when did you get you back

When did you get YOU back?

The transition to motherhood is a massive one. You suddenly go from looking after yourself to being responsible for another life, and your own one immediately takes second (or even third, forth or fifth) place.

It can be all encompassing for a time, but little by little you begin to get a little bit of ‘you’ back. But when? You might ask.

Well, we asked our mums on Facebook that very question – and here are their answers. Straight from the mums’ mouth.

when did you get you back

“On my first about a year later. Didn’t want to leave him with anybody didnt want to go out and socialise. I was having guilty mammy thoughts. On my second about 6 mths. 3rd and 4th a few weeks. Think the more you have the more you realise. You need time for yourself too.”

– Susan Leahy

 “I had my three kids in three yrs!16mth between each one. When I had Ryan I worked my ass off and within 4 mths was back to my old self. With Dara it was harder and with Emma definitely the hardest -I’d say it took over a yr. They’re 4,3, and 2 now. It was hard. . some days seemed impossible, but I actually have a better figure, haircut, clothes friends and social life than I had before kids. It’s made me appreciate myself more and be grateful for all the hard work it took getting to where I am now.”

– Sinead Martin

“No. 1 is 12.5 now, so I’ll let you know when it happens! Seriously though, having a child is always going to change the original you. Priorities totally change you and as a sahm of 4 kids, I can’t imagine ever being able to get a blow dry because I am going out that night. Sounds a bit sad really..”

– Martina Cameron

“It took about 16 months to get over my first daughter I nearly died and had blood transfusions, I didn’t think I could have another child but I did have 2 more girls. The second wasn’t as bad and my third just popped out and I never looked back since. My 3 daughters are my world.”

– Leeann Mccartan

“Still not back to myself yet and Charlize was born in June of this year so I’m still waiting. I found her pregnancy and afterwards more difficult than the first as I was quite young with my first pregnancy and nearly thirty when pregnant last time around.”

– Kat Mckevitt

“Really was not until they started montessori and I got back a few hours to myself in the morning, started yoga and started looking after myself again.”

– Sandra Droney

“A year after my first, 4 months after my second and 9 months are my third. I’ll never get all my sleep back though lol!”

– Linda Mc Cahey-Sheehan

“It took me two years to feel like myself again. One day i just realised that i can do this it was not scary anymore.”

– SJ Fraihat

“10 months after my first I felt right again, which was amazing. That same month I fell pregnant with baby 2, and now 11months on im beginning to feel like myself again. My second isn’t as good a sleeper as my first and I do think how baby sleeps plays a part how soon you feel ‘normal’ , well your new normal anyway! There is no going back once you’ve grown into being a mother / father.”

– Oona Okeeffe

“I have the cruiset happiest little blessing..who’s only ever woken once at night..I got me back at 5 months and I grew strong and now a single mum wouldn’t change a thing.”

– Tara Mcghie

“My oldest is almost 5.5yrs old. I don’t think I’ll ever get ME back. But then would I really want to? I’ve changed for the better because of my 2 children, I am still me in someways, but the new improved version that works on less sleep.”

– Patricia O’ Connor

Other answers included  6 months, 1 year, 2 years,  never and still waiting! So there’s no set timescale for getting a bit of you back – go at your own pace and you and your families needs. And when it comes enjoy it!

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Ask Allison

Q My sister-in-law and I both work three-day weeks and we help each
other out with child minding on our working days, which up until recently has worked out really well. Between us, our kids are aged between five and nine years – the problem is that it’s now become quite apparent that we have very different parenting styles. I prefer my two daughters (seven and nine) to have a structured day. For example, in my house, we have allocated times for television and iPads, etc. My sister-in-law, however, lets the kids run loose after school – homework is ignored and my kids end up wired after eating sugary treats all afternoon. I am considering looking at after-school childcare for the kids, but I’m worried that this is going to cause a family argument. Is there a diplomatic way that I can ask my sister-in-law to introduce some discipline into her child-minding days? It certainly doesn’t do her two kids any harm when I am minding them in my own house!

In a word, no, there is no diplomatic way to do this as it may very likely seem like your saying that your parenting style is better than
hers. As L’Óreal says, ‘now here comes the science bit.’ Dr. Kaylene
Henderson, a child psychiatrist, wrote a very interesting blog about ‘the
science behind the Mummy Wars’. She explains that before she had
children of her own she hadn’t been aware of how parents have a
very specific sense of the right parenting style. She also found that parents could be very definite in defending their chosen parenting style. Dr. Henderson, who describes herself as a curious, scientific, open-minded person, was surprised at how defensive parents could be and, at times, of their judgemental attitude towards each other. She explained the neurology of the Mummy Wars; okay, I’ll need you to bear with me for a second. Warning; I’m about to use some neuro-techie language.

Why do we judge each other?
As we have all had different experiences, this means that we all have very different memories stored in our brains. Most of our memories are ‘explicit’ memories – these are ones that we can recall easily such as important dates that mean something to us; important birthdays, special events or stories of and about our lives.
There is another type of memory called ‘implicit’ memory that plays a
key role in our parenting. This type of memory is the stuff that you do on autopilot. Psychologists call these heuristics or rules of thumb –
such as tying your shoelace, or driving your car (once you have learnt
to do both first!). Otherwise we’d really waste a huge amount of time
pondering over tasks that we have readily available to us. This seems to be where the science bit of our parenting style kicks in. This implicit memory goes all the way back to when you were an infant being parented by your parents. This is when you started the process of storing up how they did it into your memories.
Unless you make a conscious choice and effort to parent differently, what you saw and unconsciously learnt will be your automatic go-to parenting style.

We learn habits
This can really kick into gear when we feel our parenting style is
being mirrored or highlighted by disapproval from another parent. I know the cold sweat you feel when your child decides to make their outstanding bad behaviour performance at, of course, the most public and worst time. The implicit autopilot of how your parents dealt with these outbursts will flow unconsciously from you if you haven’t worked super hard to be aware and consciously change the old habits.
What’s happening for the on-looking parent is that they see you doing something they are used to doing, but you are doing it all wrong. Simply, because that is not how they know how to do it.

Find a way that works
You both have different parenting styles – who is to say which type is correct? You just need to know what works best for your family and that’s the bottom line. The irksome feelings won’t go away. You can talk to your sister-in-law, but I’m adding a caveat that it would be hard not to hurt her feelings. What we’re possibly looking at is that you prefer a more structured form of parenting, whereas your sister-in-law has a more permissive style. I’m not sure the two styles can mix, the mixture is a bit like oil and water.
If a collaborative shared form of parenting style can be agreed upon, then that is great, but our learnt hardwiring may prove difficult to change despite the intent to do so.
Perhaps, your own instinct of changing childcare might work best for you. In terms of making childcare work; the fit is ultimately the most
important aspect as you want a cohesive congruent feeling of the other caregiver to just ‘getting it’, like in any good partnership. Best of luck
with this and I wish you both well.



Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.