For any woman with a small(ish) baby, or toddler, you’ll know it’s sometimes hard to find time to be yourself, or anything other than a mum. It can happen to dads too, but it’s less likely as they tend to go back to work much sooner. They often don’t take more than a few weeks out of their usual life, and of course, they don’t have the 9 months of pregnancy to adjust their lives around. As an Aspie, the thought of having a baby ‘glued’ to me was horrifying when I was a child, and I’m still finding it stressful the second time around.
But it’s not just having babies that’s consumed my identity. I’ve found through many stages of my life that I get fixated on issues or people and I forget to be me. I subsume my own needs and desires to fit with someone else, or to obsess over something I’m not or can’t do. Is this an Aspie feature? Or just something I’m stuck with that could also happen to anyone?
Why am I thinking about this today? It’s because I recently decided to do more things that I want. For example, on Sunday (Mothers’ Day), I went jogging. I’d wanted to go jogging again for weeks, but I always felt too guilty to take time out from being mum at the weekend. I still feel obliged to try and do most of the childcare, even when my husband is having a day off. He’s quite a hands on dad, but I know he finds the baby stressful and he’s always tired after a week at work. It was so nice to go out though – in the fresh air, nice and early.
Today I’ve got babysitters and I’m doing some work while listening to a podcast. I’ve wanted to listen to some podcasts for months, but it’s taken me a long time to take the plunge and get some headphones. After I got the headphones, it took another month for me to actually take the time to use them! Now that I have, I’m really enjoying the experience!
Ah yes, I have a book club meeting this week, and a yoga class. It’s taken a while, but I’m starting to feel more like a real person, rather than ‘just’ someone who does the laundry, or produces milk.
Yes, being a mother is wonderful and very important, but there is always more to life.