Normal…. I remember, a few weeks into being a mum,
wailing saying to a friend “I just want things to get back to normal”. Said friend just looked me dead in the eyes and said… “there is no normal anymore.”
They felt like the words of doom to me in my (then) state of mind – exhausted, anxious and a little bit lost. I had always been in control of my life and managed to organise everything – and I mean everything.
In my first 2 months as a mummy it felt like everything was turned upside down and I wondered what normal would look like once I came out the other side.
Normal for me used to be being a few steps ahead of everything. I had in mind the appointments and social events for the week, for me and The Boy. Knew where to grab the cheapest and best grocery shopping, had planned out the weeks meals and what books needed to go back to the library, did a little think each night about the next day. I went belly dancing on a Tuesday, met up with a friend for drinks/food once during the week and usually have at least one night out at the weekend. I pottered away hours making cards, planning craft projects and whipping up all sort of meals in the kitchen. I also ploughed through a book a week usually.
4 weeks into mummyhood…. Library fines were stacking up, my shopping took place in one supermarket and cost about 30% more and I had no idea what I was doing from one day to the next.
I wish this had all been ok at the time, but I felt worried; worried about how to cope, anxious about whether I could get everything done that I needed to…. and I mean really, what needed doing apart from feeding and caring for my Little A? As soon as I accepted that…. things did feel a bit more normal.
So the new normal is now whatever my gorgeous little boy needs and I fit in around that… which makes me very happy and more than a little frustrated at times. The adjustment to parenthood means that I am still trying to work out who I now am… a sum of my former parts and a whole lot of new things.
I used to read a couple of books and month and 5.5 months into Mummyhood am still struggling with book number 3. I used to be obsessed with food – shopping for it, preparing it, eating it, thinking about it. My signature dishes have changed from elaborate multi-ingredient dishes, to things like pasta and pesto and salad with the fridge contents chucked in. Socialising used to be drop of the hat plans with friends and family – and now I can count on my hands the amount of nights out I have had….
The new normal…. is still normalising and I am still adjusting too. The enormity of parenthood sometimes overtakes me and makes me catch my breath and other times I feel like I might actually have a grip on what I am doing.
“I presume it gets easier” I said to the same friend… “No, you just get used to it” she said.