Nothing has changed

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In so many ways, the moment you have children everything changes. Initially life is unrecognisable, a blur of love, nappies, more love, milk, soreness, tears, contraptions, pain, advice and then even more love. Your life as you know it is obliterated. But then slowly it comes back, more slowly for some than others depending on their circumstances. But little lights at the end of little tunnels emerge and eventually join up and suddenly you’re out after dark, drinking Prosecco under bright lights, laughing like a drain and nothing hurts or leaks when you do it.

The biggest thing I’d say to anyone new to motherhood is this: you will feel like you again. For months, maybe years, you might not. You might spend every waking day worrying about or caring for or running after these little humans that you’ve created. It might be all you talk about, think about, dream about. But it is so important that at some point, probably when you’re sitting back-to-the-wall in the bathroom sobbing your overspilling, tired, torn heart out, to dig really deep and find you again.

I love my children and I don’t mind doing anything for them. Some things I enjoy more than others. Changing nappies is fine, we get a chance to make each other giggle. Putting their endless stream of laundry away into drawers is not so much fun. There are about 86 other jobs I do most days that frankly I can take or leave. That’s a lot of time spent doing things that I don’t really want to do. And that’s fine, because I do want to look after them and I do want them to be happy. Most days that overrides the tedium and the relentlessness. The other days are just part of the package and they can be awful, I’m not going to lie.

But it’s so, so, so important to find the things you DO want to do, the things that used to make your heart sing. For me, that’s not the things I think I should be doing: pilates for example. I’d benefit from it and I’d probably enjoy it. Am I doing it? No, not at the moment. Because I think you need to rewind right back, right back to when you were just you. And choose things that were good for you in other ways, that have nothing to do with what is good for you now.

I don’t want to run. I want to sit at my computer and write. I don’t want to learn a language. I want to listen to loud, loud music on my headphones and let my mind run wild. I don’t want to go shopping for clothes for myself. I want to sit on the sofa with a book and read it. Because despite the fact that my life might be unrecognisable to people who have not seen me for a while, I have not changed one single bit.

When you have small children there is very little time to yourself. We’re all like deers in headlights when we’re given five minutes or a few hours to ourselves. What do we do first? Should we get organised? Plan some meals? Go for a run? Do some work? Sleep? Or should you close your eyes and try to remember what it was that made your heart sing when you were 15, 20, 25?

Before you cared about anything.

Before you knew how precious time was.

Before anyone expected anything of you.

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  39 comments for “Nothing has changed

  1. Kath Torpy McCarthy
    October 30, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Lisa,
    This wonderful post is just what I needed this morning. You are a beautiful writer and these words are so welcome and true … My second little treasure is 4 months old next week and between the back-to-newborn and the jolt that is having two small humans with (sometimes) conflicting needs.

    It’s wonderful to reflect and take a moment to think about what gives me joy, BK (before kids) and after.

    Thank you for the wise words! Hope you and your gorgeous family are really well.

    Kath xx

    • February 5, 2016 at 12:10 pm

      Sorry for delay in replying to your lovely comment Kath!! I am glad you enjoyed the post. I keep forgetting to write my blog but that’s the beauty of small children. Hope the two-child thing is getting easier and everyone is well
      ! πŸ™‚ xx

  2. May 31, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Absolutely yes to this! A couple of weeks ago my hubby happened to be working from home and so kept the little man at home with him while I took his big sister in the car to pre-school a few miles away. I drove home on my own. I put a CD on (yes – CD – I’m old) and found “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve (See – told you I’m old). I drove home (mostly through 30 zones) with it blasting out on full volume and driving like a crazy person (OK so I accelerated to 55 when I briefly hit a 60 zone but you know what I mean). I felt like a 20 year old again and It. Was. Amazing! The tiny things make such a difference and it’s so nice to get a glimmer of the old you sometimes. Lovely post x
    Thanks for linking up with #fartglitter x

  3. June 5, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Lovely post and yes to this! It is so important that we make time for outselves πŸ™‚ It is easy to get lost and I think that starting my blog was a way of finding myself again. I also have to listen to music on full blast whilst getting the kids to dance with me πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday!! xxx

    • Lisa
      June 5, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      I do the music thing too! And the days there is no loud music are the days I feel it’s more of a struggle!! Keep blasting it out…and yes see you next Sunday! xxx

  4. June 7, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Absolutely love this post. It truly is important to make time for ourselves, or we literally are living for someone else-which is okay, most of the time. I love being outdoors, LOVE hiking, and have found such a fun way to include my whole family. But, other times, I just like sitting on my computer and browsing the web while sipping on my coffee-it’s all about balance, right?! (: #KCACOLS

    • Lisa
      June 12, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Thank you. Living for someone else is right, and it’s so easy to get buried in that! Balance is good. And slowly, day by day, it’s possible to regain a little. A little step back, a little step forward…but we’ll get there. And then they will be teenagers. πŸ™‚

  5. June 7, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Beautiful writing. I find I care much more about somethings then I ever used to, for the better. For example, feminism is something I have become much more focussed on since having kids. I think thats a positive. Finding time for yourself, to nurture yourself so you can nurture them is so so important #kcacols

    • Lisa
      June 12, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      Thank you! Feminism has always been of interest to me, but like you, gosh since having kids it all becomes so much more important, especially as you observe the way the world puts the genders into little pockets so early on. Thanks for reading! xx

      • July 16, 2016 at 5:15 pm

        This is so true! As a student i was so militant about it. Then in my 20s I was much more “meh, life” and then since having kids it’s like BOOOOOOOM Feminism is back in the room. For me anyway. πŸ™‚

  6. June 10, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    This is such a lovely post and you definitely leave yourself behind when having kids and it is so important to take some time for ourselves again.

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

    Azaria- Being Mrs Lynch

    • Lisa
      June 12, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks! Time for ourselves is essential. Rare but essential! πŸ™‚ xx

  7. June 10, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    What an interesting and great suggestion! I have very little time for me, & I do tend to do the things I think I should be doing when I do. I like this suggestion instead. #KCACOLS

    • Lisa
      June 12, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Great, glad you liked it and hope you’ve found something you used to love doing and have found time to do it! πŸ™‚

  8. June 10, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    sleep -that is what I like to do for me time haha! and go food shopping alone! #KCACOLS

    • Lisa
      June 12, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Oh I love food shopping alone..it’s the little things. πŸ™‚

  9. June 11, 2016 at 6:34 am

    Aww what a lovely post Lisa! Yes I agree that it is very important to remember that we exist and try to do things that will bring us back to life again like a few minutes just for yourself will give you that. This week I have been walking back on my own from nursery and even though it is not far from my home I have been enjoying a lot that time to myself to put my ideas together and be able to just be with my own thoughts, breath the air and feel the sun (it has been sunny last week) so yes those tiny little things are great! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS, πŸ™‚ xx

    • Lisa
      June 12, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      Ah thank you! “Bring us back to life” is exactly right! Just to be able to think a thought in peace is an amazing feeling. A little walk, a bath ALONE, an hour at the desk…small things make a big difference! xx

  10. June 14, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    It is ironic that this was the post before mine on the #TwinklyTuesday linky because the pot I linked up was about finding myself again after feeling so lost since having children. I completely agree, sometimes us parents just need to do something for ourselves!

    • Lisa
      June 14, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      Amazing, I’ll go and have a read of yours too! Thank you πŸ™‚

  11. June 14, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    This is such a sweet post. I wish I could go back to those carefree days. My twins are now in college and I still don’t have much time for myself. I know I can do better, but being a single mom isn’t always easy. One thing that will never go away will be your love and care (worrying) for another human being. This is a great post to remind us to think of the good. Found you on Twinkly Tuesday

    • Lisa
      June 22, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Thank you! I bet it never stops, even when they seem to be all grown up! Thanks for reading πŸ™‚ xx

  12. June 22, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    This is a lovely post and you’re so right. I think sometimes we really do need to forget what it expected of us and just do what we love.
    Really great post, thanks for sharing. xx
    #twinklytuesday

    • Lisa
      June 22, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ xx

  13. June 30, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    Love your writing style and the content!

    It’s easy to feel trapped by the apparent monotony of life at times with a little one but the good moments definitely outweigh the bad – most days anyway!

    Completely agree about the music – life without music would be painfully quiet!

    • July 6, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Thank you, that’s very kind! Music is essential of sanity at home with the little ones…!!

  14. July 12, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    This made me think of what I am before I became a mother. I liked blogging before and I still do now. Reading. I love it before and now but I have less time to do it. I think that being a mother didnt change me but made me just be more of what I was. I dont even know if I make sense but your post is thought provoking.

    #puddinglove

    • July 13, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      Thank you so much! πŸ™‚

  15. July 14, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Visiting from #stayclassymama. It is so true what you wrote : you need time to do what you love to do AND you will eventually feel like yourself again!

  16. July 14, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Being you and doing things for you is sooooo important for your mental health. This is a fabulous post Hun! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime πŸŽ‰

  17. July 14, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    My allotment keeps me sane – it’s where I escape to to be just me and I don’t know where I’d be without it! #ablogginggoodtime

  18. July 14, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Lovely post πŸ™‚ I totally get the rabbit in the headlights thing…if I ever get half half an hour to spare I end up wasting it, deciding what to do! If I won the lottery I’d just read books and listen to music (and give the kids big cuddles obviously!)
    #StayClassyMama

  19. July 16, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    This is great. So true. You do find yourself after the fug of new motherhood. And yes the things that are important to you in downtime change even if you do feel like your old self. Reading a book with a glass of wine or 3 is bliss now. For a whole evening! Where as it used to be something I’d just do for half an hour snatched here or there before. Loved this! #StayClassyMama

  20. July 16, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    So important to make time for yourself – but so hard with two small children. Like you my relaxation is to put my music on and kick back with my laptop for an hour. Its hard to find the time, but I make myself! Thanks for sharing #Puddinglove

  21. July 16, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    It’s comforting to remember that even though you do feel like you’ve lost yourself at first, it won’t be like that forever. There are things about my old life that I miss-freedom, mostly-but actually they are few and far between, and there are far more things that I don’t miss. #fortheloveofBLOG

  22. July 16, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Stealing moments is so important. Unbelievable how quickly it goes and you realise a decade has past and not one of your dreams has come to fruition because you’ve spent that time putting everyone else first. #Fortheloveofblog

  23. July 19, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    I love, love, love this post. I just teared up because of how RIGHT you are. We need to go back to what made us happy when everything else wasn’t getting in the way. It’s so funny because three months after my son’s birth I decided to start taking hip hop dance classes….random? Why all of a sudden was I taking dance classes? I think I realised your thoughts emotionally, dance was what I used to do back in my school days, that made me happy, that was a hobby I did at home alone. I think I was trying to find me again. This post is so powerful, thank you so much for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  24. July 22, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Wow your post has really moved me reading it, and I can completely emphasis with you. In the beginning it was really hard, endless feeding and very little sleep. But slowly as my daughter has got older (she’s nearly 1) it has become easier. She sleeps through and I’ve gone back to work. Slowly I’m finding a little bit of me again. And like you, I don’t want to go to Pilates, but would love to go for a run every now and again. I just want to blog my heart out. Thanks so much for linking up this week at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  25. July 23, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I love this, thanks so much for sharing! It is so easy just to become so and so’s mummy and forget that you have a life of your own. For me, it can be finding 15 min to have a cup of tea and read a book, it’s so important to find time for yourself, I honestly think it makes me a better mum and I feel so much better when I find time for myself too. Lovely post. #fortheloveofblog

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