BY ALLY ROBERTS (GUEST WRITER)
I felt a whole range of emotions when I found out I was pregnant, from happy and excited to nervous and quite frankly terrified. But one feeling that kept niggling away at me was the fear of becoming a new mum & losing my sense of identity. It took me over 30 years to become the woman I was and I wasn’t ready to give her up, I just had no idea how I was going to manage being a good mum and still be me.
Growing up I was often referred to as someone’s daughter or sister and I spent my twenties carving out a life that was mine. I fell in love with travel, different cultures and other peoples idea of normal fascinated me. I set myself challenges and completed the three peaks, night rides, half marathons and numerous 10ks. I was worried I wouldn’t have that any more and just be known as someone’s wife and mum, then felt guilty for thinking that for surely there’s no greater title as being someone’s mum?
Obviously with the world in lockdown, travel and challenges are out of the window, but I found myself putting pen to paper when Elena was born to try and clear my mind and make sense of the crazy year we’d just lived through. I’d always loved the idea of writing I enjoyed English at school and college and I’ll read any opportunity I get, I’d just always come up with excuses for not writing anything down myself. So I wrote a poem for Elena’s memory box when she was two months old, I then stumbled across a project on Instagram.
The author Emylia Hall was putting together an anthology called born in lockdown and wanted people to write in with their experiences. I’d missed the deadline but sent my poem in anyway and she said she wanted to include one of the stanzas in the pregnancy section, it was all of six lines but It felt so good that in the throes of becoming a new mum I was managing to do something for me.
I then set up an Instagram account to document my writing and motherhood and stumbled across this wonderful online community of mums and ones who enjoy writing. A message from That Mama Club inspired me to write this article and send it into them.
Writing helps clear my mind and gives me a focus and it’s my interpretation of ‘me time’. Leaving my husband to parent whilst I nip for a quick shower isn’t what I’d call me time, it’s a basic human need and I think as mothers we need more than that, well I do anyway. I guess what I’m trying to say is everyone has a spark or something they’re passionate about but self doubt or excuses get in the way. Even if it’s just ten minutes a day I try to dedicate that time to writing.
Obviously some days I find myself at 5pm, husbands home and I’m not quite sure what I’ve managed to achieve that day, but more often than not I find if I don’t put the TV on until a certain time of day or spend less time on Facebook it frees my time up to invest in me. It’s slow progress, I mean It’s taken me several days to put this together in what normally would only take an hour or so but that doesn’t matter. You can lose yourself in giving too much away but having a small amount of time dedicated to yourself can make a huge difference to how you feel, I genuinely feel like a better mum and wife for it too.
We hope you resonated with Ally’s post & her fears of becoming a new mum!