4 hour gap. Somedays it’s easier to do than others.
I think about all that time I had before Aidan and I could smack myself for being so wasteful with it. I was lazy and lacked direction. I knew I wanted to be a mother and I’ve achieved nothing as spectacular as my son in my entire life, I love being his mum but it’s not about that. Finally everything makes sense, I can see through the clouds my head used to live in and my life has purpose. I was so depressed for so long that suddenly a world of oppertunity I didn’t know exisited, materialised out of thin air. I never valued myself and even to this day I still struggle with that but that isn’t a mother I want Aidan to know.
I want Aidan to know I followed my dream without forsaking my responsibilites or loved ones. I want him to know he can create his own path without conforming to how others believe it should be made. I want him to fall in love with someone who values themself as well as him. I want him to know I tried everyday to be a better person. I want him to want the same for himself. Being a mum is the hardest and most rewarding experience that I feel truly blessed to be apart of. It’s a dream I never thought I’d realise, but I am and I’m learning to take the good days with the bad. I’m learning to take care of myself as well as my family. I’m learning that you cannot make time, only use it.
I don’t know what I did to be so lucky. All I know is that I’m grateful that I get to be at home with my son. As he grows our daily pattern will adapt but I’ll still make time to work on my dreams whilst savouring every toothy grin and giggle.