Why Being A New Mum Means Letting Go And Giving Up

February 15, 2016

There’s no use fighting it anymore… But I am finding this part hard. In fact, I think it’s one of the hardest things about becoming a new mum. The giving yourself up part. You see, I seem to be holding on quite tightly to the ledge of my former life. I can remember the freedom, the fun I had at work, the way I used to dress, the things I used to do, the places I used to go, the person I used to be, the dreams I used to have.

Now I’m a mum of baby twins and it’s so life changing I’m still catching my breath. Seven months into this mum thing and it’s only just dawning on me how long forever is.

I love my children and I love spending my days with them, but it’s still a shock to the system that this maternity bubble isn’t a bubble… it’s my life. I guess it’s made all the more pertinent that I recently decided to leave my role as Editor of sofeminine, a company I’ve worked at for almost six years. That’s a big part of my life and a big part of my identity, and now I’m left wondering what defines me? And is it now ‘just’ the fact of being a mum? What about everything else I did/was?

Leaving my Editor role made sense, but it wasn’t an easy decision. And it’s a decision many women before me have had to make. Actually, London childcare costs make the decision for you.

It’s a big deal though, for me at least. My career was my whole world and focus and now that’s all shifted to the two people I have the privilege of raising. But mummying all day every day can be a bit mind numbing sometimes, it’s a bit lonely sometimes, it’s a lot repetitive most of the time and it’s very physical and emotionally all consuming.

Everyday I have moments where I think about how lucky I am to be spending this time with my children and everyday I have moments of finding it hard, of missing the feeling of getting up and going out to work, walking down the street by myself, achieving my goals, seeing my friends, having my own agenda.

I think for a lot of mums, giving themselves up to the new mum/baby/toddler years is a really hard adjustment, and one that we don’t always confess to. It sounds selfish doesn’t it? To love having children but to equally feel sadness for the loss of the lifestyle you had before.

Maybe it’s because the twins came along earlier in my life than I expected them to (of course I didn’t expect twins ever) or maybe it’s like this for everyone? I can remember everything about my before life and to know that those days of irresponsibility and freedom are completely over, well, that’s quite hard to accept.

My world is forever changed and the world doesn’t quite feel like my oyster anymore. I have a family to consider in every decision I make. My babies are the ones with the world at their feet now, and I’ve had to take that step back to be able to give the world to them.

Talking to my own mum about it, something I remember her saying a few times now is “you have to give yourself up to it”, and it’s true. You do have to give yourself up to the baby days, to these tiring, awe inspiring, incredible, relentless days of motherhood with young children.

Giving yourself up to motherhood is essential. It’s a mental adjustment that I think all women go through. To make it feel possible. To make it feel manageable you do have to take a deep breath, put yourself aside, let go of the past and embrace the present; the precious moments with your bubs that you won’t get to experience again.

You need to give yourself up, but you don’t need to give up on yourself. 

That’s the balance I’m striving for. Accepting these crazy days of baby chaos, sweet potato on every surface and unwashed hair, and trying to enjoy them for as long as I have them, because one day I will be able to get showered everyday. One day I will be working full time again and focusing on my career again. One day the babies won’t be babies anymore and one day I will look back and think it all went by so quickly.

For now I’m not giving up on me, I’m giving myself to my children.

Have you experienced this?

Lots of love,

before i was a mum

Photo by Jutta Klee

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  • Reply Crystal January 25, 2017 at 3:30 am

    I was just talking about this with my husband. When our son was born 5 years ago, I quit my job to be home with him. It was such a shock being a first-time mom and lonely and I really missed my co-workers and my cool, downtown job. But I have LOVED being home with him and all the fun things we’ve done together. We became a great duo. As he got older, I went back to some work part-time while he was in PreK. Now I am going through another shock as we are expecting twins. And it feels like I am back at square one with this whole mothering thing.

    • Reply ursulabrunetti February 6, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      It’s a rollercoaster for sure but you have so many lovely adventures ahead with the twins and Your son too. Sending love to you! it’s al going to be fine!

  • Reply Becky February 15, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Great read! I totally get what you’re saying and thinking. I waited a long time for my beautiful baby boy and at 42 I know he will be my only child. However I also get days when the realisation of ‘this is your life now’ hits me, then of course I feel guilty as I love my baby boy to the moon and back but sometimes, just sometimes I miss the old me and my life……it can be overwhelming that its not just you and your husband anymore. Then my boy smiles at me and I realise how lucky I really truly am and like you I decide to just embrace the here and now everyday.

    • Reply ursulabrunetti February 16, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks for your comment Becky, it’s amazing how a smile or giggle can change everything – for me it’s those little looks of wonderment and remembering that they are seeing everything for the first time that make me try and take stock. It’s definitely all about embracing the here and now – we don’t get it back xxxx

  • Reply Jenna Macciochi February 15, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Wow, this sums up the last 15 months of my life since my twins arrived. You have articulated completely how I feel. I find it hard to admit how hard I find it as I am so grateful to have these two beautiful children and to spend so much time with them. Thank you for writing this post.

    • Reply ursulabrunetti February 16, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks Jenna – it’s difficult to admit these things to ourselves because it’s such a conflict. It’s such a wonderful time having children but that doesn’t mean it’s all roses – I think being a twin mum is a bit of a different adjustment too 😀 xxx

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