I met Tracy at the beginning of 2014 when we joined the same mother’s group. Over the last 18 months I have enjoyed getting to know her and spending lots of play dates and the odd girls dinner together. I truly admire the way that Tracy and her partner make sure they carve out time for each other in the craziness that is parenting and life. I am so happy to be bringing Tracy’s words to you today. She is a gorgeous woman and a great mum.

I always new I wanted to be a mum. Although in my 20’s being a mum was never on the priority list. I didn’t have any desire to be responsible for anybody but myself. I chose to leave my childhood sweetheart to pursue the world and I did, with no intention of settling down. I loved being independent, I loved having freedom and flexibility to do what I pleased and most of all I loved me.

In my early 30’s I got married, assuming babies were the next step, but unfortunately the marriage was short lived. I then entered a long  term relationship with someone who didn’t want to commit and in the  blink of an eye my 30’s had passed me by and with that my chances of being a mum. I just assumed in my 30’s I would meet the right person, fall in love and have children.

Just shy of 40 I did meet the right person & fell in love. We both wanted a family and within a few years we had fallen pregnant but sadly I miscarried. Three months later we fell pregnant with our now 18-month-old boy. The day he came into the world we became a family and my heart was full.

I wasn’t really prepared for the challenges I faced and the sacrifices that I had to make. Being an older mum I found it difficult given I’ve been my own person for so long and I struggled with how I was going to still be me, Tracy. I didn’t want my baby to define me. I didn’t ‘just’ want to be mum, I wanted to still enjoy the things in life that made me the person I am today but still be a great mum.

As I look back over the the 18 months I think about how I’ve managed to succeed in my pursuit for a good balance. I suppose after he was born I looked at my life pre baby and thought about how I could combine the things in life that I enjoyed and my new life as Zach’s mummy.

Jason and I would love going to different restaurants and cafes. We loved going out for a drink in the city. I love socialising with friends, shopping, pampering, nights out with the girls, time spent with my family and holidays.

Not all things can stay the same and I was never that naive to think they could. Going down to one wage meant losing my shopping days, pampering and going out for lavish dinners. Having a baby meant nights out are pretty much non existent as are sleep-ins but it didn’t have to be all doom and gloom. How can I still enjoy some of these things and still put 100% into being a great mum?

Well it took some tweaking but it is possible! We still go out and explore new cafes with Zach. I love to see him enjoy his babycino! Having an amazing mum and sister means Jason and I can still have date nights which we do every month. Having a supportive partner means I still have nights out with the girls and have a greater appreciation for the time I do have with them. I see my family more now we have moved back to the area and it warms my heart to see how much love they have for him.

I spend my days focussing on Zach’s development. We build, we throw the ball, colour, we dance to the wiggles, go for walks, we cuddle, attend playgroup, play on the swing in the park, visit nanny and poppy and play dates. I take endless amount of photos of him and I’m constantly amazed at the things he learns in a day. On the weekends the three of us spend family time at the park or on some outing.

I didn’t leave my identity behind I’m still here enjoying what makes me me just now there’s an added bonus!

I’ve come to the conclusion that with a supportive partner, the right amount of time spent on nurturing my relationship, staying connected to my friends and family is what I need to be the happiest I can be and therefore the very best mum I can be. After all it’s important to be kind and love yourself before you can completely love anyone else.

How did you make sure you retained your sense of self when you became a mum?

Each Thursday I will bring you a real mama who is sharing her story. Whether you are a single mum, a grandmother, a mum of many or a mum to one, a mum-to-be, a step mum, a working mum or a stay at home mum, and you want to share your story about a particular motherhood journey or experience you have had then please get in touch at sara@kidmagazine.com.au.

 

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