New Parenthood Dreams

This morning I peered very closely into the bathroom mirror.

Who WAS this woman?

Wild hair, blotchy skin, bags under eyes from months of sleepless nights.

I prodded the glass right between the woman’s eyes and demanded, “Who ARE you Who ARE YOU?!”

Glassy eyed, the woman stared back.

For the last four and a half months I’ve been wandering around that strange place known as the Foggy Forest Of Zombified New Parenthood.

the fog forest1

In this forest the skeletons of pre-baby identities are hung in the trees. Old clothes and rituals (such as having neat hair and relaxed meals out) are snapped off like kitten heels on scree. And whilst you love your baby with more love than you knew you could ever feel, you can’t help hearing a parrot screeching,

“ARK! What’s happened?

It’s all changed (for YOU … not HIM)!

Your life has have fallen by the wayside like a banana skin tossed out of a window on a country road. ARK!”

When you hear the parrot you know you’ve hit the heart of the forest; the slightly mad glade. And at this point you lean your forehead against the bathroom mirror, close your eyes and nearly fell asleep.

In her book, The Gift Of Change, Marianne Williamson writes “When a woman gives birth, two are born: a baby is born from the womb of its mother, and a woman is born from the womb of her former existence.”

This is all cool if your former existence was soft and peachy … or one you were happy to shed. However, for many women including myself, the pre-birth life was wildly ferocious, fun, independent, fast moving and creative. My pre-womb was a flashy little sports car and I liked it. I was attached to it and I was determined that being born into new-motherhood wasn’t going to stop me driving.

Hell, no!

So, I came up with an idea to get me back to the pre-birth fast lane.


THE IDEA: To create a kind of bread crumb trail that would lead me BACK to the motorway (baby on hip), ready to get back to my old sports car and hit the accelerator.

THE REALITY: On March 31st my flashy metaphorical sports car did a double flip off the hard shoulder and flew pirouetting deep into the Fog Forest.

I don’t remember much about the flip.

I remember the landing.

I was soul naked.

With some bread crumbs

and my baby.

I clutched both.


For the first week or so I didn’t dare leave the bush and huddled blissfully in a pink bubble of oxytocin. Ads bought me food and news from the outside world. I listened to his news but I barely knew how to reply. This frightened me. The person who two weeks ago could lead full blown seminars, could NOT STRING A SENTENCE TOGETHER. The thought of having to talk to my best friends was suddenly daunting.

Oh my God, I thought. How am I ever going to go back to work …. Let alone drive the sports car again?

“But you’ve got to,” Pre-birth Self hissed as I nursed my little mancub. “Even if you didn’t want to go back, you have A Mortgage.”

“But I don’t want to. It’s too zoomy and fast and exposed. I want to be in this bush with my baby!” I whispered back.

“But you loved your work ….”

“Yes I did. I do. I just don’t like that motorway anymore. And all those suits and deadlines and shit.”

“But you’ll go back to the motorway?”

“No. Yes. I don’t know! And please stop saying “but” so much. It negates things.”

Turmoil reined. I didn’t know what I wanted. Despite all my carefully laid plans, I’d changed. Massively changed. And now that the “Who I Am” had altered, so had my “What I Want.”


There was a mortgage.

And bills.

So I had no choice.


As the months passed I reluctantly began to follow the bread crumb trail back along the diarised spaces and the meetings. Soon I was nearing the motorway. The smell of diesel and tarmac seeped into the woods, boiling in the scorching summer sun. I flicked off a few more emails. Had a few more conversations. Felt shrunken.

And then the trees opened and I could see It; the fast lane. It smashed past at a hundred miles per hour, air biting at my face. Here on the road side were all the ghostly fragments of an old self: suit trousers, folders, accounts and a banana skin. As I prodded them with my foot and wondered what the hell was happening, the fragrance of the hibiscus flowers and the vines of the trees of the wood whispered.

Because, you know what? Somehow, through being in the Fog Forest for all this time, I’d started to pick up the language of the leaves.

“Bethan, remember who you are,” they whispered gently. “You are a maker and a coach. You have a palette of colours and coaching tools to create your life in any spectrum you choose. So why are you feeling forced to go back to a place you no longer want to be? Create something new.”


I stood dead still, gazing at the speeding motorway and let these thoughts lull through my mind.

Why go back to the crazy life? I asked myself. I can set myself up here in the forest where it’s all about teepees, gypsy caravans and camp fires as opposed to a never-ending road onwards and occasional holidays to the petrol station.

After all, my love of life prior to the baby wasn’t the road itself, but what I was doing. I loved coaching; I loved speaking; I loved the transformational programmes that I delivered and helping others create lives that reflect their gorgeousness.

And all that could still happen.

Here. In the place I am now.

Because … and here is the juice of it …

In the fallout from our car flips, whether they are massive life changes, new parenthood or a hopeless loss, we don’t truly lose who we are. We are simply thrown into new territory; new landscapes. We don’t lose our passions but we MAY lose the external conditions to create them the same as before.

And that’s fine.

Because we are creative, inventive, powerful little souls of gorgeousness.

Tenacious enough to adapt to a new landscape.


Sometimes all we need is to close our eyes,

lean against a bathroom mirror,

take five

and in that small space of time


that at some point

we can revision how we dance in our lives and create the next thing.

Then you can open your eyes, unpeel your forehead from the looking glass, smile lovingly at your exhausted survivor/warrior face and step out of the bathroom into an entirely new future.

Here’s to new landscapes.

Wising you a day of ridiculous beauty.

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