Believe it or not, this is a question that some new mums find themselves being asked, and it’s one that we sometimes ask ourselves, albeit subconsciously. But what is ‘normal’ anyway? And do we really want to get there?
Pre-baby you probably had a routine. You probably had a job. Maybe you went out for dinner with your partner from time to time. You shopped, cooked and cleaned…and it’s likely that you wore jeans too.
Post-baby, achieving any one of these things may feel about as likely as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro before breakfast. But craving your old ‘normal’ or putting pressure on yourself to get back to some semblance of your previous routine generally does nothing but damage your delicate post-baby self-esteem and spoil your enjoyment of this precious time with your little one.
No matter how long it takes you to get back into your jeans, make it round the supermarket, or enjoy a civilised meal in a restaurant, it really doesn’t matter. Doing, or not doing, any of these things doesn’t make you more or less capable. And really, no matter how much you crave them, they’re not the be all and end all.
Your focus has shifted to this incredible new life that you’ve created and no routine can be better than spending time caring for your baby and enjoying family time. Your new life is full of new tasks, challenges, and moments that will make your heart melt, all of which make your old ‘normal’ pale into insignificance. There will be times when you’ll fly through the day and come out of the other side thinking you should be wearing your pants over your trousers and a ‘Super Mum’ badge. Other days, just brushing your hair and putting on clean clothes will feel like a medal-worthy achievement. But, do you know what, that’s normal.
It’s easy compare yourself to other mums; they might all look organised and in control when you’re feeling dishevelled and emotional, but they’re most likely looking at you and thinking the very same thing. Take every day as it comes – cherish the happy moments and laugh at the bad (nappy disasters and calamities caused by sleep deprivation can be really funny after the event, honestly!). And forget ‘normal’, because there’s no such thing.