Going back to work recently forced me take a look at my wardrobe to sort out what I had suitable for work, play and home. And while I was in there, tossing things into a pile that no longer fitted or were just so stained they shouldn’t even have been put away, I had to stop and think – when did I become such a Mum? You’d think enduring seven long months of morning sickness, or even the moment I popped out another human being, I’d realise I was a parent. But it just didn’t feel like it to me. I was still me, I just had a child. I even encouraged the use of ‘Mama’ because it sounded more whimsical and would have a nicer ring to it than ‘Muuuuum‘ when it was whinged at me from another room. And then after another eight months of morning sickness and another baby, I was still me, just with two of them.
The signs were all there, but it was during a play date down the street at Lex’s place that cemented the realisation for me. Lozzie, our dear friend from younger, single and fancy free days happened to be there. Inside the house was bedlam. Toys strewn everywhere. Bubby and G were tearing around yelling at each other, Lozzie’s little man squealing as he came tottering around the corner and as always, Boo was strapped to my front looking wide eyed and surprised at life. This was not how I remember catching up with Lozzie and Lex. Oh sure there used to be plenty of noise. But from bands, beer and mostly us. Not these little people we had given birth to now creating chaos with every step they took. I met eyes with Lozzie and I could only shake my head laughing out ‘I never expected this’. This was when it finally hit me. I was a parent. I was a Mum.
And now I see the signs in everything that I am. My collection of black and white striped casual tops and jeans and buying my first jumper since high school. Wearing glasses because I’m too lazy to put contacts in every morning. Thinking that daggy old Birkenstocks, our mother’s preferred choice in footwear for decades, were now not only stylish, but acceptable to be worn on outings outside my backyard. Our 3 bedroom cottage in the burbs with large flat back yard instead of the cute little pad on the fringe of the city. The Subaru Outback, which, when Dave and I first got together gleamed of freedom and adventure, a decade later, with two car restraints, a pram, port-a-potty, balance bike and the Re-Wiggled album on repeat. Freedom is certainly not on this horizon.
What am I going to do about it? Nothing. I’m comfortable with who I am and where I’m at. Sure I might throw in a few less mumsy outfits and outings into the mix, but with my two children, a husband and two cats, everyday still holds the possibility of adventure. They just take longer to go nowhere in particular and most often will include going via the supermarket. And just so long as I’m in my pyjamas by nine thank you.