Some people look at me with raised eyebrows, some people look at me in disdain, some people say 'yes absolutely you can', others aren’t sure and the rest remain impassive. As a new mummy I so desperately don’t want to link a negative connotation to this brand new world.........but some days that is exactly how I feel.....bored! And yet somehow that word feels stupidly ironic, because of course I’m not bored in the physical or mental sense, I have loads of things to think about and a huge amount to do. The most obvious being to take care of my little girl, which 'is the greatest job in the world' I hear myself say and yet here I am so conflicted around this word ‘bored’. Because as soon as I’ve said it out loud I feel guilty!! Why do I feel like this? You’re so ungrateful! There are so many people out there who are desperate for what you have! You shouldn’t feel like this? You’re obviously not doing this right? Is there something wrong with me for feeling like this? Why aren’t I more enthused or fulfilled by this role as a mummy? Brain and heart literally explode one after the other because when I get one of her gummy little smiles or hear her starting to coo and gurgle as if trying to talk to me, the whole world melts and nothing matters anymore. But still that word continues to echo through my thoughts and I get so cross with myself, maybe bored isn’t the right adjective maybe relentless or frustrating are better words but I feel those to at different times and for different reasons.
My job pre baby was extremely fast paced, with lots of deadlines and time pressures and over the years I’ve found that like many of us I work best under pressure, it’s a job that’s always busy and something that provided a real sense of achievement for me and even though this wasn’t the plan I gave birth 48hrs after finishing work for maternity and so seemingly went straight into a much slower pace of life; is this why I feel ‘bored’ because life is slower paced now in many ways. This in itself throws up numerous questions in my head; do I want to go back to work? Should I go back to work now? How would I feel if I went back to work? Full time? Part time? And then again I feel angry with myself for thinking this, how could I possibly want to go back to work now and leave my little girl and not allow myself this time, deep down I know I don’t want to. I don’t miss being at work but I do miss the busy-ness, the pressure, the work, the people and the camaraderie. But then I reflect and realise this is all a huge period of adjustment and change which I’m notoriously not good at because I worry about it. Equally with such huge adjustments taking place in my life it makes sense to have time to adapt and not go rushing back into anything. But like many others I worry about all the change and how this will look in the future, how will I cope, what will it be like when she’s older, how will I manage to get out the house on time, will I be able to balance work and being a mummy, will she miss me, what if this happens what if that happens? Getting lost in questions that are making my ‘present’ more confused. I need to remind myself one step at a time. One day at a day and even one hour at a time, just like on any other hard day pre baby.
Too much time on my hands also springs to mind which again is a ridiculous notion, but this is underpinned by a insatiable need to ‘achieve’ things, tick things off a list, complete tasks and feel a sense of achievement by stepping out of my comfort zone, very much elements that I achieved through my job and I know since July I’ve been so far out of my comfort zone it’s crazy but somehow it feels different. I can’t tick things off anymore because I rarely have two hands, I step out of my comfort zone at least 2 or 3 times week performing baby related tasks but don’t have the reflection time to see it as an achievement, plus I there are huge societal pressure for new mums just to ‘get on with it’ and the things that I perceive to be new and hard are considered normal and inconsequential by many and finally you don't receive any feedback. And this I think is the crux of it. I don’t want a pat on the back or ten gold stars, nor do I need someone telling me I’m doing a good job every day and I certainly don’t want to wish time away because I love how small she is, how tiny her feet are, the fact that she still fits on my chest and in my arms for cuddles, but at the moment there are limited voices in my days except my own. I can't wait to have little conversations with her in the future where she can tell me what’s wrong or what she would like (but I know this brings with its own frustrations, as in they don’t stop talking!!), instead of it all being guess work or a process of elimination to figure out what my screaming bundle of joy wants and it is this, this form of isolation that comes with motherhood that I find boring. There are baby groups, mum groups, play groups, friends, family, friends with babies all of which are amazing and create other voices and help to make time pass but on the longest days no amount of baby classes will fill the isolated void in your own head that to me brings with it the boredom. I love her so much but that doesn’t mean the 15th nappy change of the day doesn’t bring lethargy or cleaning up sick for the millionth time in an hour doesn’t start to wear thin. Repetition is the key to being great at things, that famous saying 'practice makes perfect' and the academic study that states that you need to put in at least 10,000 hours practice to become an expert/elite in your field, but again that doesn’t mean that some of those hours will be tedious.
BUT it is here I have to stop myself because my baby is so tiny and she will only be tiny for a short time and I know one day I will look back and miss these days so much, ironically I imagine it will be on the first day I go back to work, so I must remind myself that this is not forever and this maternity time that we are so fortunate to get in the UK will fly by. Apparently maternity leave in the US is far more stringent. So being grateful for what I have, enjoying each day and not giving myself to much of a hard time about the 'boredom' is my plan. I will continue to adjust and adapt because as you find out with a new baby this is just what happens so I can't hold on to tight.
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