The Rise of the Mombies

It’s Monday morning. I think. It’s as I push the pram in one hand, hold a large latte in the other and encourage Avery to keep up with my snail-like pace as I schlep from Woolies to Coles in search of… something, that I first notice it. I don’t know why I haven’t seen it before…

Mombies. Everywhere.

And it appears I might be their newest recruit.

We live in a messy combination of active wear and sleeveless puffer-vests over jeans. Our hair has its own name, the “Mum Bun” which almost certainly contains traces of our kid’s breakfast. While our faces might contain traces of BB cream, a quick swish of mascara and Go-To’s Pinky-Nudey Lips (because Zoe Foster Blake is our spirit animal) the odds are that we didn’t have time for a shower, so you can forget the idea of makeup. There are bags under our eyes and attached to our prams which probably only contain about 1/3 of the items we actually needed to buy today because in our sleep deprived state we’ve forgotten what we actually needed and those caramel and pretzel cookies looked really tasty as I passed through the bakery section.

You can recognise Mombies by their glazed eyes and the way their bodies slump over their prams. Tired, worn out and stuck in the continuous loop of the thanklessness that is raising small children. Don’t ask her what day it is. She’ll probably only know if it’s a weekday or the weekend. But I tell you what – she will know every goddamn word from the theme song of ‘Ready Steady Wiggle”, complete with hand actions and she’ll proudly admit that she kinda likes it too. It’s catchy you know.

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How to spot a Mombie in six simple steps
If you don’t see them coming, then you’ll certainly hear them. Just listen for the sighing and accompanying cries of, “Stop touching that.” “Hurry up please!” and my personal favourite, “Why can’t you just listen to me for once?”

I remember when I used to care what I looked like, wearing things like high heels and shift dresses to work everyday. I would go to the same mall as I did this morning, usually at lunch time to buy myself something pretty because I had all the disposable income in the world and #imworthit. I would look these fascinating creatures up and down and tut-tut them. “Ugh, Mums let themselves go sahhhhh bad.” I would think. “I’m never going to be like that”. I’m not going to be a regular Mum. I’ll be a cool Mum…

*insert eye roll here*

Ironically, I now see the childless masses look at me in their current season clothes, unreasonably high shoes and hair that glistens in the fluorescent light of the shops with the same look that I used to give those Mombies. I’m being judged. As we pass, I give them a knowing look. “I used to be you” I whisper under my breath. Karma is coming my pretty little friends.

When you’re a Mombie, it feels like it’s never going to end. This is your life now. Mum buns, eye bags and buckets of coffee fo’ life. I’m in the tunnel and I can’t even see the bloody light at the other end. I’m not even sure I’m heading in the right direction to be honest with you.

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Seriously. Caramel and Pretzel people.
But then there’s a second group of people I see looking at me. Mums with older children. When they spot me, I see a different look come over them. Is it nostalgia? Not quite. Maybe there’s a twinge of that. But there’s more to it than that. It’s recognition. Recognition that they’ve been where I am now. They understand that the fact I’ve made it out of the house with everyone fully dressed is an achievement. “Go Mama! You’ve got this!” I half expect to see a Hunger Games three finger salute to be offered as we pass each other with a coy smile.

It takes me a moment before I realise why I’m smiling back at them. They offer what no one else can. A glimmer of hope. They’ve been in the never-ending tunnel and somehow managed to make it to the other side. Sure, the shift dress and high heels might have made way for a waterfall cardigan and a kick arse pair of orthopaedic loafers, but they are dressed. They have a hair style. They probably slept past 6am! They have made it!

And Mama, so will we x

 

 

#nomoremumguilt

You know I have only been to the hairdressers once in the last year? And that was only for a cut, because I felt bad about staying longer and getting a colour done.

I go and get a massage probably around once a month, but only after the kids are fed and tucked in bed.

I love having baths, but since the birth of my youngest daughter, the only one I have had was with her in there with me.

Some of you might look at these statements and think, “What a devoted Mum”. Others may say, “Geez, sounds like this one needs to learn to relax!” If you ask me, I’m going to tell you, “This Mum is in desperate need of some alone time”. In the words of the wise Lily Rabbit, “I know that for a fact”, because this Mum, is me.

I can be a mystery wrapped in a riddle sometimes. Desperate for “me time” but as soon as I get it, the guilt creeps in. I know I am not alone because when I posted on Instagram a couple of weeks ago mentioning how I feel, the comments I received were overwhelmingly in agreeance. There are a sea of Mums out there who need to be alone sometimes but feel terrible about it.

Stories are everywhere of Mums who have a problem leaving their children to spend some time on themselves. Why do we feel bad going to the hairdresser, going out for dinner with friends, or gasp! Spending the night away from the children? We all know how important me time is. How you “can’t pour from an empty cup” blah blah blah… We need time to rest and recuperate in order to best look after everyone else.

So why is this such a problem? Why do I feel guilty every time I spend time on me? I know the girls are going to be fine without me. I know my Husband is going to be fine with the girls – he is more than their babysitter! Maybe this is about me. Will I be fine without them?

Before I had children I was so confident that having them wasn’t going to change who I was as a person and I would always be more than “just a mother”. Yes, yes. Please stop laughing. I know. I KNOW! I have changed so much in the last couple of years I barely know who I am anymore.

So I think that’s it. I’m still coming to terms with this new version of myself. She’s softer (both metaphorically and literally), wears sneakers pretty much everywhere, and cries when she watches sappy commercials. She is used to being covered in baby spew and having unwashed hair with way too many greys poking through, but isn’t used to spending time on her like she once did. Her calendar is full of play-dates and children’s appointments with no time left to spend alone on things just for her.

But just like the old version of me managed to adjust to mum-life, the new version of me will adjust again, to allow herself to be focused on every now and then.

So to the guilty Mum reading this, I am setting us both a challenge:

  1. Make plans today to do something for you (I’m going to ask a friend to come and see a movie)
  2. Set yourself an achievable goal (I am going to have a bath once a week for a month)
  3. If you’re on Instagram, post about something you’ve done for yourself using the tag #nomoremumguilt – let’s spread the word that spending time on you is good for you and your family!

Now, excuse me while I go and check the movie listings for this week.

Amy x

Why so Jaded, Monkey?

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like the Jaded Monkey and yet, it’s a title I can’t get rid of. Won’t get rid of…

I went through a really tough period a couple of years ago. Divorce. Terrible rebound relationship. Losing my home and most of my friends. Living away for work without my support network. Anxiety. And finally… A new beginning.

There’s so many stories I could tell from that time in my life and one day, I just might. But not today. I’m not ready yet.

For now though, here I am. A little (no a lot) less jaded than I once was. But The Jaded Monkey is still me. The arrow must go backwards in order to move forwards right? I wouldn’t be the women I am today without acknowledging the things I went through to get here. So forgive me if sometimes I ramble, speak out of turn or have an opinion that differs to your own. I’m just telling my own truth as I see it in that moment.

I am merely one woman, trying to navigate this still relatively new world of motherhood, one blog post at a time.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Amy x