Motherhood is a rollercoaster, complete with laughing, screaming, terror and relief. The first six months of being a first-time Mum was amazing. So filled with love and contentment, but also a big slap-in-the-face wake call! No one can really ever prepare you fully for the journey that you’ll undertake when you have a little person that depends on you so much.
But really, I coped with that part of being a Mum just like we all do in our own way. The real struggle for me? Well happened around my daughter’s first birthday. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but I do remember looking in the mirror and not recognising myself. Not in the physical sense (although my body had been well and truly changed by pregnancy), but in the sense that I didn’t know who I was anymore.
Somewhere along the way, I’d lost myself within the label of ‘Mum’ and ‘Partner’. Apart from these two roles, I had no idea what made my heart skip a beat anymore or what ignited that fire within my soul. I had thrown myself whole-heartedly into my role as Mum, something that I will never regret, but in doing so it had left very little, if any time to nurture myself, to nurture me as an individual. When I looked in that mirror, I saw a stranger and it shocked me as to how quickly it had happened, and all the while without me even noticing.
I wasn’t willing to sit by and remain lost in the title of ‘just’ being a mum. I refused to do it for me, but more importantly for my daughter. I wanted her growing up and seeing her Mum as someone who had her own interests, her own passions, and her own circle of friends. And so, with a fire in my belly, I dug deep and thought about who I really wanted to be and what things I wanted to encapsulate my life.
I started a blog almost immediately. My love for writing had started much earlier when I was a teenager. Apart from being a creative outlet for me, Blogging opened up a whole new world! For a woman who was already an introvert (who also suffered from anxiety) it was quite scary putting myself out there, making connections with strangers and sometimes even attending events. But scary also meant exciting! The more that I wrote, the more connections I began making with like-minded women whom I never would have met otherwise. And even now, blogging is always something I can back to.
With the birth of my first born also came the rebirth of my love for photography. After purchasing my first DSLR I decided that I didn’t just want to be a mum taking photos so I enrolled myself in a photography course in the city. On Wednesday nights, I’d kiss my little girl goodnight and head off into Melbourne. I’d park my car a block away from campus and wander the streets, visiting cafes and enjoying the surroundings. I dove deep into the materials being taught and practised them daily at home. My passion for photography was reignited and it worked hand-in-hand with my blog too. It was also another way for me to connect with my daughter, we’d head out on adventures, set up mini photo shoots and I’d even teach her how to use my camera.
Apart from blogging and photography though, I also decided that I needed time to nurture both new and old friendships. With a supportive partner, it meant that most weeks I was able to catch up for friends for coffee (who am I kidding, I don’t drink it and survived motherhood without it…surely I deserve a medal for that alone?). I attended Mother’s Group, which I know some people despise, but I was lucky enough to make two amazing, life-long friends.
I think lots of other Mum’s have probably gone through a similar experience, and I believe that motherhood has the ability to take us down many different paths and teach as some amazing lessons along the way. Although I put in a lot of hard yards to find myself, and I’m happy with how far I’ve come…. I’m still a work in progress. I’m always reflecting and evaluating what I want for myself, for my family and how I want my children to see me. And I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Belinda says: I am an organiser extraordinaire, photo-taker, blogger, connoisseur of day spas, vodka and chocolate!
Motherhood in 5 words: Priceless, content, adventure, rollercoaster and love.
Fav family-friendly place: Little Creatures in Geelong.
Coffee order: Hot chocolate please, marshmallows on the side.
Blog: Life at no.2
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