Yes you are! You're more than just Mum. You're a whole individual who enjoys doing stuff outside of the realm of motherhood, even if that is just scrolling through Instagram lol. Seriously though, it's OK to want more than just being a mummy. To want this doesn't mean that you don't love your kids it just means that you love yourself too or, that you want to love yourself. Maybe you're in a place where that doesn't seem possible because you're not even sure you remember what life was like before you had your little humans. Alternatively, maybe your humans have grown up and flown the nest - whether temporarily (university) or permanently - and you're discovering that your home is just too quiet. Before you let loneliness and depression kick in - especially with the weather colder and the days shorter and darker - get to introducing yourself to you again.
This past week I have been through a transformation that I didn't even realise I needed. I started a job after more than 6 years out of an office environment and at the weekend I went out and celebrated a friend's birthday. Ladies let me tell you as I put on my dress, did my make-up and zipped up boots that I had not worn for nearly 7 years I felt like ME again. What an amazing night I had. Fun, adult conversation and laughter, not everyone enjoyed their dishes (although mine was tasty) but it didn't matter, I was with ladies I had not been together with for over two years and that was enough. No masks, no social distancing and best of all no kids. Don't get me wrong I love, adore and feel blessed to have my babies but this was food for my soul.
The last time I remember feeling this level of exhilaration was when I signed up to my uni course. Both my kids were in nursery and I found myself just lulling around waiting for them to come out. I was busy being busy, then a friend suggested to me that I go to uni, "if nothing else"; she said, "you'll get money and your kids will get looked after". Honestly, I really couldn't think of what on earth I would do at uni, but then through group chats etc we started coming up with all these various ideas and yet had no way to put them together and so a Business Management student was born. And man did I come alive.
I never knew that those feel good endorphins were produced from exercising my brain, but my physiology was literally rewarding me for learning. I met new people, absorbed knowledge and had something that was about me as a person not me as a mum.
I was happier and had the opportunity to actually miss them. I know you know what I'm saying here. When you're in a place where even going to the toilet turns into a family meeting, you realise that privacy, personal space and peace (not quiet) are a thing of the past, but they don't have to be.
If you're with your partner (and they're comfortable if they're not the other parent), get them to take the kids out or just handle them whilst you sit quietly in a SEPERATE part of the home and do something on your own. Read a book, watch something uninterrupted on Netflix, paint your nails, mate it could be just 15 minutes to drink a hot drink whilst it's still hot. I enjoy all of these but honestly one of my best times is being able to have a looooong, hot uninterrupted shower, ahhh that's heaven on earth to me some days. If you're not with the other parent but they're involved, use the weekend, weekday - whatever you arrangement is - to spend some time with yourself. Cleaning, tidying, putting away, these are things that always need doing so they can be done whether the kids are with you or not. Perhaps you're one of those people that complain about the kids and then when they're gone your mind is always on them....well then I'm here to tell you that you definitely need some 'More than Mummy' time. Call up that friend you haven't seen in ages and organise a get together. Preferably that friend should be childless (for whatever the reason) and be able to keep your mind occupied with the least amount of drama as possible. Now there's a reason I have said this:
There's no point you being without your kids so you can go and sit with someone else's
If none of these seem like something for you then check out what's going on in your local area and sign up to something you wouldn't normally do. Maybe you could take a dance class or flower arranging or even learn a language. The possibilities are endless and when you prioritise yourself you will see a marked difference in your energy levels both emotional and physical as well as your mindset. This in turn will benefit your family. You will find more opportunities to actually have fun when you're together and it will help everyone to see and appreciate who you for you, rather than you for what you do.