It’s been nearly 5 years now since the line appeared on the stick that signified the imminent arrival of my first born and nearly 2 years since that of the second. I’ve changed. Or have I? I often wonder if deep down I’ve actually changed or if my little babies just brought out the real me? What has 5 years, 2 births and the small matter of expatriation to Malaysia actually done to the girl formerly known as me and more importantly, is she any better? So, apart from the obvious, here are some of the big things that making a couple of humans did to me:
- I’m now a writer
Before my babies and 2 years post, I worked in Brand Management. Now I write. Through the circumstance of creating my humans and a little pause in career proceedings I was able to see that quite simply what I was best at before was the “proportion” of my old working world that could be the whole of my new one. And I love it.
- I “neglect” my husband (there I said it)
There are so many facets to this its worthy of its own private whole blog. I don’t know many mums at home with babies who don’t have the “but my life is harder than yours” conversation with their husbands several times a week. The simple fact is that no-one in full time work will ever buy that staying at home minding 7 – 10lbs of cuteness could be at all hard. I never did…before. I thought “at home” mums were laughing all the way to the nappy bin, but hey I’m not here to argue that. The neglect to which I’m confessing is attention. Most of the time I’ve just got nothing left in the tank for him. The irony of this was brought to mind by a good friend of mine who said “I love him more than ever, but can show it the least”. It’s so true. My husband is an AMAZING dad. When he walks through the door after work and my two babies light up like happy sparklers my heart does flips in my chest so it almost hurts. Can I tell him that? Not a chance. I just hope he can hang in there till “hot loving me” comes back, coz she will, I just have no idea when.
- I know a whole lot more about how my specific crazy body works
There’s nothing like a pregnancy and childbirth to bring to life the intricacies of reproductive biology. For me though, it went a bit further. After 20 years of odd periods, 4 identical miscarriages at 7 weeks and a struggle to lose some baby weight I suspected there might be “a thing”. The epiphany came after nearly a year of trying to shift over a stone of tummy and inner thigh weight that making Ben and fueling my breastfeeding generously left behind. As a last resort to shift it I tried a high protein, low carb approach to eating. Kerpow! I lost nearly 10lbs in 3 weeks! The best thing about was that in eating less I just wanted less. I still have no exact name for “the thing” but I’m guessing it’s linked to blood sugar and regardless I know how to manage it. Thanks babies.
- I “get it”
By this I meant the absolute mesmerising joy of little humans. I never did before. Every time a friend revealed a pregnancy, I confess (again) to just mentally writing her off for a few years. I always declared that kids didn’t like me and placed myself in situations mostly where they were not. I started to get it when my sister had her first baby, where I found myself leaving my first meeting with him weeping at the prospect of anything bad ever happening to the gorgeous little munchkin that gripped my little finger. Now I just love them all, even the loud, annoying ones. I can see the innocent, beautiful preciousness in all of them and suddenly, mostly, they like me too. Funny that.
- I haven’t really changed THAT much
There’s no doubt that life changes forever after babies. Multiple consecutive drinking nights, lie ins till lunch, weeks in Ibiza (of that kind) are no longer realistic or wanted. Me though, I will always long to rock the party. I still love getting dressed up, I love champagne, I love dancing. If you ask me on a night out I will come (beware). My heart will beat faster at sparkly shoes and twirly dresses. I long for light up dance floors and will gladly occupy one alone if you won’t come with me. The only real difference is that I’ll be home before midnight and I’ll remember the pint of water before bed.
So, the post baby me is a writing, husband neglecting, size 12, kid loving, party animal. I guess that’s mostly better, just temporarily worse for husband.
I however, like me better because I made THEM and I know deep down he does too.
Contributed by our guest blogger Jackie Wilson. Jackie has worked extensively in marketing for brands including Twinings, Del Monte, Kingsmill and Cathedral City. She is now living the ex-pat dream in Malaysia. She’s mum to two lovely children and is combining looking after them with some freelance writing, most recently for Bonda, the magazine for Malaysia’s equivalent of the NCT and ABWM Mag (Association of British Women in Malaysia). Her Malaysian journey is chronicled at http://firstname.lastname@example.org or if you’d like to get in touch she can be found at Jackie.email@example.com.