Where do I start?
I was sitting down at my dressing table, blowing my hair just before I started typing this. (I can count the number of times I’ve been able to do this since I had Ollie) I notice a million grey hairs, some long, some merely sprouts, all over my head. I also notice the fish tail lines at the corner of my eyes are definitely more pronounced, and the spots on my face more defined. I was never somebody who took a great deal of care of my skin to begin with, but I did manage the basic cleanse and sunblock for my outdoor rides. Plus, I wore make up a lot more pre-baby, which probably concealed the spots on my face more hence I don’t see it as much. Sigh. I’m 34 going on 40.
I have been sending Ollie to day-care 3 times a week starting this month. It took me a lot of deliberation, especially since we were down to only 1 income, thanks to the Covid19 pandemic, and as it is, my income had already been halved since having a baby, because I can no longer do evening/night sessions with corporates or PT clients. I knew Gary is paying for way more than I was hoping he’d have to and the thought of that guilt trips me to the end of never. I compensate by saying ok to his training sessions and outdoor rides and runs, and then battle a silent argument in my head about how unfair it feels that I am stuck with baby ALL day and then when he comes home, I am STILL STUCK with baby. And that I never get to train as much as he does. Sometimes I stay quiet about it. Sometimes it boils over. And I can feel myself about to say some nasty things to my husband. I always regret it. Every argument.
To me, Motherhood is a lot of this. A lot of contradiction. I am frustrated whenever I don’t get to have a relaxing outdoor workout (yes working out, riding, running, busting my lungs in the outdoors is so relaxing) because I am always rushing back to see my baby. Yet I will never take my time after these sessions, even if Gary offered to let me have that time, because I always feel this need to rush home. I am angry that I spend a lot of time doing household chores like cleaning, tidying and cooking while minding our child (which is so difficult, I really super respect all stay at home mothers). I get upset, even though I already know Gary wants to put in a training session every evening, because I feel I need to rush through my dinners, or my showers or just anything so I can quickly take over Ollie and Gary can get on with his training, and I’d have to clean him, get him ready for bed, etc. But then when my husband comes home that day lamenting about how much his swim fitness has dropped, or how he gets dropped in the cycling pack, I get this pang of guilt. I know how much his sport means to him, and how hard he worked to get there, and I feel like I robbed him of it. But then what about me? I want to be fit, and competitive, and win races again, AND I want to be a present Mom, who can help her child develop by being around.
In my little circle of friends, there are 2 other families who seem to be somewhat in a similar situation like us i.e. both husband and wife remain competitive at the sport of triathlon while having a 1 year old toddler. They are Shahrom and Jessica, and Aldrian and Serena. I’m not super close to Shahrom and Jessica, but they seem to be doing great, their son Aaron was running around before 11 months, and they both still maintained their fitness levels. Serena and I are closer, and I’ve found her to be a very good friend and confidante this past year. I always benchmark myself against them, whether I want to or not, and in the one and only triathlon race we raced together this year, I lost terribly to the both of them, but I’ve come to terms with it. I did manage to excel in a handful of runs, which I am quite proud of. But enough about us, the mamas, how are the daddies doing? They all seem to be doing amazingly well, and though I think Gary managed to maintain his own fitness quite well, he always doesn’t think so, which I will again feel really bad about.
I sometimes wonder if I have changed a lot in this past 15 months. Am I still the same person I was before having a baby, does my husband still see me the same way? It’s something people hardly talk about, but I think it’s very important that the spark remains in your relationship as husband and wife. I know before I had Ollie, I was so determined to make sure we remain the same people, that we would organise date nights every month or so, that we will not be the kind of parents who drops everything for their kid in an instant. Part of my wanting so badly to get back into my career and my sport was because I wanted to be at least a little bit more like that girl he married, the fit, sporty Personal Trainer, who loved me some sweat and sunshine.
I have been watching a series n Netflix, The Letdown, and it’s about motherhood. As I am watching it I can almost feel my spirit transpose out of my body and look back at the woman I was those first few months of being a new mum – emotional, agitated, sensitive, and unreasonable. There were so many times I was unreasonable to Gary, when all he was trying to do was to help! I wish I could have handled it better, I intend to handle it better the next time round.
Anyway, this is it – motherhood, 1 year (14 months to be exact) on. My daily musings – Am I still the same person as before? Am I doing a good job as a mom to Ollie? Am I using my parents too much, and can I learn to be more independent, without having to trouble them as much? And how can I make more money so I don’t have to rely on my husband so much?
If any of you have the answers to any of the above, please let me know, thanks.
And just like that, it’s almost time to pick my son up from daycare – also another thing I debate with myself every day, should I go now, or later, now or later, now or later….haha…