This is a guest post by Jo Gifford from Dexterous Diva.
As the proud mum of two brilliant, funny, beautiful and infectiously smiley twin girls my life was turned upside down 3 years ago.
Eva and Mia arrived in my life as bundles of tiny joy. We didn’t have the best birth, a C-Section followed by myriad problems, and I was plagued by post natal depression, all of which are stories in themselves. Now they are toddlers we are out of the sleepless nights ( mainly), the total 24 hour reliance on me is lessening, and life continues to evolve.
Suddenly, I am faced with the problem that many mums face – remembering who I am.
The journey of motherhood has been rocky for me, as I battled with post natal depression and the return of endometriosis, a chronic condition which affects our lives daily. Now the worst of the PND is in the past and we are concentrating on coping with illness and enjoying two young children, I often realise that I need to remind myself who I am.
Does that sound daft to you?
I know who I am when I am at work, a fortuitously self created job which I love and which can be flexible enough to be done anywhere. I know who I am when I am with the kids. I sort of know who I am when I am with my partner, although I could do with some reminding, but I have forgotten how Jo Gifford functions as myself.
Life with kids is very very different. Nights out are much much less, sleep is deprived, energy is lessened, and the time and inclination to do things that make us who we are can be very hard to find. Life with kids and a chronic illness is different again still, as those windows of opportunity to be me are reduced even greater.
I am a very sociable being, and love to be surrounded by people. I love being active, creative, with a rounded sense of experience in literature, music, the arts, a vibrant social life; I love travel, adventure, spiritual exploration a sense of the new.
Working on my own, being a mum to littlies and having endo all mean the essence of things that make me “me” are compromised. So, I am seeking to find little ways to bring me back.
These include starting a book club, so I know I will see friends to discuss literature in the real, offline world once a month.
Finding one day a month to be with my partner and check out some culture, go for dinner, just talk to each other and remember why we get on!
I try to find something new each day, whether it’s a new blog to read, new podcast to listen to, or to try a new coffee in the coffee shop, just to keep things fresh and moving, even if on a small scale for now.
How do you make sure you do things that make you “you”? Do you find it hard to juggle work, parenting and relationships?
Share your tips for survival and let us know.
You can listen to my inspirational podcast with Jo