Once upon a time, I used to be Melissa Longo – I had a strong sense of identity and was quite capable of going to the toilet unsupervised.
Then one day, on Monday, March 8th, 2010, I became Mama.
Becoming Mama was a wonderful experience, but nobody ever really prepares you for how entirely your life shifts. There is something quite unbelievable that occurs…. you go from being a strong independent woman, to an active participant in symbiosis. Your child clings to you, often literally, and the days of peeing without an audience, become a thing of the past.
Fast forward to Sunday, August 7th, 2016 and I brought another little human into the mix – suddenly my Mama-related duties multiplied, and I am beginning to forget what life looks like, without a fully detailed plan of attack, just to have a shower.
If it sounds like I am complaining, I apologise…. my intention is not to whinge, but merely to shine a light on some truths. Being a mama is the greatest! It is also the toughest gig in town.
The responsibility associated with raising a human life is massive and certainly not a task to be entered into lightly. I have tried to find a balance between super-chilled mum and helicopter parenting. I want to be all things, all the time, but the hard truth is this…. while trying to be Super-Mum, I often lose touch with my alter ego, Melissa Longo.
My daughter wants to talk ALL THE TIME! I understand that this is my penance for being equally chatty as a child, but my goodness, I would pay for some quiet time! I wish I had an answer for every single question she asks of me, but half the time, I have zoned out to that special place, where I can have a snack without having to explain what I am eating, and whether I would like to share it!
Motherhood is the fastest way to find out just how difficult it is, to perform life’s most basic tasks with a constant companion - never alone, but somehow incredibly isolated. Dads can be the greatest help, but there is no clocking off as a mother. No matter where I am, my mind races back to my babies.
So, how does one maintain a sense of self? It is no easy feat.
Friendship is my main touch stone. I am lucky that most of my friends knew me, before I became Mama. Whenever I want to feel like me, I look to my people.
Another important way to keep my alter ego in the mix, is to make myself a priority. So many mothers are putting themselves last, but I refuse to be on the bottom of the list! I want my kids to grow up understanding that I am freacking Beyonce in my corner of the world! Motherhood is not just a job, or a life choice – it is a magical power – a Goddess-like act! I created human life and I deserve to be worshipped, if not by others, then at least by myself!
It is not selfish to make yourself some lunch, paint your nails occasionally, or simply read a magazine, if you are lucky enough to find a little time – in fact, make a little time – you’ve earned it!
Mother’s Day is just around the corner, so treat yo self, mamas! Let your non-mama self shine through and remind your children and your partner, that you are more than just a mama!
And for goodness sake – pee freely, in the privacy that you so richly deserve!