Since I've been a mum, in some ways I'm a completely different person.
In some ways I feel stronger. I've always been a total wuss. Pretty much anyone can attest to that, but if you want an extremely heartfelt testimony of it, just ask James, who is baffled by my constant nightmares and assurances that he needs to check the cupboards and the bathtub in the middle of the night in case anyone's in there. Since Maggie though, if I hear a sound in the night that completely freaks me out, there's no hesitation for me running to see if she's okay, not even sending James first, and I feel like if anything was going wrong I'd be the first to throw myself in front of her and do whatever it takes. I've had some seriously action movie dreams since her birth, and for the first time in my life they don't involve me hiding somewhere while James saves the day. I just feel like 'Don't you dare mess with my daughter'. SO NOT in my pre-Maggie nature!!!
I also care less what a lot of people think about whatever I'm doing with Maggie, because suddenly I seem to know what I'm doing - not with babies in general, just with Maggie. I even feel like I know what to do with her better a lot of the time even than my mother(!), which is a huge shock, cause she's always been super-mum. I still go to her for advice (a lot!), but I feel like 'I got this' a lot too. I didn't know much about babies before her, but it's amazing how you just know all of a sudden!!
It is a lot harder than I had anticipated, to give 'tough love'. Not that I want to be tough with Maggie (at all), but even letting her cry a little when she's going down, or not carrying her 100% of the time if she's just sooking. I do it - I let her cry a little here and there, and I'm okay with it, but sometimes it just breaks your heart! I've sat next to her bassinet in the middle of the night in tears while I let her cry it out - that gorgeous little carefully-designed-to-trigger-the-'RESCUE!'-reflex cry!! (On the upside, she's in her cot, sleeping through now again!)
I am a sooook!! I cry at the drop of a hat. I went to a wedding last weekend and cried in every speech! I see a woman close to giving birth and I cry! Someone says something nice to someone else and I cry! And of course anything parental. Parents send their kid off to college in some B-grade movie, pull out the tissues, please! It's bizzare! I am NOT up for anything actually sad for a while, I don't know what I'd do!! When we ('finally', James would say) moved Maggie into her own cot the other night, I sat on the couch and burst into tears, cause she was 'S-s-s-so-soooo far away!!!!'. Does this go away when I stop breastfeeding??
I love Maggie an insane amount!!! I am trying so hard not to be one of 'those mums', but the fact that I have to try, baffles me. When I was teaching, I looked at all the parents and knew I'd be one of the level headed responsible ones who let their children learn to deal with life, and who was okay to 'let go'. I think I'll still pull it off, but I may have to have James in the background, holding me back. Ah the thought of Maggie starting school, sob!
I'm also a lot fatter, but we're working on that - It's not as easy to zip the last 6 kilos off as I thought, but I'll do it, then get fat and pregnant again, as now is my life :) (happy tear!)