I’m a Mama
The last couple of weeks have been pretty smooth sailing, really. There have been no major screaming sessions, little man is sleeping well and, even when Pete went away for four days and Hunter and I both had the flu we both managed just fine. On the home, baby and mama front, we’re killing it at the moment.
But me? Leah Cwikel? Not so much.
I am loving being Hunter’s mother. It is the best thing that I have ever done, and he is the best thing to ever happen to me. In the last week or so he has stood up by himself while holding onto the lounge, he has discovered a new, huge, loud laugh that he loves to show off, he is playing with his toys and starting to chew on things and he has a plethora of new sounds that he is rather proud of. I love the challenges that each new day can bring. I love motherhood in its entirety.
What I have come to realise is that being ‘a mother’ makes up the majority of my identity now. And, like I said, I love being a mother, but it has been a really big adjustment. And the adjusting just keeps on coming (and coming, and coming).
Hunter and I having the flue for most of last week meant that we were couch-bound and all cabin fever-y. That is never good for anyone’s mood. With very little energy and no motivation to speak of, my self esteem took a bit of a beating and my mind wandered. Will I ever be myself again? Will I discover a new identity that includes being a mother and being the woman I want to be?
Other mamas will know the mad rush that takes place as soon as your little human goes to sleep. You run around like a crazy person fuelled by too much caffeine; the dishes the laundry, the vacuuming, crunching through the piece of cold toast that you forgot about from an hour and a half ago. By the time you have caught up with everything that needs doing, Bub is awake again and ready to be fed and cuddled and entertained.
I have really big dreams, hopes and goals for The (Oblivious) New Mama. There are so many things I want to odder and feel and write about but I have no idea how to marry them together into one cohesive brand. Its a bit of a catch-22 situation I find myself in: I wouldn’t have this website and these dreams if it weren’t for hunter, but loving Hunter and looking after him leaves me very little time to work on those dreams. It is this reality that I have been struggling with.
Yesterday I made a batch of cookie dough while Hunter was asleep. The cookies were meant to be sold to the cafe. For some reason, even though I used the exit same recipe that I always use, yesterday it just didn’t work. The dough was wet and sticky and uncooperative and no matter how much more flour I added, it just seemed to make it worse. I threw out the entire (double) batch, wasting my ingredients and my time. No sooner had I closed the lid of the bin that Hunter woke up again.
I was defeated, deflated and sad.
The batch of cookies weighing down the rest of the rubbish in the bin felt like my dreams. I felt really sorry for myself and I started to feel like I was failing Hunter. And then those thoughts snowballed (probably helped by the flu and lack of sleep). I started thinking about the fact that for the first time in my life I am completely reliant on my partner for not only my wellbeing, but my child’s. I have no savings of my own and no income right now that if anything happened that saw our circumstances change, I wouldn’t be able to look after Hunter. Now, I realise how dramatic that sounds and that there are so many moving pieces and it is in no way as simple as that, but that is where my mind went.
I so desperately want to be able to work from home. I want to be able to write and bake cookies and turn this humble website into something really special. And whenever I look at Hunter, I realise exactly why I want that. I want to be around for school pick-up. I don’t want to work for anyone but myself. I want to create a business that I am proud of and that I can use to help other mamas.
The dream is there, it’s just the patience that I need to exercise to achieve it that is missing. Because this venture is still in its infancy, it feels like a failure. But now that my flu has subsided (somewhat) and I have regained some kind of energy and motivation, I know that these things take time. The (Oblivious) New Mama is my future and I have so much faith in it. Instead of imagining what would happen in the worst case scenario, I am going to do my best to focus on the amazing opportunity that I have at the moment and do my best not to waste it. I have an incredibly supportive partner and, when Hunter is asleep, I have the time to put the work in to make my dreams a reality.
There are things in the pipeline already. There are clients that I have lined up for cookies and whatnot. And slowly but surely, and with some serious scheduling and multiple to-do lists, I know that everything will come together. This stage, the beginning stages of this website and this business will be something that I look back on one day. This moment will be a memory all too soon.
I may not be this positive or have this clarity tomorrow, but I have realised to just go with it when I feel it.
(And just on the down low, I have written just over 10,000 words of my novel.)