Earlier in the month I wrote about how now the children are getting older and a little less dependent I’m feeling wobbly and unsettled about who I am as a woman, not just a mum.
How do you find out who you are though? I’m a bit short on babysitters, time and cash to go off on some retreat of self discovery in the Himalayas for 6 months.
I thought a good place to start was think about things I like doing. The important word being I rather than ‘we’. I know what we like doing as a family. I’ve spent the vast majority of the past 17 years finding things ‘we’ like doing and I really, really hope there are years and years of that to come.
I am lucky though in that I do generally get a weekend a month to myself when my elder kids are with grandma and small girl is with daddy. I’ve even almost a fortnight in the summer holidays – that’s too long though I’ll be moaning about missing the kids by day 3. I’ve gotten better at utilising my child free time though. I did spend years just sitting home whinging about being lonely. I just need to keep doing that, maximising my free time . Try and find that woman that’s tucked away in here, rediscover the passions and interests that don’t lie solely on keeping these gorgeous human beings of mine alive and well.
I did what I always do.
Made a list.
It’s nothing earth shattering or awe inspiring but just a gentle start of remembering or discovering what makes me tick when the kids aren’t around.
Can I share them?
Go camping – on my own
I’m a fan of doing stuff alone. I’m the advocate of the solo date, I enjoy my own company. I’m quite lucky where I live too with the Peak District almost on the doorstep so one weekend when I’m heartlessly abandoned by my children I’m just going to go walking up there. Look at beautiful scenery and collect my thoughts to the picturesque backdrop.
Go to Edinburgh fringe festival
I’ve always wanted to do this. Wall to wall theatre and art. The children are away for over a week during the summer and I’m going to have myself a little holiday and head Northwards for some culture!
*update – did this , wrote about how I came back a changed woman here )
Stay with me here I’m not going to go all gym bunny on you. I loathe the thought of running and swimming so much so it actually puts me off doing it. This is really silly because when I do go for a proper run I do enjoy it. Working up a bit of a sweat with just my cringe worthy play list for company always makes me feel really good. Running is great for keeping my anxiety at bay too. So I’m going to stop being a lazy arse and get out there.
Write the book (or at least try)
Everyone has a book I them don’t they say? Mine is just struggling a bit with the getting out part. Do you know why? Because I feel daft. I worry that people would think “bloody hell we have to put up with her shockingly shite writing with her blog – who does she think she is writing a book?”
It could be true. I could invest time and effort only to produce the world’s worst book, but even if this were to be the case well it’d not have hurt anyone would it?
Let’s crack on with that.
Visit new places
I read a short story by Jenny Colgan once called Paris For One. A woman gets stood up by her boyfriend and ends up visiting Paris alone. I’ve wanted to follow suit ever since. I spent my younger years child rearing so have never really seen anywhere I’d have liked to yet. I might not manage Paris but I could start off with some UK cities surely?
So that’s my list so far.
I’ll bore you to death with tales of my adventures ticking them off but I feel so much happier just having written them down. I’ve showed them to you guys too so that means I HAVE to do them right?
So here’s to making the most of child free weekends instead of moaning about abandonment.
After all the children certainly aren’t pining for me when they’re having fun at grandma’s or having adventures with daddy!
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