Looking back at pre-Delilah me.
I was watching the new series of Cold Feet last night, the episode where they go to a festival and it really got me thinking about my life pre-Delilah.
She’s 3 years old now and honestly I haven’t really thought much about my pre mummy days. I’d hear lots of women on social media talking about missing their single days and how they feel like a totally different person and don’t even recognise themselves now. But none of that ever resonated with me.
I absolutely loved the new born stage, didn’t mind the night feeds, in fact I enjoyed our alone time together, weirdly. I can remember two distinct occasions when Delilah wouldn’t stop crying and I felt like the worst mother ever. But mostly, I think I coped OK. Maybe I’m so far away from that stage right now that I’m idealising it. It’s possible.
But I didn’t really miss the old me. I didn’t miss the drunken nights out or the raving. I was super content just being a Mum. What I used to do and who I used to be didn’t matter. I didn’t miss her.
But watching that program last night flicked a switch. I started to remember the feelings of having no responsibility, being able to do whatever I wanted to whenever I wanted to without having to find a babysitter, of getting dressed up and getting shitfaced and dancing. God I miss the dancing!!
I would never ever change a single second of being Delilah’s Mum but I now totally get those feelings of missing your former life, missing the woman you used to br. And actually, I miss having fun. Fun just for fun’s sake. When you laugh so hard you can hardly breathe, when you are totally in the moment with mates and nothing else matters.
I think I’m feeling this now because of our current situation. We’re now in this weird limbo where we have babysitters as we live near my parents and therefore could go out and have fun, but our friends are 6 hours away and so are all the fun things to do. It’s really not the same going to the local pub where there’s no more than 10 people and most of them knew your grandparents! Whereas in London, our friends were there but no babysitters. I don’t know which is worse!
Now that Delilah is older I might consider hiring babysitters. Or at the very least both me and Jon can go out, just not together!!!
I definitely remember having a conversation with Jon when I was pregnant where we both agreed that we wouldn’t let the baby change our life, that they would fit into our current way of life. Oh how foolish and naive we were!! That’s definitely on a par with not wanting to be the parents that give their kids an iPad to shut them up!! :)
So, now that I am ready, finally after 3 years, to have some old school fun I’ve been thinking about what I used to do which I’d like to do again. And its not just about getting pissed!!! I’m talking about things I used to do solely for me which I haven’t done since getting pregnant.
Now, I used to be hot! Nearly 6 foot tall, legs forever, boobs, hips, the lot. I loved getting dressed up and I even wore heels. I now live in fucking leggings as my stomach genuinely feels bigger than when I was pregnant and I can’t get into jeans. I have a double chin which I detest and I wear a size 16 rather than a 12. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a size 16 but its not the size I was and its not the size I want to be. Both my sisters dropped their baby weight and I have no excuse.
Since being a mum my self care is non-existent. I do nothing for myself now that I used to do. And until now, I’ve not been that bothered. Taking care of Delilah was my number one priority. But, as they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup. My health scare last year, whilst nothing to do with lack of self care, was terrifying. Delilah needs a healthy and happy mum for her to live her best life, so really any investment in me is an investment in her.
So here are the things I used to do before I became a Mum, things that made me happy and which I’d like to start doing again.
Fuck me, I love spinning. I used to go to classes at all the different Virgin gyms I belonged to. I especially loved the class with the rolling road in front of you on a big screen. I also went to Boom Cycle in Shoreditch and Holborn. I’d go after work and at weekends and craved it.
If you found the right instructor, with the right music, you hit the jackpot. Hill climbs were my favourite. Stick on a heavy beat and dim the lights and I’d ride that bike all night! Sprints were my nemesis but with the right track I’d smash it.
Seriously, sometimes working out to music was better than dancing to it in a club! I’d finish the session on the most incredible endorphin high and would be counting down the days until the next session.
But I haven’t been to a spin class since 2015!!!
Yesterday I came across an advert on my Instagram stories for Peloton (www.onepeloton.co.uk), an indoor bike with a screen which shows an instructor taking the class. Its a spinning class in your own home!! I want that bike!! Surely it appeared on my Instagram feed for a reason??
With work and nursery run and then family time and chores on the weekend, I have not prioritised working out, and that goes for running, yoga and all the other gym classes I used to do. But having the ability to do a spin class whenever I want, without having to fit around gym timetables that never quite work or schlepping to the gym sounds ideal. But at £2,000 it’s steep! What to do? I know I’ll love it but its a big investment.
I think I spent most of the summers of 2007 - 2014 in festivals. We did Lovebox, SW4, Global Gathering, Hackney Weekend, V Festival, Wireless etc.
My favourite was Lovebox, a two or sometimes three day festival in Victoria Park in East London but done as a day festival rather than camping. And as I lived a stone’s throw from Viccy Park it was as if I was going to a festival in my own back garden. Me, Jon and our Rave Club friends would always be in the Hospitality drum and bass tent and genuinely, at that time, skanking out to jungle music was my absolute favourite thing to do.
Camping festivals I’ve done many times and whilst I initially loved it, I quickly got fed up of the rough conditions, a clear sign of creeping old age! However, I’ve never done Glastonbury. I’d definitely go camping for Glastonbury. But, question is, do we take Delilah?
Initial thoughts are ‘hell no!’ but isn’t Glasto supposed to be kid friendly? Thing is though, I know me and Jon would want to party all night and no matter how much fun Delilah may have had in the day she’d surely ruin our evening experience by making us (or one of us) call it a night early (shotgun not it!).
So it would definitely be nice to go a few more festivals with Jon and relive our days of abandon, if only just for the day. Glastonbury has to be done someday and maybe even Burning Man!
Dancing to killer drum n bass is not just a summer activity though. We used to rave all year round. Jon and I actually met on a podium at Electric Brixton in February 2012 at a Skrillex gig. He was sitting down at my feet and I was dancing on the podium and when Skrillex played Faith Evans ft. Fatman Scoop ‘Love Like This Before’ I lost my shit and kicked him in the back and told him to dance with me!! The rest is history!!
We raved everywhere. Fabric, Village Underground, XOYO, The O2 Brixton, Plastic People, Pacha, Ministry of Sound, Egg, Koko. Just remembering those carefree nights of pure fun has got me feeling all nostalgic for a London that just isn’t reality for me anymore and that’s kinda sad.
I’d like to say that I’ve outgrown it and find my fun doing other things but honestly, music and dancing is ageless. I miss the dark rooms, the heavy beat, the sweaty mess after dancing all night, meeting randoms in the smoking area, having deep and meaningful chats with my girls in the toilets, and posing for the obligatory Converse shoe together photo!
Granted I have no idea what the kids are listening to these days but I’m pretty sure that in the right club, with the right DJ, the right set and my mates, I’d kill it like I did in my thirties!
Funnily, all my friends I was clubbing with back in the day are only now turning 30 and i’ve just turned 40. Most are still single and only two are mothers and they’re all still raving. I was a late starter, not really finding my tribe of like minded ravers until 2011 when I was 32. I was the ‘Mum’ of the group!! LOL. Even Jon is still only 33!!! And he absolutely wants to go clubbing again.
Basically, even though raving isn’t and can’t be something I do every weekend, once every 6 months might be nice, right?
Another past love which has fallen by the wayside. In 2011 I was doing yin yoga twice a week and Jivamukti on a Saturday and I loved it. It was calming, sweaty and so enlightening. And I looked hot!
But then raving took over, then pregnancy, then early motherhood and blah blah blah!! Excuses galore.
But being out of yoga for a while I always go back to being a beginner and I find that unless I’m able to truly get into a routine where I’m doing something regularly and consistently, all I’m doing is one yoga class here and one there and basically there’s no point.
What I need is to make the decision that I want to do yoga regularly and prioritise it. Make it become a habit.
One thing about yoga though, it’s expensive. In London classes were between £16 and £20 a time. In 2011 I bought a yearly pass for about £900 and I used it regularly and got my money’s worth and somehow it didn’t feel expensive. And I had a monthly gym membership on top too. But then I only had myself to spend my money on!
At the moment, I’m living nowhere near a yoga studio and have no spends for classes anyway. But, as soon as my broken wrist heals and is back to normal function I’m going to be kind to myself and get back on the mat. I’m going to try a home practice using the free videos you can get online and see if I get myself into a yogic rhythm and rediscover my love for it.
So, whilst I wouldn’t want to go back to those hedonistic days, as being Delilah’s mum is truly the most fulfilling life, I do yearn for a little visit once in a while. What did you love to do just for you which you haven’t prioritised since becoming a mum? I’d love to hear.