Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Despite this, you still don't get a whole lot done. And this is hard. You go into this motherhood lark knowing that it's going to bring huge changes to your life. You're used to a busy job and an enormous to-do list, going to the gym, writing in the evenings and on your lunch break, attending events and conferences and staying on the ball, getting stuck in at church, keeping up to date with the news and blogs and always thinking, planning, getting stuff done. And all of a sudden, you consider it a huge achievement that you did the washing up and made the bed and only had to walk round the park for an hour before the baby would fall asleep. You think you might write about something but before you know it the day's flown by and the moment has passed.
I'm not going to lie - it can be really disheartening. Despite your love for that child and the amazing experience of watching them change and grow every day and the support from your partner and your family - it's difficult. Despite the new friends you make and the old ones you still see, it can be really isolating. On bad days, you wonder if something's happened to your identity, whether it went somewhere and whether you'll get it back - or maybe, it's just changed.
You read ridiculous articles like this one by Katie Roiphe and think "Crap, this is what some people think of me". God forbid that I should talk about or post pictures of this little person I spent 40 weeks creating and several hours birthing and now devote my days to caring for because he depends on me entirely. Hide me from your Facebook feed and unfollow me on Twitter and assume that I feel I don't matter any more and that my identity is my child, if that's what you want to think.
Last month we made our annual trip to Momentum. My favourite of the messages preached there that week was from Danielle Strickland, who flew halfway across the world with her four month old son in tow to tell us, among other things, that your circumstances don't have to be a barrier. She recalled women telling her:
"How can I do that? I'm a mother."
As if it was a problem that was going to stop them doing what they were passionate about. Danielle didn't think much of that.
"This is tough," I told God afterwards. "This is really hard."
It was confirmed to me then what I really did know all along.
"Don't worry. What you are doing now is really important."
Which doesn't mean that I'm not looking forward to really getting stuck into stuff again.