I recently had a birthday. My gift from the Popple was a poo explosion and two pee fountains, which lead to three wardrobe changes. My gift from Adrian was a massage at a fancy spa. The massage itself was great, but the best part was the time I got to spend in the spa’s ‘relaxation room’ beforehand, sipping champagne and reading women’s fashion magazines.
As I relaxed on the lounge chair, reading about how to choose a statement jacket for the autumn, I realised that my real gift from Adrian was ‘me’ time. Time to myself is in seriously short supply since I’ve had the Popple.
Before the Popple came around, I had a variety of interests and ample time in which to pursue them. They included reading, travel, eating at new restaurants, baking badly and playing roller derby. These days, my main hobbies are monitoring the colour and frequency of the Popple’s poos, sterilising dummies and walking aimlessly around the neighbourhood with the Popple strapped to me so she will STOP CRYING FFS.
I recently read an article about gold-medal winning athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill called ‘Jessica Ennis-Hill shows you can be a mum and a person at the same time. Shocker.’ And it made me think, hey, I used to be a person! I’m sure she’s still in me somewhere, buried under a mound of dirty nappies and pee-soaked sleepsuits, but I haven’t seen her in a while.
I need to learn how to balance my mum-ness with my old self, the food-loving skater and reader who was always planning her next trip, but it’s going to take me a while. I can barely plan a trip to the supermarket. I don’t eat anything that can’t be cooked and consumed within ten minutes. It takes me a month to finish a book, even a really good one. Roller derby practice conflicts with the Popple’s very early bedtime.
I’ll get there. One day I’ll be person again – a very tired person who can recite Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by heart, but a person nonetheless.