“When will I feel ‘normal’ again?” A question every woman thinks to herself or asks out loud after she has become a mother.
Nobody has the answer, because everyones experience is so drastically different. Even from baby to baby your own experience can be so different.
For me I would say…give it a year. Even at that, you still won’t recognise the person you see in the mirror compared to the person you see in photos from your pre-pregnancy life.
By the time each of my boys turned 1, I was back to what I considered ”normal’.
I breastfed the boys for 6-7 months each, so by the 12 month mark, the long-suffering boobs had settled & I was back in my “normal” bra size. I did have to literally lift my boobs into the cups once I put it on, but you get me!
My pre-pregnancy clothes were back in action, the inevitable extra stone post-pregnancy worked its way off over time, but my shape had changed. I’m not going to say it was better or worse, it was just different. My boys were both sunroof babies, and the effect of a C-Section or two definitely leaves it mark, literally.
Your hair is also something that really bothers some women. My hair & skin were great until I stopped breastfeeding and all the superhuman hormones left me. My eczema gradually returned to its own fiery self & those pesky baby hairs… well they need about 2 years to blend back in to the rest of your head!
Feeling back to ”normal’ mentally and emotionally obviously is an extremely personal thing. I found myself lucky in that for the most part I coped well with the madness of the sleep-deprivation of the first. We slept in every morning, lazy feeds in bed when Daddy went to work, no schedule to be following etc.
It was obviously different second time around when there was an extremely busy & demanding toddler to cater to as well as a newborn. That was much more challenging, and looking back I know I struggled to keep the head.
Small Bro will be 3 in a couple of weeks & I can’t believe how fast it has all gone.
Despite it all I do feel like I am back to “me” at this stage. There has been so many big changes to my body and to my life, but I don’t think I have fundamentally changed as a person.
I don’t think my friends would say I’m a different person, or any better or worse than I was pre-motherhood! At the very least none of them have divorced me so I’m taking that as a positive!
My husband is also sticking around so I presume he still likes me too… or maybe he’s just too lazy to go elsewhere… (this is a test to see if he reads this, I’ve been slagging him for not taking an interest in his wife’s new hobby!)
Take me out for a night, give me some good tunes & a few drinks & you will know for sure that I am back to myself.
It is impossible to feel the exact same as the “old you”… but we must try not to take that as a negative & look for the things that are still the same within ourselves.
You won’t even know your own name for the first few months, but give yourself a chance, and don’t obsess over the changes.
Of course, if you find yourself having really strong, persisantly negative thoughts about yourself & how you feel, maybe you do need to chat to someone about it & see what can help.
You have done an amazing thing & you are amazing for doing it, and even more feckin’ amazing for showing up and doing it every single day.
There are no overnight miracles in this game, it all takes time.
Be kind to yourself.
Give it a year.