With the Olympics on at the moment and a number of other things, I am feeling a little lost and unsure of my identity. My past goals, my past careers, my past in general. Is it forever in the past? Who am I now besides a mother?
I LOVE MUM LIFE! It is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My little girl is the best thing ever, and she brings so much joy and happiness to my life. I am excited to watch her grow and develop into a little person with her huge personality.
At the moment I am a bit stuck with what’s next. I am a full time stay at home mum and love being able to stay home and raise my little girl. But with that comes some disadvantages- no incoming money, limited adult conversation, limited time for myself, limited time to make personal goals.
I know a lot of women have this issue also. We don’t want to feel guilty or selfish for thinking “what about me?” or seeming ungrateful for the lives we have now with our beautiful children, so it becomes an unspoken issue. I can’t speak for everyone, but I am far from ungrateful for my new life as a Mum. However there is a little part of me that says “where is MY life heading? What does my next 5-10 years look like? ”
So as I mentioned at the start- The Olympics are on at the moment. The athletics has been on the past few days and I am LOVING every minute of it staying up all hours of the night to watch it.
I got injured back in 2010 prior to the Open Nationals in Perth. It took about 6 months to properly diagnose my injury (torn medial ligament in my PIP joint of my 4th toe on my left foot). One cortisone injection later giving me 6 weeks relief, I was then sent to the surgeon who told me I was going to need the PIP joint fused. I was pretty shocked and upset that I was only 20 years old and needing to have a fusion done. Two operations later after the first one not being successful the joint was fused. At the time I was studying to become a Massage Therapist and having the operations done made it tricky to massage (OHS reasons as I had wire in my toe and sticking out the top of my toe). The second operation was done over the Christmas break so it wouldn’t affect anymore of my study time. This meant I was out of athletics for 11 months. That is a long time to not do any form of training.
On my return to training after I got the all clear from the surgeon, I found I was having little niggles and injuries a lot. With the beginning of my massage career and the continuous injuries I gave competition away. This was pretty sad for me as I didn’t think that would happen so soon in my career.
Body image- Why are we always so hard on our selves? What is normal? What is ok?
I don’t have the common issue that a lot of women suffer with of weight loss. However, I have always struggled to put weight on. Now any other women in my shoes will know how frustrating this can be. As an athlete I always wanted to be 70 kg! Closest I got was 68 kg. I wanted to feel like I was stronger, more toned, and generally more athletic looking as I always felt I was more on the boney side. The first time I reached 70 kg plus was during my pregnancy – at the day I gave birth I was 84 kg! It took me to have a human growing inside of me to get over 70 kg. My goal post birth was to stay over 70 kg. Almost 11 months on and I am disappointed by the fact that I am under that 70 kg and back to what I was before pregnancy. Again for some women they won’t understand especially if they have always wanted to lose weight.
I began to love the body I had become post baby- I felt healthy, I felt comfortable, I felt happy. I was about 70-74 kg. Due to who knows why (besides the fact that motherhood/parenthood gets busy and we get caught up looking after our precious little ones, we forget to love and look after ourselves) but I don’t exercise enough to gain strength and I don’t eat enough solid meals besides a big dinner every night. I have always been a person who will snack all day on various things rather than big breakfasts and lunches on a regular basis.
Today I looked in the mirror and saw a body I am not happy to have. The once toned, athletic body I had (even though I wished it was always a bit stronger and heavier) had gone. No tone and little fat. I felt unhappy with what I was seeing. I guess it was the realisation and wake up I needed. I had been so busy that I had never really had the chance to stop and look in the mirror. I need to make more me time and find ways to make sure I am looking after myself just as much as I am looking after my daughter.
Today at 66.7 kg.
Career- I began my career post high school, and post Remedial Massage Diploma as a Massage Therapist. I love my job! Going around to different offices all over Sydney doing corporate seated massage. I get to meet so many different people, discover new places around Sydney and learn about so many different companies. I am also a Athletics Track and Field coach teaching kids how to do the various events. Again another great job working in schools, at holiday coaching clinics, having my own squad of kids on a weekly basis, meeting loads of parents and children.
A month before I gave birth I gave work up indefinitely. In the past couple of months I have done a few massage jobs and have been coaching. However this is a lot more tricky nowadays as when I get offered a massage job I now have to see who can mind my daughter as none of my family or partner’s family live here.
Company/Friends- No work, No adult commitments (work)/conversation- This can be daunting and leaves you feeling a little lonely. Often I wake up feeling like what on earth will we do today? I have no plans or structure and every day I have so much freedom for time (within reason besides being kept busy with mum duties and keeping my daughter occupied). I have started going to Playgroup on a Friday which I think will be great for myself and my daughter. I get some adult conversation and she gets to play with other kids!
My life over the next 5-10 years- What is next for me? The past me, before becoming a mum: is it gone, or will I return over time? One kid? Two kids? How many kids? When to have more kids? Part time work? Full time work? New career? Same career? I love my job so I really hope to continue on what I was doing before motherhood.
I really need some structure and a vague idea of what’s next for me over the next few years so I can plan MY life and know where I stand.
By Clare at Relaxed Parenting