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Mum

When did you feel you got back some control over your life after having a baby? I have a seven month old, and I crave time that is not devoted to just her. I want to spend time with my partner, I would love to start going out for runs again (which I loved to do before I got pregnant), and frankly I'd want to do something intellectually stimulating again. I have a very sensitive, 'high-need' type of baby, and it has been so tough.

Hi, this is a great and honest question. I mirror your state of mind and needs. I am a first time mum and my baby girl is almost eight months. This has crossed my mind many times and thankfully I feel a lot better with my new reality and approach to things.

I will answer with my own experience and hope it helps.

Firstly, I would recommend to watch this video on YouTube.. it's called Matrescence Ted Talk https://youtu.be/jOsX_HnJtHU This helped me to be patient and empathetic with the transition I am going through from being an Independent, sociable, work-driven traveller pre-baby... to just taking care of baby's needs everyday and every hour! This takes a lot of understanding and acceptance. I am still on this journey!

Secondly, I would say YOU CAN still achieve/fulfill your personal needs and goal / desires but in this round of life called motherhood everything needs just that bit of planning. The support of someone you trust to look after your baby while you do those things and having a good balance of me time and baby time with realistic expectations is so important. So where you may have been able to spend endless hours doing something you loved, now you'd have to reduce those hours and plan what you want to do around them. Things are more about quality vs quantity now.

Thirdly, when you do get to do these activities, relax, enjoy, be guilt-free, savour it and celebrate the fact you were able to do it! Don't focus on how short the activity was or how much planning it took... just know that you can achieve anything you put your mind to! If it didn't go as well as you'd hoped, there will always be a next time!

Finally, your baby will only be this small and this 'needy' for a while. All this time you are devoting to her is an investment oninher. She may be asking for so much right now, but little by little she is growing and learning to be independent. These baby steps may feel minimal right now but soon she will be off to nursery and you will get more free hours that don't require so much meticulous planning. For now be kind to yourself, take it slow and celebrate little moments... also soon enough baby will be going more places with you as you explore the world together!

Hope some of this helps you!

Mum