16 July 2018

Mummy Brain – The Struggle is Real!

Sleepless. Overjoyed. Frustrated. Elated. Isolated, but no time for me.

The life of a new mother is relentless. So rewarding. So punishing. So brain-numbingly tedious but emotionally stressful. At the end of the day creativity is at an all-time low, and the struggle to get the rear end off the couch or do anything other on the laptop than peruse emails or social media is all but hopeless.

But I know I need to fuel the creative fire to feel alive again. To feel like me. I am a writer. And that means that occasionally, once in a while… I should actually create some words. Fictional words in extraordinary worlds which only live in my imagination, where stories dwell that only I can tell. It’s just even harder than ever to find the headspace, let alone the energy, to let the juices flow and feel the wonderful reward (as well as the agony) of creation. All my mental power is consumed by nap times and durations, creating ever changing menus, getting to activities on time and whether I'm doing white or colours washing. I can't even remember what I did this morning. Creating fake people from scratch is a little challenging.

My most productive period in the past was after 8:30pm, when I gave myself a deadline each night to turn off the TV/internet/whatever and just write something, even for half an hour. That would frequently turn into two hours or more once I was in flow. Now at 8:30 my husband and I tend to look at each other and drowsily debate what else we will do before going to bed.

You would think that being home all day would lead to more productivity, not less. But naptime is dominated by trying to catch up housework, life admin, attempting to connect with other humans and… maybe, personal hygiene. And given I may have been up for much of the night before, mustering the drive to be creative is challenging to say the least.

Now I am back at work, and needing to cram in mothering/wifing/lifing into even smaller slots. On the weekend my husband is so busy trying to be helpful, it’s very difficult to have him be solo-daddy for an hour or so, so I can get into my writing.

But I know I need to give myself the time and space to write. I need to make a routine, the same way I do for other essential parts of my life, now that we have more structure in our lives. I don’t have the answer yet. But I have the will. And I hope that is a good start.

How have other mothers got their mojo back? Please share your strategies for regaining this important part of becoming yourself again!


5 comments:

  1. I’m still trying to find it completely, but I have found that completely sharing the “load” is key. Mummy and daddy have equal responsibilities and need to be able to work as a team, in order for a balanced work/family/play” life. Sometimes this does mean that we don’t always spend as much time together- however we get to have time away doing something we enjoy, and that’s important for me to be a good/happy person.
    Maybe not as easy for writing?, I’m not sure. But for example I play sports on a Saturday and hubby plays on a Sunday. We each know that we are going to get some alone time doing something we enjoy so we plan our weekend activities around those main things.
    Don’t sweat the small stuff and live in the moment, if the washing doesn’t all get done, wear something one more time, too tired to do the kitchen, do it together tomorrow.
    Take all the help that is offered too,mum will often offer to have bubs for a couple hours on a Sunday, and I’ll race to the supermarket. But if she doesn’t, then we work around it and just get it done.
    Work becomes a little break where you can actually drink hot coffee and talk to adults. Each month gets easier and you start creating little routines to make life easier :)
    I don’t have the answers but these are some of the things I’ve found to help me. I’ve still got a while to get back to the old me, but I’ve kind of realised that you sort of leave the old you behind, and discover a new me.
    Ps. Book that hair appointment or massage or whatever it may be, the best thing about going back to work is you actually get a bit of extra money so TREAT yourself. X make the time, you deserve it.
    You’re amazing ����

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your insights Sala, it sounds like you are managing to find a balance! Life is certainly never the same again.
      You're amazing too! xx

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  2. Really interesting piece of writing Charlotte. I totally feel you and I'm also struggling with finding time for myself. But in my case it's more about feeling guilty towards my son. Since I'm back at work I feel like I have to spend every available minute with him. Maybe "have to' sounds a bit harsh. Of course I want to spend time with my boy but between work and him I just don't find any time for myself. I'd feel guilty picking up running again like I used to. And I know it's stupid but that's how I feel and I should probably really find a way of getting over it...
    I hope you keep up the writing though cause it's really good :-)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sabine, I know how you feel! There is guilt in wanting to do your own thing instead of spending time with your child. I think there would be guilt not matter what choice we make, so like you say we really need to get over it!

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