I am just going to be honest with you, I find motherhood as scary as fuck! When I sat down to write this post, I think I only had a handful of fears that I was going to share with you. However, here I am with my pen in my hand, writing while I type because ALL the fears have just suddenly come flooding right back to me! This is a relatively tongue in cheek posts, so you don’t need to know that every time Christian (my hubby) calls me on the way home from the nursery run, I fear that he is calling me to tell me something bad happened to Allegra at nursery. Or that he and Allegra have been in a car accident or….you get the drift, all sorts of horrific things that I won’t and just can’t prepare for if anything were too happen. You don’t need to know all about that, because most of the time he is just calling to ask if he can bring anything home for dinner and usually everything is completely fine.
The fear that I am talking about comes from me, Ayesha after Allegra, ever having to face another woman like the old me, Ayesha before Allegra. Let’s just be frank here, before having Allegra I never even had a maternal tooth in my mouth let alone a whole bone in my body. Maternal, I was not! I would go as far as to say that I was the opposite of maternal…whatever you might want to call that! Kids hated me and that was quite fine by me. Beyond my lack of affection for children, was my massive underestimation of motherhood. In fact, I never underestimated it, I never gave it one single second of a thought. However, when I did, I was flippant and selfish and I was always so quick to think about the child disrupting my flight, my supermarket shop or my train journey and never about the mother who was with that child or baby and what she might be dealing with. The fears that I have about motherhood have been created mostly by the person I once was in my pre-baby life. But I guess that’s all of us, right? The fears I have overcome…
Supermarket Meltdowns and Public Embarrassment
During the early stages of motherhood, I was shit scared to leave the house with Allegra. My greatest fear was that something might happen to her that would cause her to cry uncontrollably in public and I’d be unable to console her. An inconsolable baby is bad enough at home, let alone out in public. I had visions of Allegra screaming that piercing awful distressed baby cry in the middle of the supermarket and the whole world and his wife would be there just gawping at me with those eyes full of pity or even worse, with disgust, and I’d just be a flustered, panicking, sweaty mess because I’d have absolutely no clue what to do.
I was not about to risk having any child show me up in public
Allegra is almost two now, so the uncontrollable crying has been swapped out for god awful ridiculous tantrums. Of course, two years into motherhood and I know a little bit more about what to do when she decides to throw her toys out the pram, literally. However, the fear still remains. There is nothing quite like a toddler’s wrath and before I had Allegra the thought of a child having a meltdown in public and that child being mine was all the contraception I needed – I was not about to risk having any child show me up in public! Although years of experience might allow us to be better equipped for toddler tantrums as mothers, tantrums are certainly far worse than a crying baby, at least for the public anyhow. A toddler in the midst of a tantrum can cause problems, get in the way, accidentally hit someone and just generally disturb the peace. All it takes is just one person to mutter, ‘control that child’ under their breath and my greatest fear for them would be that I would hear!
Not Getting My Body Back
I have pretty much spent the last ten years of my life on diets, counting calories, watching my weight and being very much concerned with being skinny. It might have something to do with once upon a time being a dancer or with working in fashion, but mostly I think it’s to do with being a woman. I had no idea what my body would do throughout pregnancy, I imagined I was going to put on loads of weight and potentially be the size of a house. However, I also imagined I would be so disciplined that even if I didn’t snap back, I would just workout as soon as I got the go ahead from the doctors and be back in my size ten jeans as normal, in no time.
New baby, new lifestyle, new body, old drinking habits
The old me always felt like women who had babies that did not work wholeheartedly to get their bodies back were lazy and letting themselves go and I never wanted to be a part of that. Well, thankfully I never gained loads of weight throughout my pregnancy, I had a face as round as a pumpkin, but remained pretty much a size twelve throughout the entire pregnancy. After childbirth I was fortunate enough to be back into my normal jeans within a couple of weeks and that’s basically where that fairy tale ends. New baby, new lifestyle, new body, old drinking habits does not make for a good combination.
The old me is shocked at how much I have struggled to get my weight down and shocked that I could even gain as much weight as I have. The NEW me, the Ayesha after Allegra, well I am sad about the weight battle and if I think about it for long enough I can feel a little bit sorry for myself. I mean last night I Googled ‘Why is motherhood is making me fat?’! Nevertheless, I am also kind of proud of the fact that I have not allowed this to consume me and I have learnt to appreciate my body in a way that is more than just for its aesthetic. I have recognised that although being healthy is key, being skinny is not a priority and I am fortunate enough to have a full enough life, with loads of goals and ambitions that I just don’t have the time to let this frivolous shit eat me up. I have had weight comments from family and friends and although they niggle at me and I won’t ever forget them, they are not altering my focus.
Not Having My Shit Together and Losing the Plot
For as far back as I can remember, I have always had my shit together and in those blip moments in my life where I might not have done, I have always made the effort to APPEAR as though my shit was still well and truly together. At least that was true of the old me. To show I was losing at life, not winning a situation or struggling with a circumstance that had come at me was not something I really even knew how to do. Admittedly, my life has been pretty plain sailing, but my point is, some might have described me as an emotionless control freak that even in my shittiest moments still came out smelling of roses. My values were standards, discipline, control, success = (appear) happiness.
Do not believe her and do not compare yourself to her
And believe it or not I was happy, at least to what my definition of happy was back then. However, that changes significantly once you have a baby, the quality of happiness just gets so much better. Having said that, all those aforementioned values went right out of the window and throughout that new born new mum phase I could not have been any further from having my shit together. I was a shell of myself, just trying to keep this baby alive with absolutely no clue what I was doing. I was catapulted into this new job role, with no experience or even understanding of babies and barely any sleep. I didn’t give a shit about how I appeared full stop, let alone appearing to have standards and discipline and control. A Mummy YouTuber, Emily Norris said in one of her videos, ‘Lower your standards’ and that’s exactly what the fuck I did. I had to. That new born phase had me in a complete state, I was a mess.
I will tell you this from now, any mother that goes about parading her perfect mothering skills and her perfect children and her perfect life is not only a liar, but she is doing other mothers a disservice. Do not believe it, do not believe her and do not compare yourself to her!
Losing Friendships and My Social Life
Before having Allegra, let’s say there were very few nights of the week that I didn’t go out. Things slowed down in the lead up to my wedding, but even my job involved being out and hosting events. I was a social beast. A party animal, a raver and a drinker. I invest heavily in my friendships and subsequently my social life and I have always made it my point of duty to show up. If I am invited and I care about our relationship I will be there. The thought of NOT being there and falling off the social radar ever in life scared me, it scared me even more so knowing that it could be ‘because I’m a mum’!
I don’t know if I ever thought I might change as a mama, but I didn’t want my friends to think I had changed. I wanted to be that cool mama, that looks amazing, still knows how to have a good time and still always turns the fuck up! Well, naturally the nature of the socialising I am able to do on a regular basis as a mama changed completely. While Allegra was teen tiny she was in the pubs and out to dinner with us all the time, because she didn’t really do much and I was feeling good about being able to hold on to that small part of Ayesha before Allegra. Of course, I wasn’t able to go into London, hit up the bars, be on the scene and just see where the night might take me…those days were well and truly over and I worried that my friends might get sick of the limits my social life now had.
I get to make my Gin and Tonics as strong as I like
However, firstly I do have some really amazing friends. A lot of them more like family now than friends. I feel like that happens when you have children, the friendships that you keep become so much stronger and more meaningful. Secondly, the people you spend your time with also become better quality. They are your friends that you trust to be around your children and/or are worthy enough of you spending time away from your children. Nights out on the town don’t happen so frequently, but when they do, they are far more memorable, no matter what you do. Also, I feel like you learn to love hanging out at home more, because let’s be honest that’s mostly where you’ll be inviting your friends on a Saturday night. The upside to this for me has always been, nobody is chucking me out because it’s time to go home (the story of my life) and I get to make my Gin and Tonics as strong as I like! X
Of course, since becoming a mother I have a whole new set of fears that I could not have known till becoming a mama and I have no idea how I am going to overcome those either. Hopefully, one day, just like today, I’ll be able to look back, take stock and say I’ve done it!
Dress from the William Morris & Co x Hm collection (sold out) Similar here
Bag Vintage Chanel given to me
Fila Trainers similar here
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