My mind was as cluttered as the cafes I visited. My pram awkwardly bumping through the chairs, still wearing motherhood like some jersey I’d grow into. Rattles were thrown, food was thrown, my coffee lived in the centre of the table, my voice on the edge.
Half the time I looked so awful when I left the house, I didn’t want anyone to see me, and yet, when passers-by looked into the pram I wanted them to see ME.
I wondered who I was.
Sometimes it’s the little things you miss.
Snuggling up together to watch a movie, even just one full episode of something, anything.
Someone misses the start or the end as the cries begin, and yet I knew I had front row seats to the only show that mattered.
But I missed the little things, because I never said goodbye to them.
Like, my hobbies, catch ups with friends, not having to pick and choose between a shower or vacuuming the kitchen, the way my body felt different, finishing a conversation that wasn’t muffled in overwhelm.
Remembering what made me, me.
I missed being able to make choices, even though I chose this, even though I’d choose nothing else. The day would lay its plans out for me and that was that. I took for granted the simplicity in decision making, the whim of it, the impulsiveness, the freedom.
It wasn’t until one morning as my husband was leaving for work, I told him my plans. He asked if I was going alone and for the first time I said, “no”, I smiled because I realised I’ve had my little friend alongside me the whole time, I’ve never been alone.
Things were suddenly easier we were both relaxing into each other, I was slowly welcoming back some of the things I used to do. I had stepped into myself when I wasn’t watching, and then I caught myself in the mirror.
I saw a flicker of her, flushed, but it was her.
There are still days where I meet my shadows, but every time I look at my child I know that I’ll find the me in Mum. Because even if I don’t entirely know who I am right now, I will.
How can you not find yourself if you’re exactly where you’re meant to be?