(This is a guest post by Gem Vickers, my partner-in-crime in The LikeMinded Mums Club.)
I’m Gem. A 40-year-old mum of a 2-year-old girl and a 9-month-old boy. I live in Wandsworth with my husband.
This is a very brief and very honest story about my journey through motherhood.
Then vs now
- I used to swan about without a care in the world, and I was fun!!
- Now I’m having to learn how to be a kid again (which doesn’t come naturally!)
I used to feel free as a bird.
- Now I often feel trapped.
Drinking used to be fun-filled and ridiculous.
- Now it’s rationed, mainly ‘medicinal’ and just one glass can be the highlight of my week.
I used to be very sociable.
- Now I’m learning how to be as sociable as is humanly possible with two under two.
I used to have a body I was pretty much ok with.
- Now I have to work hard to accept how it’s different and instead focus on the fact that it’s made the most perfect humans I’ve ever seen.
Our relationship used to be laughter filled and argument free.
- Now I’ve had to learn how to navigate arguments and then swiftly move the f@*k on!
That I would be so sleep deprived that I’d hear my children crying even when they weren’t.
That changing a tampon would shift from being a yucky chore to a rare and relished peaceful moment in my day.
That I ended up being disappointed in myself for, at times, resenting this new life that we chose and wanted so much.
I thought it would be like this….
- I thought it was going to be a relatively tired but calm existence.
- In fact, it’s an actual shit storm of tantrums, emotional turmoil from all parties and a lot of swearing (some of which then gets repeated by my toddler on very ‘choice’ occasions).
I thought our relationship would adapt to having babies fairly quickly.
- In fact, my poor husband got it in the neck when I was carrying our second – and that didn’t really end until I learnt to take care of myself many months later.
I thought I’d often still get some time to myself.
- In fact, I rarely get any and, when I do, I feel guilty.
I thought the support of family and friends would be important.
- In fact, my MIL has turned into a real-life Mary Poppins.
I thought becoming a mum would change things.
- In fact, it’s literally broken me and rebooted me as a new person.
I thought it would be a bit tough.
- In fact, I’ve found it a precarious, enlightening, messy, stressful, overwhelming, all-consuming journey that has changed me forever.
My idea for The LikeMinded Mums Club came about recently after veering off track emotionally. I wasn’t coping and I wanted to do something about feeling better.
I discovered there were waiting lists for women’s support groups with PND – I didn’t want to, and couldn’t, wait months to find a way to make a change.
I know there are other mums out there who, like me, want to share their experiences honestly and openly, who want to spend time with other women that are curious to learn and who want to have a giggle about it all along the way.
(Hana speaking now.)
I don’t know what it’s like to be a mum. (Yet. I’m working on it.) But I do know what it’s like to live under a dark cloud, to feel like it’s groundhog day, to not know even how to get started with making the changes needed to feel different.
And that is why, when Gem asked me if I’d be interested in working with her to set up a group for curious and open mums who’d love the chance to share their stories (warts n’all) in a safe environment, I said “Hell, yeah”.
We get started with our first gathering on Mon 16th April, 7.30-9pm, at The Cat’s Back in Wandsworth – you can buy your ticket right here. If people enjoy it, we’d love for the Club to grow into new areas and for it to be able to support more women.
If you aren’t based in Wandsworth or it just isn’t possible for you to join us in person, then check out our Facebook page where we’re hoping to share real, interesting, stimulating, amusing stuff which will help you ride the rollercoaster that is motherhood.
Big thanks to Gem for taking time out of her very full life to write this, for her willingness to be so honest and for asking me to work with her on this project.