Becoming a mum is all I’ve ever really wanted. As soon as I understood what being a mum meant (in the literal sense), that’s what I wanted to be. It might be outdated, it might not be much to aspire to in terms of monetary wealth, but it was my life’s goal.
I have been extremely blessed in that I now have two of the most beautiful children on the planet (not that I’m biased in any way, of course!), and my life goal is complete.
So Now What?
You would think that I am now living happily ever after, right? Wrong.
I was so focussed on becoming a mum that I forgot to become myself first. I was so sure that when I had my children, everything would be right and complete because my life and my heart would be complete. I never for one moment thought that I would still be wandering around not really knowing who I am.
Not Very Nice
Before I had my daughters I was so sure I would be a specific person. I will be the first to admit that in hindsight, not only was I completely wrong and blinkered, I was, at times, not very nice. I was judgemental and I was so certain I would be this fantastic earth mother that when I had my children, I fell to earth with an almighty crash. Almost everything I thought I knew, was totally wrong. I was then left feeling utterly lost. I lost my confidence, my ability to make decisions, my sense of self. I was merely a wife and mum. I wasn’t Laura. In fact, I didn’t know who Laura was.
I’m pretty sure that when that realisation hit me, that was when the depression really took a hold. I was going through the motions of a life that wasn’t mine. Except it was mine. I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognise the person staring back at me. It sounds so cliché, but it was true. I threw myself into trying to be the perfect wife and mum that I all but forgot I deserved to be Laura too. That really didn’t happen until my ex husband and I separated and I began my course of CBT.
The separation was both one of the worst and the best things that have happened to me. In the beginning I had no idea how I would cope, how I would survive on my own. I was scared, and worse still, I was alone.
It turns out that being alone, I was able to start looking at myself a bit more (both literally and figuratively!). I’ve still got a long way to go, but I have begun to realise that Laura is still in there. I am a person. I have feelings. I have likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams. I’ve also learnt that I’m allowed to have them too!
The mirror and I still have a lot of resolving to do, but I will get there. There is a person inside of me now that is clawing her way to the surface, fighting for what she wants, whereas before she was sat in a corner screaming for help.
I can finally see that somehow, I will be fine, and in the words of Gloria Gaynor…I will survive!