I remember when I was pregnant and talking about my business and training plans, most people told me that I would "never find time for training" and that "business will have to wait". My reply was always the same, "I know I won't find time, I'll make time...for everything." I was under no illusions that it would take time to learn how to be a mum, business woman, fitness fanatic, student, fiancee and friend but, I also knew I would find a way to do it.
With all this being said, nothing could prepare me for the challenges of motherhood or the adjustments I would have to make. Everything changes. Suddenly, showering becomes a luxury, going to the toilet alone is a foreign concept and adult conversation is something only other people get. My life has been completely upturned and I can't even remember what it felt like before.
No new parent finds it easy, at least that's what I'm told, but, I had a few issues in the beginning that not everyone faces. Due to PCOS, my milk supply was so low that my baby was literally starving. I never thought I would resort to formula but, after 12 weeks of trying everything, including a 4 week stretch when Tolan refused to breastfeed and I was expressing 8-10 times a day for 20-60 minutes a time, I realised that I was one of the unlucky few who genuinely has incorrectable low supply. Had I known I could use donated breast milk when the problems first surfaced, I would probably have gone down that route but, Tolan is now formula fed and perfectly healthy. Through this period, however, if I let Tolan breastfeed without formula top-ups, he would literally feed round the clock. I was glued to the sofa for 15 hours, followed by feeding through most of the night. I couldn't do anything.
On top of this, I developed post-natal depression. I reached a point where I was genuinely petrified of being alone with my boy, leaving the house...even brushing my teeth became a task as great as climbing Everest, in my mind. I can't even begin to describe the feeling and would never wish it on anyone.
Around Christmas time, things started to come together. With formula feeding and Tolan getting what he needed, came the freedom of actually being able to put him down. Sadly, sleep has never been something that Tolan has liked the idea of and being 50 miles away from most of the people I know means Mummy is the sole entertainer for most of the week so Daddy can go to work.
Over time, I have learnt to play to my strengths and take each day as it comes. I've always been good at accomplishing a lot in a very short space of time which, when Tolan refuses to nap for more than 20 minutes, has come in useful. People keep asking me how I manage to fit everything in...the truth is, I don't always manage it. I have a list of everything I need to get done each day and, as opportunity presents itself, I start with the most urgent/important. I work on the basis that, even if I only get a fraction done of what I need to do, I've still done something and am, therefore, making progress.
My typical day basically goes:
Wake up after little sleep around 6.30, when Tolan refuses to go back to sleep.
Change, play and feed.
Attempt to get him to nap around 8ish - lucky if I get 30 minutes but, during this time I make a coffee and try to wake up whilst planning out the rest of the day.
Change, play, feed.
Training has been around 11.30am, usually dashing between sets to make Tolan laugh/stop him crying. The last few days I've even used him as a weight to keep him entertained.
Around 1pm, I attempt to put Tolan down for a nap...in the short time I have, I respond to emails, speak to Tarkan, work on writing and studying.
Change, Play, Feed.
After around 3pm, Tolan invariably gets very fussy and will need 100% of my attention...so he gets it. We play, feed, watch TV/listen to music etc until Tarkan gets in around 6.30.
Around 8pm, we take Tolan in the bath, massage him, get him ready for bed and he's usually asleep by 9pm.
After that, I cook, eat, maybe work on more stuff, study, spend time with Tarkan, relax and invariably collapse into bed around midnight, only to be woken a few minutes later by Tolan wanting a feed. He usually wakes up every couple of hours through the night then...repeat.
So, yeah...for those who keep asking, that's how I do it. It's not easy but, it's getting there. It's starting to feel like things are coming together again. To all those people who told me I wouldn't do it, I would just like to say...I ALREADY AM!