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A 23 year old living her best life to... a mum


22. What a year. I travelled, I partied, I met some great new friends, my job was going well and Prosecco became a craze and I could definitely get on board with. Some would say I was living my best life. I was not thinking about children. I was the child. Well, the baby of the family at least. Then life threw a big, curve ball straight into the middle of my Prosecco filled little life and bam, I was going to be a Mama at 23. Prosecco life on ice.


Was I ready? No. Was my partner ready? Another no. Out of our lovely bay view apartment into our own 4 bedroom home in the suburbs, and suddenly… we were adulting and going to be parents. It was a surprise to everyone but 17.5 months later, and we are here to tell the tale and are successfully winging it. Every.Single.Day.


I’ve acquired some new skills; surviving on little to no sleep, I can drink a cup of coffee hot, or long after it's gone cold, creeping around the house without making a single sound and turning the TV on with a sleeping baby on your chest. Well, I kind of have Google to thank for that last one. “OK Google, play Stranger Things on the Living Room TV”. Revolutionary. However, some of the other ‘Motherly instincts’ skipped me. You know when people say “You’ll wake up just before the baby cries” ...I do not. I do not wake in the night when B cries, even with the baby monitor on full volume. The other half has to give me a good ole nudge, maybe a shake then a “CHELSEA, he’s awake!”. I daren't look at my FitBit in the morning to see how much sleep I’ve had on those nights!


If being a Mama has given me anything (aside from acute anxiety and a genuine love for nursery rhymes on YouTube ), it's a desire to find out what I'm passionate about. Some friends at a Pizzacue (Kind of like a BBQ but with a pizza oven.) asked me If I could give up my job right now and do anything in the world, what would I do? And I was stumped. Nothing. Nada. Zilch, but it did get me thinking.


Being a Mama, you definitely lose a bit of ‘you’ - you spend time worrying about your new little sprog who takes up 99% of your time and worrying about everyone else with the other 1%. It can be weeks of looking in the mirror at your awfully overgrown eyebrows before you actually bite the bullet and get an appointment to sort them out. You also push doing the things you love and are passionate about to the side. But as we near the 8 months milestone, B is really developing his own little personality and is due to start nursery in a mere 7 weeks - I feel a bit of me coming back and I'm keen to get to work on figuring out what I’m passionate about.


How? How do you find what you’re passionate about? Another question that left me a bit dumbfounded. You can probably tell at the moment, there's a lot of questions and not a lot of answers. I decided that if I experience new things, letting go of what others think and focus on me (when I’m not saving the child who’s just crawled under the sofa!) I'm going to figure it out, I just need to take the first step. I need to spend less time sitting around thinking, trying to rationalise every decision, explaining my vision to others and just do me.


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Chelsea O'Driscoll

Cardiff, Wales.

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