I didn’t realise how lost I had become in my own head. It’s easily done. Having stayed at home with my two-year-old son for the past few months, my thoughts have mostly been occupied by him, and the house and the impending arrival of my second baby. Usually, the only thing that runs through my mind is a list of what I need to do and what order I should do it in. Throw in ensuring that I spend quality time with Samuel each day, and obsessing over finding time to write, and there isn’t much space for anything else in my crowded brain.
This evening, I haven’t felt well. I’m three days overdue and feeling it. In fact, I’d even go so far to say that instead of feeling like a pregnant woman, I now feel like a pregnant hippo. Not even a regular hippo, a pregnant one, if you can imagine that. I decided after Samuel went to bed that I’d go upstairs and sit on my laptop and have some “chill out” time like I used to do regularly once upon a time in a different life. Utilising the rare opportunity of solitude, I decided to finally get round to listening to the Taylor Swift album.
The fact that this album has been out for three days and I still haven’t listened to it says A LOT about how my life has changed. I am a massive Taylor Swift fan and always have been, ( before it was cool!), right from the days of her very first album when people used to make fun of me for liking her (I know when I’m onto a good thing). For the release of 1989 in 2014, I stayed up until the early hours, waiting for midnight so I could buy the album and then listening to the songs on repeat all night. I am dedicated. I know every word to every song. So missing a new album by three days is a big deal to me. What was worse was that I didn’t care! I’ve spent so long thinking about babies, children, babies and more babies, that I seem to have forgotten about who I am and what I like.
It might sound cliche, but I feel like listening to the album has re-awoken a little part of my identity that had been long buried under piles of washing and dirty dishes. As I play the music, the songs take me back to a different time. Suddenly I can see myself and my boyfriend before we were so sensible and responsible, when we were at university and nothing really mattered. I’m transported back to my best friend Jack’s bedroom ( see featured image), listening to Taylor and drinking vodka lemonades as we get ready for a night of dancing and general chaos. This may not be my life anymore, but that version of me still exists in there somewhere, and it’s been refreshing to revisit her, even if it is just through a pair of headphones.
I’ll be brave and I’ll say it. I don’t like watching the same episode of Bing Bunny fifty times in a row. I don’t like Mr. Tumble. Mr. Maker has the ability to irritate me more than any other human on this Earth. Baby groups bore me. Soft play is among one of the most stressful experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I endure all of those things for my son because I love him, and because seeing him happy fulfils me more than my own happiness ever could. However, I think it’s important to remember what I enjoy once in a while, and even..dare I say it… indulge such things. To do something for myself and not feel guilty. Being a good mum doesn’t have to mean sacrificing every part of my identity. Some of it I can keep. Even if that simply means sitting in bed at nine o’ clock on a Monday night and listening to a really good Taylor Swift album.