….and an ever evolving version of yourself.
The journey to motherhood can sometimes be a difficult road, with lots of highs and sometimes even more lows, twists and turns…
My journey started when my husband and I had been married for a year and decided that children was the next chapter in our life story.
Trying to conceive took a lot long than either of us anticipated and it sometimes felt a little hopeless. But after our son was born I felt that my journey to motherhood was complete….. how wrong I was!
The first 12 months of my son’s life I found a version of me that enjoyed every aspect of being a mummy. Caring for my child, teaching him, helping him to grow and develop. This version of me came as quite a surprise, becoming sooo patient and completely selfless. I also found a hobby – which is something I didn’t have time for before children, crazy I know!!
This first chapter of motherhood; maternity leave, I found to be one of the best years ever, meeting lots of lovely new people, and feeling very fulfilled. But then the time came to return to work… This in itself came with lots of challenges. Finding a new version of me…. No woman is ever the same person that left their job to have a baby. Going back can be so challenging to split your time between your child, your partner and your career.
As women; nowadays we are expected to work like we don’t have children and raise children as if we don’t have a career. I had spent over 10 years working as a Soft Tissue Therapist in professional sport and working hard to become a respected and valued member of a medical team within a successful Premier League Football Club.
When working in such a high-pressured environment its sometimes quite easy to forget who we are and what is really important. The first few months back at work I felt lost. All I wanted to do was be at home with my son, but I had people relying on me to do my job to the best of my ability.
After being back in work for a few months and finding my rhythm and balance between being a mummy to my beautiful baby boy, a wife to my very supportive husband and a valued member of the team at work. I had found a NEW version of me! Less time for the hobby though, but we can’t have it all! I also felt empowered and accomplished as I had proven the point that women can have children and a successful career within a male dominated environment. I felt like I had completed that journey to motherhood and was where I needed to be….
The time then came for us to try again for another child. Little did I know then, that I would have to find yet another version of myself as a mother. Trying to conceive for 2nd time took longer than we had anticipated. This was something that I don’t think I was mentally prepared for and struggled with the thought of not being able to give our son a little brother or sister.
When we did finally get pregnant again the journey to become a mother for the 2nd time was stunted when at 9 weeks pregnant, I had a miscarriage. This was the most devastating thing that has ever happened to us and going through this experience completed changed me as a person and as a mother forever.
Aside from the obvious devastation and complete emptiness I felt, what made the whole experience worse was that I had to go through a lot of the ordeal alone. I was working abroad on a pre-season training camp and although I wasn’t alone; I was not with my family. That journey home alone, knowing I was miscarrying was a massive turning point for me. When finally, I realised that being a mother was more important than having the career I had dreamt of and worked so hard to achieve. It wasn’t what I wanted anymore. Coming home to my son and husband, empty and broken I realised I had to find a new version of myself. One that had to get over the loss but still continue to be the mother that my son needed me to me. There was one particular day about a week after the miscarriage, where I was still feeling pretty weak and low, when my son very carefully carried a glass of water over to me and said ‘drink mummy make all better’ he was only 2 ½ years old. In that moment he showed me that the job of being a mum never stops, it just has to adapt.
Luckily, we fell pregnant almost immediately after the miscarriage. This was exciting but also petrifying. So many questions and self-doubting moments. Was I going to be able to carry this baby to term? Was I going to be able to continue to be a good mum to my son? Was I going to cope as a mum of two? All these feelings led us to completely re-evaluate our lives and we had to figure out what was most important.
Becoming a mother for a second time meant finding yet another version of me! It was the scariest leap of faith I’ve ever had to make. Even more scary than becoming a mummy first time round!
After working all my adult life in professional sport, I felt that there was just no way I could give my all to my family whilst still doing the job I had loved for so many years to the high standard that I expected from myself. Having made the decision not to return to professional sport after the birth of our beautiful daughter I had to find yet another version of me. One in which I could still be the best mum I could possibly be to our two incredible children, a wife to my ever-enduring husband, and also find a career that would fulfil my need to have something that is mine. Something that I could work on to find a new version of myself going forward as my children get older and need me less and less or maybe just in different ways….
Because one thing that I have learned so far in my very short time of being a mother is that the demands on us change and develop as our children grow. As much as I love being a mother, it’s so important that we as women find something that gives us our individuality and not just mum to our children.
This is what lead me to Yogabellies. A platform where I could use my skillset in a slightly different way. Teaching yoga specially geared towards women whilst empowering and supporting them to be the best versions of themselves.
The journey to motherhood and beyond is sometimes a scary one but allowing yourself to make a few leaps of faith can in turn lead to amazing adventures.
I’m still working on the latest version of me but I think I’m finding my rhythm again now! I need to remember to never be too hard on myself and know that as a mother I’m doing the best I can and as a women I should feel empowered. Motherhood is an ever-evolving job and I look forward to the adventures ahead as my children get older. I also look forward to my new career and all the lovely women I will get to meet and help along the way.
To all those women out there no matter what stage of life or journey to motherhood you find yourself at just remember to embrace it, enjoy it and learn from it!
Danielle runs YogaBellies Worcestershire; you can find out more about her beautiful classes here Danielle Skett | YogaBellies®
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I’m an inclusive, not scary, totally normal yet heavily qualified yoga instructor and founder of YogaBellies® and the Birth ROCKS Method. I’m trained in self hypnosis and meditation and what I love is helping women (ALL women) enjoy yoga without having to whisper all the time and wear fancy activewear that cost a month’s rent.
I believe Yoga is for everyone.