Monday, April 7, 2014

Then and now {me before and after baby}

Last Monday I joined in with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I must confess and the theme was to link up a post from March last year. It was an awesome idea (not only because I didn't have to write a new post) because it gave me the chance to go back and read where I was at a year ago. This is essentially the whole reason why I started my blog, but I rarely get the chance to look back and re-read old posts (I blame the baby). I treat my blog as if its kind of an online diary. I write down all my honest thoughts and experiences in the hopes that I will have an accurate record of my life to look back on in years to come, and I hope that at some point my daughter will have the chance to read some of my blog and maybe better understand me as a person. I share it online with others to also connect with all of you guys who may be going through or have gone through similar experiences. There is strength in numbers and we can all battle through the hard times together and celebrate the successes as well.

Reading my posts from last March was quite interesting as back then I was five months pregnant. My gorgeous little bub still hadn't entered the world and I was full of intrigue as to how she would be and what life would be like after I became a mum. The post I shared from last March was about whether my personality would completely change once I became a mum. It's kind of funny reading it back now with hindsight. It certainly makes it obvious how much I over think and analyse things that other people probably don't even contemplate.




There is a great perspective change that comes when you transition to being a parent yourself. You have a much greater appreciation for what your parents went through. You also start seeing your parents as equals (or humans) rather than authority figures. I hope that one day bub will experience this perspective shift and see me as a real person, not just mum. Perhaps if she reads my blog it won't take her as long to come to this conclusion?

I was so worried that I would cease to exist as Toni and just be mum from now on. The truth is there are now two sides to my personality, but they are kind of fused together. To bub I am mum and only mum. Originally I feared this would happen, but now I embrace it. She's never known me as Toni, so how can I expect her to relate to me on that level? She's only ever known me as mum. From the moment we first met I was mum, I've never been anything else to her. I embrace it. I love that I am the one who can fix everything with a hug. I love that I am the one she wants to snuggle with as she falls asleep. I love that she feels safe with me. I love that we can laugh and be stupid together without the need for adult conversation. She allows me to explore the childlike side of me. I've discovered it's always been there, it was just laying dormant waiting for someone to awaken it.

On the flip side I am still me. Toni is still here. Despite spending most of my time with a tiny little human, I do also catch up with my friends weekly. Don't worry there's no binge drinking and all night partying going on (the babies do enough of that). This is the first time in my life I've been able to meet up with friends for lunch, have coffee (in my case tea) just because I want to have a chat or say yes to going shopping/movies/bbqs. Not being tied down by a full time job (at least for the moment) has meant I'm actually more free to socialise now than I've ever been. To all those people who said things like a baby will ruin your life or your life will be over now - HA! I go out way more now.

I don't feel like my personality has changed, I just feel as though its been extended. I've learnt new skills, like how to recite the theme songs to most of the kids shows on abc. How to impersonate Hoot and Peppa Pig. How to do almost everything with one hand and how to turn almost any daily task into a game.

This is me. I am just Toni with some added benefits thrown in.

{Like when you order a fry pan on the home shopping channel and get a free set of steak knives}

Did you have concerns before you had kids?

Did your personality change after?

Toni xx


Linking up with Eva, Kirsty and Alicia.

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You can read all about it here.


20 comments:

  1. My personality changed in a sense but mainly because I had PND :-( ... but other than that I think I'm much the same, even now, 20 years down the track!

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    1. I had PND too Janet so for some weeks there I certainly wasn't myself, but now that I've gone through that and come out the other side I feel much better and can look at the overall picture.

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  2. Hi Toni-glad you feel better about the identity thing now. I am a very laid-back person so I saw having children as the next chapter in my life and welcomed it with open arms. It sounds weird but I didn't realise how the "24 hourness of it all" would feel. Even if you have help, ultimately it comes down to mum to care for bub even at 3 in the morning, even though my hubby was fantastic when the kids were babies.

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    1. I know what you mean its like we never get to switch off!

      I think I'm more laid back now than I was before. I used to overthink everything and always plan everything way in advance - I still do that a bit now, but I also go with the flow a lot more on a day to day basis.

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  3. I have become more relaxed since having children which is quite unlike most parents I know. It was either this or have a mental breakdown! Lovely to hear you're happy with the small changes to you :)

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    1. I think I am too Em, even though I'm always switched on. Im a lot calmer I think, or maybe its just I'm a lot happier?

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  4. The before kids version is definitely different to the after kid version, well for me anyway. Although with my girls 15, 14 & 13 I'm finding it hard to remember the old version and a life before kids.

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    1. Ha, my mum would probably say exactly the same. I'm sure the time will come when I can't remember life before ABC and toys all over the floor either.

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  5. Once I had my first child, I could not understand how my mother could have left us...there is no way I could ever desert my kids. I did not know that until I became a mum, and I agree that my folks became people after birth. Great thoughtful post! :)

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    1. I can't imagine how people could leave their children either. My dad committed suicide when I was 10 and I have to say now that I have children I see that from a total different perspective. It was a lot easier in a way to deal with it when I was a child, now that I look back on it as a parent myself it kind of makes me a bit angry at him because I don't understand how something could be so bad that you would want to never be able to see your kids again.

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  6. It never occurred to me that the kids might one day read the blog -I don't know if I'd want them to do that...you've certainly given me something to think about. (And I mean that not for what I say about them, but because of what I say about me)

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    1. It wasn't in the back of my mind when I first started because I had been dealing with infertility for a while and to be honest didn't really hold out much hope that I would even get to have kids. I guess I hope she reads it to understand me because I look at how much I never understood my own mum and she was never very loving etc, I would love to be able to read how she really felt because she never shared her feelings with me. I'm the total opposite though and probably overly affectionate, but its still comforting to know that she will be able to delve a bit deeper into my mind if she ever feels like she doesn't understand.

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  7. Motherhood has challenged my personality in that it has changed the way I approach and deal with everyday issues, especially how I react emotionally. Sometimes not as well as others. At work I was great at dealing with high stress situations, but being at home with kids is a total different kettle of fish!
    I'd agree I saw my parents differently after I had kids, and loved seeing how they were with their grandkids.

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    1. Yes I love seeing mum interact with bub because I can see her as the engaged affectionate person that I hope she was when I was younger. We were at babysitters a lot when we were young so I don't remember being with her that much.

      I'm definitely more emotional now when it comes to bub, gotta love the hormonal changes a baby brings.

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  8. I love this post and feel privileged that my prompt got you thinking in this direction. I love particularly that you feel your personality has been extended by being a mother, rather than limited. I feel I am a better person now that I am a mum - I certainly have more patience and have become more assertive!

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    1. Yep, I was so scared I would somehow disappear, but I think I've actually grown. My ability to love has got grown and so has my personality. I'm definitely more assertive now that I'm a mum and boy do we become protective!

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  9. I have definitely changed since I have had Dyllan. I think our priorities change after we have kids and a lot of the things we believed before we have kids change. The good old 'I'll never do that when I have kids' usually gets thrown out the window.

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    1. Oh my priorities have definitely changed. I can't imagine being at work all day stressing over national manager visits now when I could be at home playing with her. I seriously don't know why I got so obsessive and stressed over so much stuff in my work life when it just doesn't seem important at all now.

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  10. I could have written this post Toni! My social life has shifted from night time drinks to daytime coffees and I love it, I love how I've been able to meet other Mums and talk about things in common. I don't think I had concerns before kids, they really happened right after I had my son due to PND and the huge change motherhood had on my life, it changed my personality in the short term but that truly wasn't me, it was the disease I had. Now I'm happy to say that yes, my personality has changed and I'm more positive than ever, I've adapted and taken the good with the bad.

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    1. I had the short term PND as well and I definitely wasn't myself, but thankfully I was aware enough to ask for help early on and it didn't last too long.

      Its weird how you start loving day time socialising hey? I remember being 19 and going out clubbing all night and looking at all the 30-35yr old school mums and thinking how boring their life would be and that I would never be like them. Now I'm super happy being a boring (almost 30) mum.

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